Now In A Special Edition To Mark The Twentieth Anniversary Of A Beloved Cult Classic Read The New York Times Bestselling Coming Of Age Story That Takes A Sometimes Heartbreaking, Often Hysterical, And Always Honest Look At High School In All Its Glory Also A Major Motion Picture Starring Logan Lerman And Emma Watson, The Perks Of Being A Wallflower Is A Funny, Touching, And Haunting Modern ClassicThe Critically Acclaimed Debut Novel From Stephen Chbosky Follows Observant Wallflower Charlie As He Charts A Course Through The Strange World Between Adolescence And Adulthood First Dates, Family Drama, And New Friends Sex, Drugs, And The Rocky Horror Picture Show Devastating Loss, Young Love, And Life On The Fringes Caught Between Trying To Live His Life And Trying To Run From It, Charlie Must Learn To Navigate Those Wild And Poignant Roller Coaster Days Known As Growing Up A New York Times Best Seller For Than A Year, An American Library Association Best Book For Young Adults And Best Book For Reluctant Readers , And With Millions Of Copies In Print, This Novel For Teen Readers Or Wallflowers Of Advanced Age Will Make You Laugh, Cry, And Perhaps Feel Nostalgic For Those Moments When You, Too, Tiptoed Onto The Dance Floor Of Life DISCLAIMER I did not like this book I am about to try to explain why that is so, here, in my own, personal review space I am critiqing this book, based on my own opinions, personal taste, experiences and perspective, criteria and standards for literary work It is entirely subjective, as I think all reviews, per definition, are.I mean no disrespect to the people who like this book, and who have found in it something of value You are as entitled to your own opinion, subjective readingexperience, and standards, as I am, and yours is just as valid And you have the same opportunity as me, to use your own review space, to clarify that We don t all have to agree One opinion isn t wrong and the other right they are both right, because it is personal.If you are a big fan of this book, and have difficulty in understanding or respecting people, who disagree with you, especially on issues that are important to you, I advice you not to read any further I will not be saying nice things about this book.A note regarding my own viewpoint I have a background in psychology and work in this field The knowledge that I have of some of the issues handled in this book, and the real people I ve met working in this field, of course affects how I view the book, and is actually one of the reasons I think, that the way this book was written isnt a very good approach to or description of some of these very real issues I want to underline that I look at Charlie as a written character, not a real person, and I value the book as a literary piece of work, not as a real life story To me, there is a huge difference between the two.That doesnt make my opinion any right it is only to explain where i am coming from Some of the things that matter most to me in books are prose writing style, storytelling and message It s one of the things that can make or break a book for me.In this case, the writing style just didn t work for me.It was just too lacking .Maybe it s the whole premise of the book, a story narrated by someone who is emotionally inhibited as Charlie, that didn t work for me Maybe, but it didn t have to be That issue and Charlie s character could have been explored and dealt with, literary, in other ways.The book could have had Charlie s narration interact with someone else s like an answer to the letters for example , or it could have been written in the 3rd person, maintaining Charlie s point of view, but also being able to draw in other views, and how they collide with Charlie s.I find it a bit concerning, that Chbosky wrote a book with so many serious issues like suicide, death, rape, social exclusion inclusion, relationship violence, abortion, drugs, homosexual adventures, childmolestation incest, parties, fights, without really dealing with any one of them in depth To have all of these issues crammed into one book, without giving it the time and place it deserves, I felt, was a huge fault Each one of these issues needs to be taken seriously, not pointed out on one page, just to be forgotten on the next If you are going to write about these things, write about it well, give it the space and the in depth exploration it deserves To make the reader care for these characters, for these issues, the author and the characters involved must care too I had a hard time stomaching that both Chbosky and the characters seemed to care so little, for something that is so very very real and so very very difficult, for so many people It was almost making a mockery of them, which was very off putting to me.The staccato writing and Charlie s detached narrating, made me feel detached as well.The story is written in a very plain, very dull, very simple language, with the same sentences reoccurring over and over eg ..I don t know why. , He she looked sad The emotional description amounts to sad or happy.The portrayals of Charlie and everyone