July 17, 2012

All About Charlie • The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Perks of Being a Wallflower book cover
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Publisher: Pocket Books
Publication Date: January 1, 1999
Source/Format: Bought || Paperback

Charlie is a freshman. And while he's not the biggest geek in the school, he is by no means popular. Shy, introspective, intelligent beyond his years yet socially awkward, he is a wallflower, caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it. Charlie is attempting to navigate his way through uncharted territory: the world of first dates and mixed tapes, family dramas and new friends; the world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite. But Charlie can't stay on the sideline forever. Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor. The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a deeply affecting coming-of-age story that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up.

This is yet another novel that I've been saying I should read for the longest time - and finally got around to doing that this year (and just in time for the movie!). THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER was not exactly what I expected it to be, but it was something I enjoyed reading.

There are so many things I could say about this novel, but I think the most important thing is that it's very character-driven. The whole story revolves around Charlie and his views on everything that goes on around him. The variety of events that he witnesses and experiences is enough to keep the story interesting and well-paced. His unique take on things, and his way of addressing the reader as "friend", are all things that added a unique overall tone to the story.

I don't know what more I can say about this novel, so I'll leave you with a few of my favorite quotes and passages.

"I guess what I'm saying is that this all feels very familiar. But it's not mine to be familiar about. I just know that another kid has felt this. This one time when it's peaceful outside, and you're seeing things move, and you don't want to, and everyone is asleep. And all the books you've read have been read by other people. And that girl that's pretty to you is pretty to other people. And you know that if you looked at these facts when you were happy, you would feel great because you are describing "unity".

"It's just that I don't want to be somebody's crush. If somebody likes me, I want them to like the real me, not what they think I am. And I don't want them to carry it around inside. I want them to show me, so I can feel it, too. I want them to be able to do whatever they want around me."

Honestly, I have nothing else to say but read the book. Apart from the fact that the movie is coming out this September (you can see the trailer below!), it's well-written and filled with poignant moments that will have you reliving some semblance of your high school life.

This review was posted as part of Rewind & Review.

Rewind & Review is a great monthly feature started by Ginger of GReads! and Lisa of Lisa is Busy Nerding. Each month, participants will set aside some "older" titles to read and review on their blogs. This feature is the perfect opportunity to get around to reading that title you've been eyeing for years or that book that's been in your TBR for what feels like forever. For more information, you can visit this post.


  1. I read this book several years ago, when I was super young, but I really hope to give it a re-read at some point because I have a feeling I'll appreciate it more now. My BEA roomies and I watched the trailer together and it made me super emotional -- I can only imagine what the book will make me feel now!

  2. So much about this book shocked me - I never expected the emotions that he had welled up inside of him. Nor did I expect what he remembered to happen - I had to re-read that part over and over to let it sink in. :( I cannot wait to see the movie. I love Emma Watson. I think she was a fantastic casting choice!

  3. I want to re-read this because I read it AGES ago and barely remember anything sans some famous quotes. I'm excited for the film!!

  4. I can't believe I have read this yet. I am going to move this to the top of my TBR pile. I love books with strong, complex characters.

  5. Great review, Alexa! I only read this recently too and it wasn't what I expected and I definitely didn't love it as much as most people. But I am looking forward to the movie!

  6. Oh wow, those quotes are AMAZING!!! I need to get my hands on a copy soon, cause if you loved it so much, I'm sure I will as well! :)

  7. This is the book that changed me. It is my most favorite. Never have I experienced so many emotions from a story. I can not tell you how much I am looking forward to seeing the movie. I might be a blubbering mess, but it will be well worth it.

    Thank you for including my review with yours :)

  8. We are totally in the same boat - I've been meaning to read this book for ages and finally got around to it. And now I'm wondering why in the world I waited so long! This is such a powerful, emotional story and one that will stick with me forever.

    Thanks for including me in your review :)


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