Becky’s Two Hundred and Thirty-First Book Review: “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky

“The Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky was a short but intense read. I loved it. The main character, Charlie is dealing with some issues and as the story unfolds we learn bits and pieces about him. I liked that the book was written in a diary fashion with the readers being the diary. It gave a unique perspective into Charlie’s mind. “I just need to know that someone out there listens and understands and doesn’t try to sleep with people even if they could have. I need to know that these people exist.” (The Perks of Being a Wallflower, pg 2).

At the start of the book Charlie makes some new friends. He is very awkward and doesn’t know what to do in pretty much any social situation. These friends that he makes help to draw him out of his shell. He also has a teacher that has been giving him different books to read and then discussing them together. I really enjoyed all these different characters. They each had an impact on Charlie’s life and I enjoyed reading from Charlie’s perspective his thoughts and interactions with everyone. “When I was done reading the poem, everyone was quiet. A very sad quiet. But the amazing thing was that it wasn’t a bad sad at all. It was just something that made everyone look around at each other and know that they were there. Sam and Patrick looked at me. And I looked at them. And I think they knew. Not anything specific really. They just knew. And I think that’s all you can ever ask from a friend.” (The Perks of Being a Wallflower, pg 66). It made me happy that Charlie was finding what he had been looking for in these friendships. It’s not all rainbows and happiness, but he finds that understanding and sense of belonging in his friends.

Would I recommend this book? Absolutely – especially if you have someone in your life with problems, which who doesn’t? “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” gives the readers a unique look into the life of a kid that is struggling. We don’t know exactly what the problems are that he is dealing with, but it is clear from the start that he is not okay. And I think reading this book can help those on the outside get a glimpse of what those on the inside are dealing with, and how hard it can be when you feel alone. “I don’t know if you’ve ever felt like that. That you wanted to sleep for a thousand years. Or just not exist. Or just not be aware that you do exist. Or something like that. I think wanting that is very morbid, but I want it when I get like this. That’s why I’m trying not to think. I just want it all to stop spinning. If this gets any worse, I might have to go back to the doctor. It’s getting that bad again.” (The Perks of Being a Wallflower, pg 94). It’s a great read and I think it would be worthwhile for anyone.

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