* Prices may differ from that shown
Price and Availability:
The RRP of this book is £7.99 but is available on Amazon for £5.08. You can also purchase the kindle version for £2.99
Paperback - 224 pages
Publisher - Simon & Schuster (2 Feb 2009)
Language - English
ISBN-10 - 1847394078
ISBN-13 - 978-1847394071
Product Dimensions - 13 x 19.4 cm
(*information available on Amazon)
The Perks of Being a Wallflower tells the story of teenager Charlie, shy, socially awkward and struggling with the issues that surround 'growing up'.
The book is written in letter format, Charlie writes to 'friend', an anonymous character whom Charlie doesn't know nor vice versa but who Charlie confides all his deepest thoughts, feelings and emotions to.
It is almost like reading Charlie's diary and this method of writing allows you to connect with the character on a deeper level and empathise with what he is going through. It allows you to develop a relationship with the character almost as if you know Charlie personally which results in a deeper absorption into the book and a more emotional reaction from the events Charlie faces.
Chbosky's style of writing genuinely feels like you are reading the diary of a teenage boy, with his sometimes incorrect sentence structure and the airing of every thought that would plague a teenage boy. He writes about situations that would be uncomfortable to discuss with Charlie in person, but in such a way that highlights Charlie's innocence surrounding these situations.
The book delves into the normal awkwardness and anxieties that a teenager would face growing up: making friends, first day of school, fitting in, first love, first sexual experience etc. Everybody can relate to these issues on some level or another - we have all been there.
However, it also picks up on deeper trauma that Charlie has dealt with which has resulted in his 'wallflower' character, such as suicide, bereavement and abuse. Such hard hitting subjects aren't often openly discussed and in reading about Charlie's experience of such situations we are shown the more personal, psychological and emotional affects of these trauma.
Without giving away too much about the plot of this book, I have to say I was truly moved reading this. I would definitely recommend reading it. I have also watched the film version and I thoroughly enjoyed it but would recommend reading the book first as there are elements in the book which aren't in the film and relationships which develop in the book that you don't get to see on screen.
This is such a lovely book, I read it non stop in 4 hours (although this happens quite frequently to me!). The main character is an awkward, cute teenage boy who goes by the name of 'Charlie'. The book is written as a letter to an unknown person who is supposed to be good at listening - and there is a strong connection felt between Charlie and the reader throughout the book. The music in the book, such as Asleep by The Smiths, almost gives you a soundtrack to listen to it to. A shock twist at the very end of the book meant I immediately re-read the last 2 chapters as I had completely missed it, I was so engrossed! Anyone who enjoyed the film will definitely like the book, as they are quite similar. This book would be enjoyed by many, especially those who have read John Green, Lawrence Oliver etc.
The perks of being a wall flower. Written by Stephen Chbosky.
Recommended retail price:- 7.99
My edition is not the same as the one here, it's the new released one, that has a picture of the actors and written across the top is 'now a major motion picture'
It was first published in the USA in 1999
Fiction story, written for young adults
This book was recommended and given to me by a friend who said "This is my favourite book ever written"
I've not heard of Stephen Chbosky before but I am always interested in reading books by different authors. I'm very glad I started this book, I read it in a day I couldn't put it down. This coming of age story is brilliant.
This book is based on the issues that a young teenager faces growing up, from love, sex, family issues, death, friends, not fitting in, school and relationships
One of the things I like about this book is the way it's written, and the style of writing.
It's written in the form of letters, Charlie, the main character is writing letters to 'a friend' it is also split into 4 parts.
Charlie, is a young teenage boy who has a mother, a father, brother and sister. He is the youngest sibling. He has a very good relationship with one of his teachers who sees that he is intelligent beyond his years and sets him extra essays and books to read to show that he is 'special' which he has never seen himself as, his brother And sister get the most attention at home. Charlie finds himself on his own most of the time or pushed away. He is a very emotional teenager who spends a lot of time crying.
