Thursday, January 10, 2013

Review: The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Published date: February 1st, 1999

Publisher: MTV Books and Pocket Books

Pages: 213 (paperback)

Summary: (Goodreads)

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 mix-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.


I knew reviewing this book would be difficult, but I wasn't sure how badly so. I think I've been staring at the blank page for a day now, unable to express how I feel about this book in a few paragraphs. There are so many problems I had with this book and found it best to just quit it. In short, this book disgusted me.
Perks is one of the most popular books today and I found myself wanting to read it only because of the movie. In those instances, I usually end up hating the movie, but now I can honestly say this is the first time I've hated the book.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower is written in letters, ones that are oddly written, sporadic, and unfocused. Most paragraphs didn't really make much sense, but I found it rather enlightening. I am a teenager and an odd one at that, and yet I do not think or speak like Charlie, the main protagonist or rather writer of the letters. Charlie is a very unusual fifteen year old boy. He's innocent and loving even though his family life (his life in general, really) could be a lot better. He's shy, but strong in his insecurity like I wish I was. The things he writes about when he gets lyrical and philosophical are some of my favorite quotes. It empowers me, Charlie empowers me. That's why this book's sex content disappoints me so much, enough for me to stop reading it. I see enough of that every day and when it seeps into the one escape I have, reading, I get very angry.
Whether it was the sex (gay and straight) or masturbating, among other things, or a combination of both that drove me from this book, I don't really know. When my innocents felt like it was being taken away the more I read this book, the more I felt totally and utterly ashamed in myself and even of Charlie. Some people may read this and not think a thing about it, but I just couldn' morality was screaming at me from the first descriptive rape scene to drop this book and run. That's my opinion, though. I just wouldn't recommend this book to your little sister.


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  2. It is so refreshing to find a teenager with real morals. Keep up the good work.

  3. Oh, Abby, you make smile. I love the review. I might not be a prude with the whole sex thing but I haven't read the book yet but I was going to get it for my sis....O_O yeah, now i see i cant. oh well, i'll still read it though, someday :P

    1. HAHAHA! ;) Yeah. :O I would not recommend it to little girls or boys for that matter. :D LOL. :P I'm a Christian so stuff like that makes me really mad. :3