Review: The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.

perks“So, this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be.” – Stephen Chbosky.

Anyone who knows me, whether this be in real life or through this blog, is very likely aware of how much I adore this book, The Perks of Being a Wallflower. As a result of my recent reading slump I had the urge to pick it up again for my fourth read now in the hope that it will pull me out of this book-less hole I’ve been feeling trapped in.

Additionally, because of it being one of my favourite books I’ve always hated the fact that I don’t have a review for it on my blog and I didn’t feel right writing one without having read the book recently, so I am glad to finally be writing this review.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is an epistolary novel. Charlie writes letters to an unidentified “friend”. This isn’t someone we meet throughout the novel and Charlie doesn’t actually know he/she, but he writes to them in the hope that they will listen to what he has to say and be understanding while allowing him to remain anonymous.

Charlie is a wallflower. He watches from the sidelines, carefully observing the world around him, but not partaking in it himself. However, he’s trying, he’s trying to take part and meets new friends who introduce him to a world he’s never experienced before, a world of drugs and dating, friendship and feeling infinite.

And in that moment, I swear we were infinite.

I really love this book, in case that isn’t obvious already. I love the characters who I fell in love with early on, Charlie and all his friends were written so well and I felt like I really got to know them through Charlie’s letters. Charlie is sweet and kind, Sam is fun and caring, Patrick is hilarious. These are definitely characters who will stay with me forever, in fact, this is a book that I know will stay with me forever.

When I first read this book it was in a format I had never before read in a novel. This is because it is a series of letters, almost like a diary. I really enjoyed this writing style because it felt intimate and as if we were Charlie’s friend and he knew we would listen and understand. It also allowed us to gain a deeper understanding of Charlie’s character because he was revealing his thoughts and feelings to us, those that he wouldn’t have shared out loud to anyone else.

Each time I read this book I find it to be a somewhat comforting and pleasant experience. While it isn’t the happiest book as a whole, it certainly does have plenty of cheery moments which I always enjoy reading. It is also full of heartwarming moments with love and kindness. This is one of those books that always manages to make me smile and also cry whenever I read it.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is one of my favourite books and it’s always a pleasure to reread; I actually think I’ve read it now as much as I’ve read Harry Potter. This is a brilliant contemporary, coming of age story for young adults and it’s a book I definitely recommend.

More quotes:

  • “We accept the love we think we deserve.”
  • “Things change. And friends leave. Life doesn’t stop for anybody.”
  • “There’s nothing like deep breaths after laughing that hard. Nothing in the world like a sore stomach for the right reasons.”
  • “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.”
  • “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.”
  • “And even if somebody else has it much worse, that doesn’t really change the fact that you have what you have.”

Have you read The Perks of Being a Wallflower? What did you think?


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