Charlie is called a wall flower by fellow friends, he doesn't join in activities, he would much rather observe and watch others. Charlie is stuck between trying to live his life and trying to hide from it. He spends most of the story asking for advise from his two closest friends brother and sister Sam and Patrick and following there advise to the last syllable. Charlie tends to do what everyone else wants to do to keep them happy and in fear of making mistakes but like every teenager mistakes happen, hearts are broken and problems occur and are then resolved.
This story is brilliant I read it in a day and will keep re- reading it because I honestly think it's amazing. I haven't seen the film as of yet and not sure if I want to as some films I have found have ruined the books for me after viewing them
Looking back on my teenage life at school, I think that most people can relate to this story one way or another and I believe it's a must read for all!
If there was ever a book I could relate to in terms of the main character, this was it. Although he is male and I am female and the book uncovers things about him that have not happened to me. Still, there was something about this character and his misplacement on this planet for me to have some kind of connection. not to mention his birthday is on the same day as mine and I read this book as I was approaching my 16th birthday, quite like Charlie himself.
it is an endearing book, a shocking book and quite frankly a damn good read. I think I read it within a few hours. I just couldnt put it down and I doubt I will find anyone who can! It is compelling but also sweet and naive and there are times when you want to scream at the character, both in sympathy and despair but also in frustration. However, the soundtrack to the book made it for me, so much so that I made my own mix tape of his mix tapes and I still can't hear "Asleep" by The Smiths without my feelings about this book rushing back to me.
Perhaps I have some nostalgic attachment to this book but I still read it to this day and think it is a great book for any young person, male or female, to read and connect with like I did.
'The Perks of Being a Wallflower' by Stephen Chbosky is an epistolary novel in that it is written in a series of letters, from the main character to an unknown other.
The novel focuses on an introverted and awkward boy named 'Charlie' (his alias) as he progresses from a series of devastating blows to his self esteem and happiness such as the deaths of a close friend and a family member. More than just a 'coming-of-age' story, ''The Perks of Being a Wallflower' is an inner battle against oneself to live a life of action and to overcome passivity.
Charlie is an unusual thinker and the novel is written in a somewhat uncomfortable way to reflect Charlies awkwardness. For example, one such incident where he is socially ill adapted is in his dealing with the emotional feelings he feels for his friend, Sam, and the belittling way she and her step-brother deal with him, as though he were a whining child. Although I did enjoy much of the book, the relationship Charlie shares with Sam was always something that put me off as in Chbosky's attempt to show her as reasonable and considerate of the young, hopeless Charlie, I instead feel that it demeaned him, as though he couldn't possibly understand his own mind and it was the role of an outsider to do this for him.
It is perhaps the awkwardness of the novel that makes it so great. As an introvert myself, or at least one who avoids and dislikes incidents of exhibitionism or at least showing off, it was something that I could relate to in some parts. However, the sheer scale of Charlie's misfortune, the number of negative and devastating events that came along his path was somewhat over the top. That is not to say that in reality there are not people who endure lives such as this, but to include them all in a novel makes it somewhat contrived, as though the author wanted to stuff in as many different themes as possible. For example, drugs and their treatment, homosexuality, sex, molestation, and suicide are all dealt with and due to the vast abundance of 'issues' it means less time is spent really delving into them individually. However having said that, they do all interconnect pretty well and they are not necessarily all carried by Charlie. Rather individual characters, Charlie included, deal with these issues and in some way they effect him. In this way, it is much more realistic as, like I said, all of these issues bestowed on one person would make for a depressing and exaggerated novel, that would take away the elements sensitivity that 'The Perks of Being a Wallflower' displays.
The book includes a series of lists of popular fiction of which Charlie enjoys. For example, his teacher Bill gives him reading lists to stretch and challenge him (as Charlie is above every intelligence) that include greats such as To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, and a book which Chbosky himself has said has inspired him, the Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger. As well as this, the novel also notes TV programs and films such as M*A*S*H, Dead Poets Society and the Rocky Horror Picture Show which has a great relevance to the narrative throughout, especially in bringing Charlie out of his 'shell' as it were. Further, music is also described, so as to swell Charlie's personality even more, giving us more insight into him as a person. He listens to songs such as "Where Eagles Dare" by The Misfits and "Asleep" by The Smiths which again Charlie enjoys thoroughly.
