The Perks of Being A Wallflower

The Perks of Being A Wallflower

Book - 1999
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Baker & Taylor
In a thought-provoking coming-of-age novel, Charlie struggles to cope with complex world of high school as he deals with the confusions of sex and love, the temptations of drugs, and the pain of losing a close friend and a favorite aunt. Original.

& Taylor

A series of letters to an unknown correspondent reveals the coming-of-age trials of a high-schooler named Charlie

Simon and Schuster
Read the cult-favorite coming of age story that takes a sometimes heartbreaking, often hysterical, and always honest look at high school in all its glory. Now a major motion picture starring Logan Lerman and Emma Watson, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a funny, touching, and haunting modern classic.

The critically acclaimed debut novel from Stephen Chbosky, Perks follows observant “wallflower” Charlie as he charts a course through the strange world between adolescence and adulthood. First dates, family drama, and new friends. Sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Devastating loss, young love, and life on the fringes. Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it, Charlie must learn to navigate those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up.

A #1 New York Times best seller for more than a year, an American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults (2000) and Best Book for Reluctant Readers (2000), and with millions of copies in print, this novel for teen readers (or “wallflowers” of more-advanced age) will make you laugh, cry, and perhaps feel nostalgic for those moments when you, too, tiptoed onto the dance floor of life.

Publisher: New York : Pocket Books : MTV/Gallery Books, c1999
ISBN: 9780671027346
Branch Call Number: TEEN FIC CHB
Characteristics: 213 p. ; 18 cm


From Library Staff

"Removed from a Florida Middle School because it was deemed “disgusting” for its explicit sexual references. A substitute teacher had assigned the novel to seventh-graders in an advanced language arts class. Also challenged, but retained in Iowa, after three hours of testimony at a school bo... Read More »

From the critics

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Jan 05, 2020

I read this book 6 times possibly more but I love it. Still can't figure out who the letters are for, its pretty irrelevant but I just wanted to know. I recommend this book for pre-teens and older.

Oct 29, 2019

I think that this book was a very good read. I really liked the way the author told the story from a first-person perspective and introduced the characters through the view of Charlie. The author writes in a format of compiled letters, making it seem Charlie is writing directly to you, which helps with the immersion of the reader in the book. Another way the author provided the reader with information was through poems to help the reader learn about the personalities of characters. The author writes about the emotions that teenagers go through with great detail and I really like how he did that, since teenagers often go through complex emotions in that part of their lives. I think that the author could have done a better job of organizing the events, as sometimes the positives balance out the negatives too much, and it seems much too staged to be realistic, considering the author went through so much effort to make it seem realistic.

I would rate this book a 10/10 because of the authenticity of the book and how deep the author’s understanding of teenagers is. I would recommend this book to older people because of the explicit content but other than that it is a very good book.

Jul 14, 2019

I may be a 50+ year old woman, but I do love good YA books. I've read so many really wonderful novels from The Book Thief to Sold to The Giver to Defect and all these others whose titles are escaping me at the moment. Oh, and all of the great fantasy series like HP of course, and The Hunger Games, and The Golden Compass etc, and Libba Bray's Great & Terrible Beauty trilogy. Anyway, this book is right up there. Charlie is a freshman in high school and he writes a series of letters to an unnamed "friend" over the course of the school year. He is equally gifted and damaged. He finds love and friendship over the year, along with trauma and heartache. His friends and family, like him, make some truly awful choices, but are also truly wonderful people - just like real life. Near the end, when a sense of impending doom gets stronger and stronger, I began to get afraid Chbosky was going to go the obvious route and have some awful car wreck/suicide/overdose/assault type tragedy occur, but I should have realized I was in abler hands than that.

I take some issue with Chbosky's message about "participating," not being simply a watcher in life, but engaging and living with passion. The sentiment is one I agree with, but Charlie was too traumatized to be used as an example.

Really a fantastic book and extraordinarily well-written. Can't wait for the movie.

Jun 05, 2019

I love this book! I totally recommend it to just about anyone above the age 13. The book has such a good lesson and moral. Everyone has something to learn from it.

May 18, 2019

Having read this in one sitting, I was in “In School Suspension”, it made quite the impact on me. This book was given to me as an alternative to read for the class project. Having heard it’s name before I accepted and went on to reading.
To start this off, this book most certainly does what it had intended to. It introduced and discussed topics to teens about teens, things that many people attempted to hide from. Things as such were, Abuse, Drugs, Sexuality, Abortion, Suicide, the list went on. It was shocking really, going on and seeing how books like this really existed. I wasn’t bothered, I was glad really, the world was making in effort to at least show these things.

For an actual critique on the story in how it’s told, I’d say it’s done very well actually. Instead of the usual chapters format it uses letters and parts. Each letter is titled to be sent to Charlie’s friend, and if you paid any attention to the start of the book you’d know that Charlie actually has no idea who that “friend” is. He just heard they could be trusted, and so he does just that. Throughout the story Charlie is describing his experiences in high school for once, giving the stories of other’s that came to him since it was easier than finding the story of himself. In a way it hurt, to see how it viewed it all. Not that it was bad, or crude. It was a description that I’m sure many people going through trying to find themselves would understand. They don’t significant, they feel like they’re in the back.

I swear we were infinite.

Feb 10, 2019

I read this in one sitting. I can't believe it took me this long to finally read it, but I loved it and devoured every page. I did find I was left with a lot of questions though.

