Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Summary form 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. 

"And in that moment, I swear we were infinite." A quote that has been made famous by this particular novel and more so when the movie adaptation came out. And I admit, it kind of cinched it for me to finally read the book, after a whole lot of time dilly dallying. I am a sucker for quotable quotes, you see. And for anything connected to Logan Lerman...and Emma Watson. :) 

Charlie, the main character, is such a "sweetheart". I find that to be the most appropriate word for him. You know, the "aww" type. Sensitive, shy, sweet, and smart. He is a stand-out Contemporary YA figure despite his character being that of a "wallflower." A on the side-line kind of kid. His voice, which I presume is written in a way to illustrate his innocence and youth and his inexperience in social situations in high school (and something else that I'd rather not name because it would be a bit of a spoiler), all came out geniune. He is a great wallflower because he comes out with great observations that are never standoffish or bitter or rude but rather, his own innocent and honest reflection of what he sees. I also have to note how he never changes who he is, despite being thrust into all sorts of things, drugs, sex, partys, and booze. His voice remains Charlie-esque, a word borrowed from Sam, one of his bestfriends. I love that about him. Plus, he is one smart kid. He reads and loves classics! And seems to have such an eclectic taste in music for someone his age. 

The story is about this sweet, sweet freshman who is shown the whirlwind and roller coaster ride that is the teenage life, from a couple of seniors that became his closest friends. It was a year that he "participated" and not just merely "observed". In a way it is a coming-of-age kind of story but it was made unusual with the voice of Charlie. It's a story too that tackles something other than the glitzy teenage-hood but also dark themes like abuse and abortion. 

I have to say, I might just include this on my best Contemporary YA reads. It's funny and sad all at the same time. But ultimately, in the end, it will just make you smile like an idiot. :)


  1. I love this book. Charlie, indeed, encounters a lot of things in life that don't often happen in every teenager. The story has depth in it which makes it unique and easily capture one's heart. I'm glad you enjoyed the book, too.

    I have yet to watch the movie.

    1. It's a lovely read Rhin. I agree, the story is really something and Charlie will melt your heart. :) Reminds me a bit of how John Green and David Levithan books go. And I too, have yet to watch the movie. But I have a feeling it'll be good.

  2. Great review! You're definitely right about Charlie being a sweetheart. I fell in love with him for the same reasons. Also, because it's such a breath of fresh air to have a YA hero who's so wise beyond his years but not pessimistic or over-bearing. There's this kindness about him that really gives you the feeling that he understands you and what you are going through. Chbosky became one of my Literary rockstars because of this. :)

    1. Charlie's the kind of kid you just seem to want to hug all the time no? :) That is a great term, "literary rockstar"; and Chbosky really fits that description when he wrote this awesome YA novel. Thanks for dropping by Darden!

  3. This was one of those books I kept seeing in bookstores which i wanted to buy but never got to, until the movie came out and i took it as a sign to read it.I'm glad you enjoyed this book...i totally agree that it should be part of the best of contemporary YA literature. I love the book more than the film and there's something about Charlie that just engages the reader.

    1. I agree. Charlie truly makes this book. I was rooting for him all the way, to not be in that dark place anymore. I haven't seen the movie yet but a friend said that they changed it a bit, as they sometimes do in movie adaptations. Books are almost always better than the movie adaptations. But I still love watching them though. Hihi! :D


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