'The Perks of Being a Wallflower' has been adapted into a film with filming ending in June of 2011. The film is said to be released in 2012, and despite catching my attention out of pure curiosity to see what they do with it, I can't say I'm all that excited. I'm much more of a book person, and especially with this particular novel that relies on its awkwardness and genuineness of characters, I'll be very surprised if they can execute the film in a way that I feel does the book justice.
This is a review of the 1999 book 'The perks of being a wallflower' by Stephen Chbosky. The book consists of a number of chronologically ordered letters written by teenager Charlie and sent to an unknown 'friend' (whom he has heard of but chosen due to the fact that they have never met).
Charlie is the youngest of three children and extremely clever. He's a loner at school though and manages to make friends with some older kids (I think they are around 2-3 years older than him) who accept him as he is and let him hang out with them at school and at their house parties.
A few awful things have happened close to Charlie during his lifetime and this really gets to him. A school mate committed suicide and his closest relative (Aunt Helen) died in a car crash - all this is covered in the first few pages of the book - and Charlie takes it really badly and spends a lot of his time thinking about his friend Michael and his Aunt.
Rules of teenage-dom
In the book, Charlie seems desperate to fit in and tries on numerous occasions to change himself to be more accepted by everyone. He asks for advice on everything from dating to friendship and tries to follow the 'rules' but this does not always work for him.
I liked the format of the book and felt the letters worked almost better than a diary. Charlie is honest and self depreciating in his letter and never boastful about his good school reports or achievements.
One of Charlie's teachers has recognised his talent and gets him reading and writing more as extra school work. He tells him at the end of term that he is capable of big things and this is not something Charlie ever hears from his family so he is quite surprised to hear it but admits that he knows he is clever anyway.
A brother and sister (Patrick and Sam) are Charlies closest friends. Charlie is there for both of them regardless of what happens and they treat him like their little brother, always looking out for him. Charlie is in love with Sam but she keeps him (kindly) at arm's length for his own good. One of the gang of friends labels Charlie one evening as the wallflower of the group (hence the title) always looking in and watching but not participating. Charlie makes specific attempts to 'participate' from then onwards on the advice of his teacher too but sometimes struggles.
Charlie's own brother and sister are a little neglectful of Charlie and treat him like he's a pest and he is deeply hurt by this treatment. There are occasions when they need him and he is there for them and he sadly doesn't get this in return from them.
This book is an intense 'coming of age book' and really does beam you directly in to the mind of a teenage boy. He is frank and honest in the book and takes the rejection from his peers and family hard. Issues including drinking, smoking, drugs, teen pregnancy, sex, love and relationships are all covered in the book.
I couldn't put this book down once I started reading it. It was quite difficult in places and you feel sorry for Charlie, but mainly sad because you know there are children in every school class who don't quite fit in but you don't know what they are thinking at the time. Charlie's intelligence saves him a lot of the time and he seems to have the respect of the teachers at school and his older group of friends but other than that it can be quite a lonely life for him.
Recommended to me by one of the only people from whom I will take a book recommendation, I first "discovered" 'The Perks of Being a Wallflower' at age 21, a few years older than the protagonist but with the days of school still very clear in my memories.
I sat down to read, and somehow lost an afternoon. I usually find that books written in a more epistolary format are difficult in which to become absorbed, with often halting narratives and a lack of detail - not so in 'The Perks of Being a Wallflower'. Chbosky carefully creates a storyline via this format, weaves in details and allows Charlie the ability to look back on his life retrospectively and also live, with the reader, "in the moment".
The real background for the storyline only emerges with a twist at the end which was (and I rarely say this!) completely unexpected, and still heart-wrenching on every read.
Chbosky's skill lies not only in creating a shock for his reader, but in making his characters real. So many of Charlie's observations are 'true' - the sort where you read, and they take your breath away because they're so honest and real.
Marketed often as a teenage 'coming of age' book, I would recommend this to anyone over the age of 13, who is still living the 'high school' experience, be it in real time or retrospect.
