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Review: The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

in a sentence or so: Charlie is a socially awkward teen who experiences life differently than most of us. this is fragment of the story of his life from his perspective written from him, to you.

the story opens with Charlie writing you a letter telling you about the suicide of his best friend. he continues to share bits and pieces about himself, his family, his two new friends, and mourning the loss of his friend through letters to the reader.

as this is clearly Charlie's story to tell, i won't dwell on the plot. the first person perspective allows you to experience the book in a way i can't possibly explain, so i won't.

i will tell you, however, that opening with an intense emotional event sets a melancholy tone that never really fades. that doesn't mean there aren't laughs and smirks and heartfelt moments. there most certainly are heartwarming selections. but, just like life, there's a lot of excruciatingly anxiety-filled events in his life that transcend straight to the heart of the reader. i felt Charlie's joy, his hope, his confusion, and most of all i felt his anxiety.

there is a deep emotional connection to be forged here, if you're ready. honestly, i had to set myself up to read this one. it was recommended to me by several bloggers and was immensely personal for them...so i knew it was going to pack an emotional punch. i was not prepared for the intensity that persisted throughout the read, but i am impressed to be able to experience such vivid and genuine emotions through literature.

Charlie will share his world with you through a unique perspective and drag your heart through the dirt, step on it, break it, tenderly wipe it off, put it back together, hug it close, and set it free. and you wouldn't want it any other way, because the journey with Charlie through all of his ups and downs is unforgettable and authentic and genuinely inspiring.

fave quotes: "Girls are weird, and I don't mean that offensively. I just can't put it any other way." (122)

"I think the idea is that every person has to live for his or her own life and then make the choice to share it with other people." (169)

fix er up: i didn't want to put this book down, ever, but i had to because the font was hurting my eyes. and i have solid eyesight. i think the small typeface and the bright white pages were just too much for my little retinas. this is purely cosmetic, but it really was bothersome.

title: The Perks of Being a Wallflower
author: Stephen Chbosky
publishing info: 1999, MTV Books and Pocket Books
genre: Coming-of-Age, Drama

[ftc notice: this is my copy of the book. i did not receive compensation for this review.]

Lisa is a gamer, crafter, fangirl, mother, wife and unabashed nerd who is pretty ridiculous and it's best you know that up front. When she's not binge watching Netflix or crafting into the wee hours of the night, you can find her spending a lot of her time on Pinterest and Twitter.


  1. Quite possibly one of my favorite books EVER. I am so glad you finally experienced it. When I read it for the first time, I remember thinking.. how will I ever read another book again?! Nothing can compare. This story is so profound.

    Now you can squee with me over the excitement of the upcoming film! Have you checked out the cast?! It's pretty amazing. Oh and Stephen Chbosky is directing it :-)

  2. Fantastic review Lisa! I can totally see how starting the book that way set the tone for the entire thing! I still have to read this one...it is short, it should be easy!

  3. Love your review! and about what G said about the movie he also wrote the screenplay which means it should stick to the true emotion and power the book has.

  4. Ginger and Yani - i see what y'all meant! we should have a chatty chat about this soon.
    Jacinda - it's a short book, but pretty deep. it's not 'easy'...but it is quick!

  5. After G raved about this I added it to my tbr list... and still haven't gotten to it :( Now after reading your awesome review, I think I really need to get on it sooner rather than later!

  6. DUDE. I read this a billion years ago and DO NOT REMEMBER IT. Dangit. I need to reread it. I remember loving it, though. Like, LOVING.

  7. I'm thinking I really need to read this since everyone has such great things to say about it. Hopefully I can get to it before the movie.

  8. Tara - yes, i think you should. it's FABS and makes you think something fierce.
    Jen - reread is necessary. i'd love to reread this one a year from now and experience it again.
    Jasmine - yes! i love reading a book before the movie.


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