Review for The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky!
Quick View Review:
Characters: ***** (5/5)
Plot: ***** (5/5)
Writing Quality: ***** (5/5)
Amazon Rating: **** (4.5/5)
This book follows the freshman year of “wallflower” Charlie as he tells us his story of the world between adolescence and adulthood. Charlie has his first date, makes new friends, and is forced to deal with events at home. He is exposed to wild parties and the worlds of drugs, drinking, and smoking. He has to deal with a tragic loss, his first love, and life as a misfit. Charlie constantly struggles with trying to “participate”, be honest, and escape his comfort zone of bending to other people’s needs and keeping everything inside his head. As Charlie tells us about growing up, we also learn about his young life and how his experiences as a child affect his current thoughts.
One of my favorite aspects of this book was the format. I loved that Charlie was writing letters because it almost felt like he was writing to the reader (the letters were simply addressed “Dear friend”) and because I felt like it made the book more realistic and personal.
The characters all had realistic personalities and feelings. I felt like Charlie and his friends could be relatable characters, and I definitely liked the characters who were nice to Charlie and felt dislike for those that ignored him and who were mean to him. Also, I felt that I admired Charlie. He was independent, selfless, and didn’t really feel affected if he was left out, ignored, or without anybody to talk to. He had his letters, and that was enough for him. I thought that that was truly inspiring.
This book also brought a rollercoaster of feelings. Sadness, happiness, anger, you name it, I probably felt it in this book. To me, when a novel causes me to want good things to happen to the narrator, that shows that the author did a really good job.
Of course, the different stories and situations are what made the book what it was. I was constantly asking myself: if Charlie hadn’t made that decision or gone to that party, would his life be different? I felt that each different event and story added to the book and to Charlie’s overall life story. In other words, I felt like each story mattered in a different way, that the book could not have been the same even if you took just one of the stories out.
Finally, I really enjoyed how we were introduced to every side of Charlie’s life. We learned about his family life at home, his relationships with his friends at school (and outside), and his interests. After reading this novel, I felt like I truly knew who Charlie was as a person and what he was like.
Overall, I loved every aspect of this book: the characters, the stories, the writing, and just how realistic it seemed! I definitely recommend this book for boys, but girls would probably like it too (after all, I did!). If you are looking for an interesting and incredible book with a slightly awkward side, this is definitely the book for you!