The book has actually been banned in a number of schools in America for some sex scenes and drug taking.
I bought this after a friend reccomended it to me and I am really glad I did. I bought it around 2 weeks ago but only got around to reading it today, which took me around 2 hours, although the time flew by as it was such a good book. It's the kind of coming of age book that I think everyone should at least read once. Even if you are already grown up or at least are in the age group where people consider you being a grown up, like me (19).
This is a book about friendship, and a book about being different and unique. Yes, in my opinion this is most definetly about a kid that was molested as a child, but I think that is not what is important in this book. The book is screaming out the message that it's okay to be yourself. It's about growing up and about how important friends are in life.
The book focuses on a young teenager, Charlie, who is somewhat of a loner in the beginning - well, okay, complete loner. He starts off very isolated and has alot of emotional problems, many of which are centred around his favourite Aunt's death. The book consists of his letters to an unidentified person, who he sees as someone who loves him and cares for him. Through his letters, he expresses emotion and feelings that he quite obviously has never felt before. I think his personality develops nicely throughout the book and he learns alot about himself, and his confidence, friendships and education all grow.
Although it contains some detail of sex, alchohol and drugs, it is definetly not too graphic, and all in all this is a brilliant book. It's not the best book to read if feeling down yourself though. The author, Stephen Chbosky, portrays Charlie accurately. I think Stephen wrote the book incredibly well, with subtle and meaningful wording on uncomfortable topics. The sexuality part of the book was not a huge factor which I think was great as it didn't focus on just one typical teenage angst.
I'll be honest, the book made me cry, but it's one of those books that I will definitely read again. The book is full of quotes, all of which are relatable and touching, and will stick with me for a while atleast. My favourite quote: "There's nothing like the deep breaths after laughing that hard. Nothing in the world like a sore stomach for the right reasons."
Overall a lovely, insightful book. Probably one more for teenagers and young adults, and I do think it would possibly be a helpful book for anyone with a teenager suffering from anxiety or depression, although beware that it does contain alchohol and drugs etc.
I purchased my paperback copy from Amazon for £4.19 with free delivery, and according to Amazon the RRP of the book is £7.99.
I bought the Perks of Being a Wallflower after reading several strong recommendations for it online. I didn't know what to expect, and I guess the reason you're reading this, is that you probably don't know what to expect either. So i'll tell you:
It's a short book - only 224 pages, and hence rather thin with a bright green/yellow cover. Inside, the presentation is a little odd too - taking the form of diary entries rather than a conventional novel. These appear to be written by the protagonist, who is a teenager about to enter a new year of school. He is generally rather shy and a background figure, hence the title of "Wallflower", but during the course of his new school term, he embarks on a series of unexpected adventures that help him grow as a person and discover new aspect of himself that he didn't know even existed.
It's a touching tale, if sometimes a bit juvenille and well... "teenagerish". There is certainly a lot of angst and typical events that happen to a lot of young people.
If you are a young person yourself (say between 14-23), you will surely be able to identify with a lot of it, and it may even help you feel more understood during troubling times. If you are older though, it's unlikely you'll get much enjoyment out of this book, apart from feel slightly nostalgic for your teenage years.
The general outcome is a bit depressing too, so it's not so much "the perks" of being a wallflower, but the problems with being one.
I usually stay well away from books which are set out in the form of diary entries, letters or emails, so to find on reading the first page of the book that I was interested in continuing with it was a bit unusual for me.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower was written by American novelist and film director Stephen Chbosky. Although this is a really great book I don't think he has produced any more of the sort, which is a shame.
Charlie, the main character, tells the story through letters written to an anonymous person. He doesn't know this person which strikes me as a bit odd. It follows through his first high school year as a freshamn. You somehow get to know little bits about him, from something very early on like the suicide of his best friend Michael to that of his sister getting hit by her boyfriend. By not talking about it, it's easy to pick up on the fact that he keeps things to himself and is namely quite shy and introverted. Plus quite sensitive.
