Book Review: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky was first published in 1999, and most people my age (23) probably read when they were 16. Somehow, I missed the boat at the time, however, that has now changed.

I am not a fast reader but I managed to finish this book quite quickly.

From the back of the book:

The Perks of Being a Wallflower book cover.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower book cover.

“This is the story of what it’s like to grow up in high school. More intimate than a diary, Charlie’s letters are singular and unique, hilarious and devastating. We may not know where he lives. We may not know to whom he is writing. All we know is the world he shares. Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it puts him on a strange course through uncharted territory. The world of first dates and mixed tapes, family dramas and new friends. The world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that the perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite.

Through Charlie, Stephen Chbosky has created a deeply affecting coming-of-age story, a powerful novel that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller coaster days known as growing up.”

As the back of the book describes, Charlie’s letters are funny at times, sad at others, and easy to understand – let me explain a bit. This is a coming-of-age book and I read it at a time when I had already, you know, come of age. Due to that, personally, I don’t believe I fully loved this book as much as I know I would have had I read it between the ages of 13 and 18.

That in no way, however, means I did not enjoy reading it.

I was still invested in Charlie, his story, and the stories of all the other characters. I think that’s why it didn’t take me very long to finish the book. Although I couldn’t directly relate to anything the characters were going through at the time, I still found myself itching to find out why Charlie is the way he is, what was going to happen to his sister, and what prom was going to be like for all the characters.

This is a book I had been wanting to check off my ‘to read’ list for a few months and I’m so thrilled I have accomplished that now.

Overall rating: 3.5/5

Book cover photo is courtesy of the Simon & Schuster website.


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