else in the story was so lacking that they felt like cardboard cutouts and simply came off as what they were made up characters in a fictional story and not a very good one at that if you ask me.The main character, Charlie, is 15, but comes off as much younger than that He seems very immature, like a 7 year old How a boy can live to be 15 in this time and age yes, I know it was written in the 1990 s but still, even then, masturbation was a wellknown phenomenon , without knowing of not practicing masturbation, is quite a wonder in itself.Charlie also cries a lot, which wouldn t be a problem, if it was nuancedly described I don t want to see read about just the surface tears I want to be taken behind the tears, into the pool they stem from, the pain they are a symptom of and maybe a release from I want the author to show me what these tears mean, I want to understand them, to be touched by them, to be moved with the ebb and flow of them In this case, that didn t happen The sentence I he she started to cry alone, just doesn t stir much emotion in me Especially not when thrown about on every other page Then it just gets bothersome and tiring.It s not that I have an aversion to tears my own or others Crying is normal, and can be very healthy and soothing But when it comes to a literary work, I expect the author to give nuanced descriptions of feelings than just bucketful of tears Okay, so they are sad Very, very sad Very often Now, show me what that sadness does to someone, besides producing tears, tears, tears I am not interested in the tears alone The sadness is the root, the tears are a symptom Many people are filled with sadness, but don t produce many tears Sadness can overflow in many ways So the sadness is the key Which is why I was so disappointed that Chbosky never digged deeper than this very very thin surface All I got was tears And I wonder if all the crying came down to Chbosky simply not knowing how else to describe emotions, or how explore them.Much thought and debate has been given to the question why Charlie is, the way he is There is the fact that he suffered from childhood trauma, and then there is the question of whether or not Charlie might be autistic The latter is hinted at and up for interpretation, but never explicitly stated diagnosed.The autistic spectrum is a varied one, and it comes in many forms, very few fitting the standard, but classic rainman syndrome of a very intelligent but socially closed off person It s admirable to want to write about autism, a difficult diagnosis to live with, sure I just don t think Chbosky is doing autistic people any favors or justice with his depiction of Charlie as someone who might or might not be autistic.Again I must say if you are going to write about it, write about it with care Don t make it into a guessing game, but own it Don t glamorize or deride it, but show its many layers and nuances through the particulars and the concrete The same goes for the psychological trauma It wasn t given the care and attention it deserved It was left at the end as an easy way out, like hey, he suffered suffers from this and so i m excused for writing a terribly boring book.No.Whatever made Charlie the way he is, it doesn t compensate for how the story was written and pulled off.To me, it s really besides the point, since I don t base my rating review on pity for a character.SO whether Charlie has any form of autism or not, doesn t really matter, because I thought he and the story was very poorly written and let me be clear about this It s not the disorder I have a problem with, it s the writing of it.Note November, 2013 I recently saw the movie, and thought it was better than the book.Maybe because it fixed some of the issues I had with the book, like it left some of the drama llama out and it wasn t as heavily centered on Charlie s narration and perspective, and emotions and reactions was expressed through expressions instead of just bad writing Different type of media different possibilities For this story, i think movie worked better than writing. If, like me, you lurk on frequent tumblr, you will have realised that there is only so far you can scroll before you hit something like this Stephen Chbosky s epistolary novel has something of a cult following, and the quotes that litter the internet seem almost anthemic, given the passion with which they are re blogged, quoted, slapped across artfully light leaked photographs and liked A generation appears to have adopted The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and by extension it s narrator Charlie, as a sort of symbol of the experience of adolescence Frequently criticised and challenged, Perks seems to offer its devoted fans a sense of connection, of understanding, of honesty about things left unspoken, or whispered behind hands and closed doors This book speaks to the sense of alienation that many teens experience, the questions of who they are and where they belong Charlie has become a response to and I mean no disrespect by this, as I was am a voice in this a collective, plaintive cry of nobody