He isn't necessarily a geek, but he is intelligent and has trouble making friends, until that is he strikes up the nerve to sit next to Patrick and his step sister Sam at a football game. Through hanging out with them, he is invited to parties and has his first taste of special brownies.
The book touches on drug use and the awkwardness of adolescence for Charlie and the crush that he tries to stop on Sam.
Overall this is a good book to read. It isn't too long and even if you have to put it down for a bit it is easy to come back to. Which I think is a good basics for books. At the moment you can get this for just under £5 on Amazon.
I usually stay clear of these "must reads" and "classics" simply because I think being praise them too highly. However The Perks of Being a Wallflower simply deserves every praise that it gets, simply because it is written in the most stunning way and it tells a great story. The ending is probably what gives everyone the most shock and is probably what determines it has a great story, however I was amazed by it even before I came to the end and then when the end came I was sure it was a classic because it is still applicable to society and people today. The most part about is the view that it is seen from. Charlie is a character that you have to like, he does strange things and is perhaps a bit strange but he is loveable and he like to explore things and going with him on his journey you discover teenage life in a more positive way I'd say. Although it does reflect the teenage sterotypes from an innocents person point of view it doesn't actually seem that bad. This really is a book about a journey Charlie goes on, I don't want to ruin the story by telling you what's in it but you really do feel the full effects of this world. The book is written as a letter to someone and although it is not revealed who that person too, you feel a sense that it's better that way.
Either way this book is a must read, I seriously recommend it over The Catcher in the Rye anyday!
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
I bought The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky because of Facebook. Strange yes, I know but on Facebook, there's application called Visual Bookself. It lets you see all the books that your friends have read and what is popular at the moment. I was on the hunt for a different kind of book as I just wanted to broaden my horizons. I saw this book recommend a few times so I went to look on Amazon.co.uk on how much it was. It was £5.49. Not too bad and with lots of Amazon vouchers left, I thought why not.
The story is all about Charlie growing up. Charlie is a freshman at school and whilst he's not in with the popular crowd, he's not really a geek. The only way you can describe him as, is a wallflower. He's shy, really reflective and very intelligent. Like any high school kid, he struggles with making friends, family problems, relationships, drugs, depression and many more. On top of that, he has to deal with his best friends' suicide. At a football game where he's trying to fit in more and get into the school spirit of things, he meets Samantha and Patrick who are seniors and brother and sister. He embarks on many adventures with them and faces many highs and lows.
The story is written in the form of letters. In a way, it's more written like a journal but there are some moment where he speaks to the unknown correspondent. The book could have been called 'Charlie's journey' because in a sense that was it is. Following Charlie through the school year, learning things as he learns them. Though, you don't get a description of Charlie, you get to know him and how he is through his thoughts and words.
As the book continues, you learn that there is much more under the surface to Charlie than an ordinary freshman. He has depression due to his Aunt Helen dying in an accident and in a way, he thinks it's his fault. Also the suicide of his best friend probably added to that depression. Even if you never were in the situations that Charlie finds himself in, I think it's written in a way that makes you understand. Some moments of the book are very sad and I nearly cried in a few places. The way it's written makes elements very emotional and touching as the author nearly puts you in Charlie's shoes for a moment and then puts you back to being the reader of the letters.
You could compare the book to Jack Kerouac's book 'On the Road' and J.D. Salinger's book 'Catcher in The Rye'. It has the same feel to it. It's similar in its storytelling and also follows a person on a journey. I think I would have appreciated this book more if I was 16 again and the same age when I read 'On the Road'. For me now, this book is looking back on similar situations and things that happened in my teenage years. If I would have read this book years ago, then I would have seen it with different eyes. It might even have helped me, who knows.
Again, I was slightly disappointed with the end as it doesn't tell you who Charlie was actually writing to. I guess some authors like to keep you guessing even when the book has finished.
I'd recommend this book to people that like real life situations or read books about people who are on a journey. I wouldn't recommend it to anybody under the age of about 13 years as some of the language is inappropriate and it talks about taking drugs and suicide.
A series of letters to an unknown correspondent reveals the coming-of-age trials of a high-schooler named Charlie.