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The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Updated: Jan 7, 2022


This book was a strange read for me. In the beginning, I thought I was in for another typical teen novel. You know, the ones where all the supporting characters quickly become great friends with the protagonist and everyone is unnaturally cool and there's a sex scene somewhere near the beginning that's supposed to make you stay interested for the rest of the book? It really seemed like that to me when I started the book, and honestly the only reason I kept reading was because I wanted to be able to write a review for it. The more I read, though, the more I liked the book! The Perks of Being a Wallflower follows a boy named Charlie through his freshman year of Highschool. He tells the story through letters to a friend, including every detail and every thought. Charlie is a very shy person and he hasn't ever had close friends, but he soon finds himself swept up into the lives of some seniors. Through his friendships with them, he discovers his own history, and subsequently himself. This book is almost like a mystery novel embedded into a thrilling teen drama.



AGE RANGE TEEN


THEMES

Highschool

Freshman

Friends

Family

Romance

Letters

Writing

Sexual assault/molestation

OVERALL RATING 8.8/10

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a good book, and it does stand out from most teen literature that I've seen. Especially in the second half, the characters are realistic and the story is very honest. I think one of the best parts is the way Charlie writes his letters, which I think is very realistic. My complaint about this book is the use of shock value. Without a detailed sex scene near the beginning, the book would have been just as good, but for some reason somebody felt it was necessary. Personally, it doesn't keep me reading through the whole book, it just makes me think that the author doesn't believe his book is good enough to make it in the market without a hook like that. It made the scene unrealistic because it didn't seem like something someone would write in a letter to someone they barely know, which was the context it was put into in the book.


PROS

Honest

Exciting

Intriguing and satisfying plot

Unique

CONS

Unnecessary hook at the beginning

The first section of the book seems a little unrealistic


TRIGGER WARNING: The Perks of Being a Wallflower includes talk of molestation and rape.


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