understands me.It also seems to have become an unofficial badge of hipsterism, and therein lies the reason for my cautious view spoiler okay, biased hide spoiler Wallflower noun a shy or retiring person who remains unnoticed at social events, especially a woman without a dance partner I decided to read this book not because there was going to be a movie coming out soon.It one of the reasons but then again it wasn t the main one.I wanted to read it because the word wallflower caught my attention.I was a wallflower.I was not one of those kids people notice immediately.I was one of those people who blends in very well that I was no longer noticeable.I was a nobody.I was one of those uncool kids back in high school that almost no one spoke to because I always kept to myself.I was insecure.I was scared that if I try to talk no one would listen.Actually I think I still am even though I am already working.I am still a nobody here.I have a couple of friends but it seems like no one really knows who I really am because I never let them find out who I really was.They know my name and a couple of unimportant things but I think that s about it.They don t really care about the things I like, the things that make me cry, the things that make me smile.I was just another person they knew by name but never really knew at all.Perks of Being a Wallflower has to be one of the books that I could relate to.It was very insightful and poignant that in most part of this book I felt like it was me writing those letters.Charlie the main character and I don t have very much in common but still I found myself relating to his situation almost all throughout the book.I was not as introverted nor was I as smart as he was but there was something about how the author wrote him that you ll start to see the world through his eyes.You ll see how innocent and pure his outlook was in life.Charlie wasn t normal and he knew it.He was struggling after the death of his favorite Aunt.He tried his best to participate but there is still this part of him that would be locked away from everyone else.Charlie was a freshman and he still has a lot of things to learn.Hanging out with Patrick and Sam who were both seniors exposed him to a lot of things he wasn t used to like smoking, drinking, making out those sort of stuff.His letters mirrors the experience or the things we went through during his first year in high school.As I was saying earlier I loved this book a lot because I related much with not only the character but with the whole story.We may not be like Charlie but the things he went through in high school were something almost everyone went through.I didn t do drugs nor did I smoke a lot when I was in high school.But some kids were motivated in doing so by peer pressure but in Charlie s case I think it was of curiosity rather than peer pressure.This book showed us how a special kid like Charlie would cope with being in high school and overcoming the problems he would encounter as he goes along.Another thing I loved about this book was how it was written.Though it was written back in the 90 s when you read it, you ll get this impression that it was just written recently in a 90 s setting.This book was transcend time.When you read it probably in the next 10 years you would still be able to relate to it.There were a lot of good quotations in this book but one really stood out for me So, I guess we are who we are for a lot of reasons And maybe we ll never know most of them But even if we don t have the power to choose where we come from, we can still choose where we go from there We can still do things And we can try to feel okay about them.We are all different.We are also all the same.Most of us may not be as smart as Charlie or as popular as Brad who I think was an a hole but all of us can still make a difference.We may be experiencing troubles right now but that could change based on the decisions or choices that we would make.I don t think this is much of a review but of a rant.Sorry my dear readers if this review disappointed you but I kind of like sharing my thoughts about a book that I really connected with.This book was one of them.I give this book 5 wonderful glittery stars February 25, 2013Dear Charlie,I am writing to you because I feel like you re the only one that would listen to me right now From all the friends that I have made you are the one that s the most understanding I guess what I m trying to do is thank you for being there for me these last couple of days I didn t expect to learn from you as much as I have My mom always says that you can never really understand a person until you walk in their shoes, but I guess getting to know you and reading your story did just that I have to say you have stripped me from any prejudice I might have had And I am truly sorry if I had any You showed me that no matter what happens, what we experience, we always have a right to feel the way we feel, just because You showed me the purity of feelings, beauty of thoughts, generosity of love and warmth of friendship You made me appreciate books and poetry , and see the impact they have on people s lives For that you will always hold a special place in my heart I d like to think that you get better, I hope one day you can be honest with people you love, be who you really are and do what you want to do Most importantly I hope that you will love the real Sam and not just the idea of her and be ready for her to love you back I hope we can see each other some day, I ll make sure to come back and remind myself of everything that is you, tho I hope to never forget Love always Karolina There may be a book in the world that can address, just within very few pages, suicide, molestation, domestic abuse, homosexuality, drug use, mental issues, first sexual experiences, rape, abortion, etc., and not sound like a Lifetime movie, but The Perks of Being a Wallflower is not an example of that For me, the straw that broke the camel s back was when I realized that, to add to all of the above mentioned melodrama, the narrator was either emotionally or mentally handicapped It appeared, Charlie s inability to identify any emotion within himself besides sadness, his constant crying, his lack of knowledge at the age of 15 what masturbation was, his failure to understand any social situation like a rape while witnessing it in his teen years was indicative of either some form of autism or just severe mental immaturity This, I thought then, was too exploitative At that point, only a victim of cancer or AIDS was missing from this already uber dire, emotionally manipulative narrative.But, as it turned out, I was very wrong Charlie was, evidently, just a shy, socially awkward, AP classes attending, extremely gifted and observant student with a dark secret At least, that how he was described by other people What What does it say about Stephen Chbosky s writing abilities if his supposedly intelligent teen narrator sounds like a 7 year old If Charlie s writing was reflective of his speech and interactions, how in the world could he become friends with a crowd of cool older kids and even had girlfriends, all of whom thought him petty much the best thing since sliced bread I can attribute the popularity of this novel only to the story s great variety of tear jerking opportunities, teachable moments and life lessons, gently delivered by the ever so wise and deep narrator This isn t even controversial enough to deserve all those bannings 2 stars for moments of interest of the train wreck kind. Clueless I am clueless The popularity of this book baffles me even than the popularity of The Fault in Our Stars Maybe I really am just a coldhearted person with no feelings.Amazingly, I actually managed to start The Perks of Being a Wallflower knowing absolutely nothing about it I ve avoided all the reviews and hype over the years, I ve purposely put off seeing the movie because I wanted to check out the book first I knew nothing except that so many people LOVE this book I was a bit sceptical from the very first page when 15 year old Charlie s narrative opened with short, choppy, fragmented sentences I don t think that there is a favorite kid in our family There are three of us and I am the youngest My brother is the oldest He is a very good football player and likes his car My sister is very pretty and mean to boys and she is in the middle. But I perked up at the idea of reading a book by a narrator with obvious learning difficulties and or autism One of my favourite parts of reading is getting to see the world through the eyes of someone whose perspective I might not have fully considered before So I was willing to overlook the slightly annoying use of immature language and structure because I realised it was needed to get inside the narrator s head Imagine my surprise and confusion when I discovered that not only does Charlie not have any learning difficulties, but he is actually considered intelligent beyond his years , is apparently extremely talented and somehow manages to get straight A grades What And also how It s like I m missing something I must be, right Because to me this seems like nothing than the usual melodramatic issue book, desperately trying to manipulate my emotions with the subtlety of a million flying bricks There s suicide, sexual abuse, domestic abuse and homosexuality crammed into the first few chapters Is that not enough angst for you Well, wait a few chapters and we get drugs, incest, fights, first sexual experiences and masturbation, told through the eyes of a guy who sounds about eight but is actually a teenager.I didn t feel sad or moved or anything so, like I said, maybe this is a character flaw on my part But I m tired of reading books where I can feel the author s little voice screaming between the lines Cry Look people are dying and it is so sad, cry Look incest and prejudice and rape, cry I felt nothing Except maybe manipulated yeah, I definitely felt manipulated.