Jan 28, 2019

2019 Librarians Challenge

Dec 28, 2018

Delightful book. Charlie is quite an interesting young man who is trying to navigate life it is High School. It was not stated, but it seems as if he was possibly Autistic or, or Asperger's. He blamed himself for the death of his beloved Aunt. For my bloodhound o n 1/4/2019.

Oct 16, 2018

I just love this book. It's insane how much emotion and love and feeling can be smashed into one small book. It's an amazing book and I would highly recommend it!!!I hope it is as much as an emotional rollercoaster for you as it was for me!!! (:

Jul 14, 2018

July 14, 2018

After watching the film adaptation, I had to read this.
I felt like the film polished the story and expressed it well, but the book was genius. Even though the story had some unnecessary parts, it expressed Charlie’s voice in a way the film never could.


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Add Age Suitability
May 18, 2019

HelenaBeat thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

sarahbru17 Aug 03, 2017

sarahbru17 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Jul 25, 2017

Emmapaw257 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Apr 19, 2017

JaceToews thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

RobertELPL Mar 04, 2017

RobertELPL thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

Feb 27, 2017

fadisi thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

awebster92 Aug 27, 2016

awebster92 thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

brinda2003 Jul 23, 2016

brinda2003 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Jun 28, 2016

ilovecats2003 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Jun 06, 2016

Bookcat18 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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Add a Quote
Nov 09, 2019

heroes - David Bowie

Bookwormie95 Jun 09, 2018

"'I feel infinite.'
"And Sam and Patrick looked at me like I said the greatest thing they ever heard. Because the song was that great.... Five minutes of a lifetime were truly spent, and we felt young in a good way. I have since bought the record, and I would tell you what it was, but truthfully, it's not the same unless you're driving to your first party, and you're sitting in the middle seat of a pickup with two nice people when it starts to rain."

Jul 25, 2017

"Even if we don't have the power to choose where we came from, we can still choose where we go from there."

Aug 18, 2015

"So, I guess we are who we are for a lot of reasons. And maybe we'll never know most of them. But even if we don't have the power to choose where we come from, we can still choose where we go from there. We can still do things. And we can try to feel okay about them."

Aug 18, 2015

"She was sad, though. But it was a hopeful kind of sad. The kind of sad that just takes time."

Aug 18, 2015

"I just want you to know that you're very special... and the only reason I'm telling you is that I don't know if anyone else ever has."

Jul 08, 2015

So, if this does end up being my last letter, please believe that things are good with me, and even when they're not, they will be soon enough.
And I will believe the same about you.
Charlie (pg.213)

thisgrrlreads Nov 19, 2013

“Dear friend, I do not like high school. The cafeteria is called the ‘Nutrition Center,’ which is strange.” (page 6)

Elizabeth Neilson
Aug 09, 2013

"In that moment we were infinite"

Aug 02, 2013

"We accept the love we think we deserve"

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Add Notices
sarahbru17 Aug 03, 2017

Other: Drugs.

sarahbru17 Aug 03, 2017

Sexual Content: Masturbation and sensual touching.

Jul 25, 2017

Sexual Content: There is reference and mention of sexual acts as well as sexual abuse though none of it is graphic, it is all implicit.

Jul 25, 2017

Violence: Characters are said to be/have been in abusive relationships as well as getting in fights.

Jun 18, 2014

Sexual Content: Teens get initimate fairly frequently.

Jun 18, 2014

Violence: Teens get into fights multiple times.

Jun 18, 2014

Frightening or Intense Scenes: There is a rape scene.

BookWormChelly Jul 08, 2013

Sexual Content: oral sex.

ecrl Feb 02, 2013

Sexual Content: Oral sex among teens!

bookgeek101 Dec 26, 2012

Other: Patrick is gay.

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Add a Summary
janellejordan Jul 12, 2015

goes on a journey to show how childhood can really effect a person and how friends can get someone out of any situation.

Jul 08, 2015

Charlie has just lost his best friend and is now starting high school with no friends. Enter Sam and Patrick as they integrate Charlie into their friend group and take him on wild adventures. Follow Charlie as he starts to heal and have the best experiences of his life while still figuring out how he feels

Aug 02, 2013

Written in the format of a diary we are guided through Charlie's freshman year of high school. Where he experiences his first love and first taste of partying and his mission of finding him self.

destiny1218 Jul 09, 2013

a wonderful coming of age book that tells the tale of a young boy experiencing high school and finding himself along with a few new friends.

BookWormChelly Jul 08, 2013

A young man named Charlie who is writing his life through letters to an anonymous person of his high school experience.

Jun 11, 2013

a teenage freshman tells us his first year of high school through letters

Oct 23, 2012

After learning of the suicide of another student, "Charlie" writes letters to ??? and tells us about his life as a lonely HS freshman. Sadness, loss and past mental health issues. He makes friends, learns about smoking cigarettes, spliffs, and LSD. Drinks and eats fast food. He experiments with girls and experiences kissing one boy and always loves Sam(antha), his good friend. He reads awesome books and tells us about them and has ups and downs with friends.

Saulia Jul 06, 2012

Charlie, the main character, writes letters to an unnamed person, and this is how his story is told. It talks about how he had trouble fitting in, until he met Sam - whom he fell in love with, and Patrick. These two become his best friends, and also his English teacher provides him with a list of books to read, making him feel more accepted.

SAPPHIREBEAR15 Jun 07, 2012

this talks bout how a boy named chrlie is introduced of the world of drugs and luv and goes with his friends for help!!!!!!!

Apr 20, 2010

A young boy confides in you as a reader anonymously sharing his life through a series of letters. He is trying to find his place in the world.

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