____________________________________ A few people pointed out in the comments that those with autism can actually be very intelligent and I felt the need to mention it here While reading, I wondered if Charlie might be autistic because dyslexia is common among those with autism, but I don t want to lead anyone to believe that autism denotes a lack of intelligence in many cases, the opposite is true.Blog Leafmarks Facebook Twitter Instagram Tumblr THIS BOOK ALWAYS BRINGS ME SO MANY FEELS 3rd time re reading it and I still feel infinite. As much as people say it, this really is one of my favorite books of all time MTV promoted it, it got a lot of press, so many people shun it and say it is overrated I disagree.I didn t read this book until last year, when I turned 21 My boyfriend owned it, it seemed like a quick read, and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about.Main character Charlie is loveable from the first sentence out of his mouth There are endless quoteable quotes in this book that had me folding the page over so I could write them down later Charlie has an honest innocence to him yet such an intense depth and intelligent mind that he is quite the multifaceted character.While the story has its ups and downs, and really, there isn t a very intense plot, the reader is somehow sucked into Charlies head sharing his first kiss, his feelings toward his new friends, his feelings towards literature and music He is naiive about so many things, and his bluntness made me laugh out loud on numerous occasions He not only deals with issues like love, but also having a gay friend, dealing with death, and sexual assault, but also sharing his love of music and literature, which I think are two things that are being lost on youth today.I would give this book to every teenage boy and girl I knew While Charlie isn t exactly a excellent role model, he does show that being different is O.K and that friends come in all kinds of packagesto stay true to yourself These things matter. Charlie, we accept the love we think we deserve That is quite true I have stumbled across many beautiful sentences, throughout my reading, and ones that make us think but, this one, is my absolute favorite of them all.There is so much that can be said about this, yet I don t seem to find the right words, but I will try my best It was such an emotional, deep and realistic story The plot was simple, if we only look at it as a whole, but every detail contributed to make it an incredible read And every character to make this story an unforgettable one for us.Charlie was the sweetest male character I had ever encountered in a read.What I loved most about him though was how honest he was and how he wasn t afraid to tell the truth Some exceptions apply, of course, but he felt so bad for lying that he made everything right and I couldn t stop saying thinking Aww He was cute and loveable and it was impossible not to get invested in his story.Not only was the main character a fantastic one, but the secondary ones were as well Let s take Sam for example She may have looked behaved like a million other girls on the planet but, the way she understood Charlie and always seemed to have the right words for him, made her someone unique and a wonderful person to my eyes.There were multiple love stories in this book but they didn t all end well I wasn t as affected by them while reading, since I saw the movie first, but it was still very hard to read about Patrick s relationship with Brad LGBT has always been a dear theme to me and reading about how sad, beautiful and poignant Patrick s love for Brad was really touched me and I only wished, throughout the story, that they would both have their happily ever after because, even though they may not have been perfect, they deserve it.I saw multiple reviewers complain about the writing Some said it was too simplistic for them to enjoy it or perhaps they weren t used to this kind of style It very much reminded me of Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe s a book I highly highly recommend It was indeed simplistic but, like Charlie himself said in the story, he writes the way he speaks And knowing that, I found the writing perfectly matching the story and ended up loving it and feeling like I knew Charlie in much dept than than with any other writing style.The story was filled with different themes or messages, but the one I loved the most was this one it s not where we come from or in which family we grow up in that defines who we are We make our own future and it s not because our parents treated us badly or were alcoholic that we will as well It s our life and, depending on ourselves and our choices, we will become who we are meant or wish to be.There is a reason why this book is so popular and appreciated by readers and, by reading it, you will certainly find out It s the kind of book I would suggest everyone reads, at least once in their lives Last updated April 28th, 2016 made grammatical corrections.BD Blog Youtube Twitter Instagram Google Bloglovin I don t even think I can truly convey how much I loved this book other than to say it was entirely life changing and I m so upset it took me this long to read it.
- 224 pages
- The Perks of Being a Wallflower
- Stephen Chbosky
- 26 January 2018 Stephen Chbosky