Saturday, January 12, 2013

Review: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Title: The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Author: Stephen Chbosky
Publication date: February 1, 1999
Publisher: Pocket Books

Rating: 5 stars

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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.

"I just need to know that someone out there listens and understands and doesn't try to sleep with someone even if they could have. I need to know these people exist."

Dear friend,

To be honest, I have written and rewritten this review more times than I care to count. It was unbelievably hard to find the right words to write a review because this book left me utterly speechless. The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a coming-of-age story that wasn't clichéd or hackneyed. Charlie, the main character, is a unique introvert who still manages to be very relatable. I loved this book, but the word love does not seem big enough to convey how much this book impacted me. No matter what I say, it feels inadequate in describing just how powerful this book actually was. But seeing as this is a book review blog, I suppose I should endeavor to try.

People think that the most powerful books are those that grip you from the very first page, the ones that make you feel like you're on a fast-paced roller coaster but, in fact, this is not true. The most powerful books are those you fall in love with unwittingly. Each word is like a stitch, slowly weaving itself into your heart until the story and its characters become a part of you.

I finished this book in one night which, believe me, was not my intention as I ended up going to sleep around 4 a.m.... and I wanted to go to sleep sooner, really I did! But Charlie's story had me enraptured, not because it was extremely exciting or action-packed but because I had fallen in love with this wallflower who loves books as much as I do and always gives gifts without expecting anything in return. Charlie became a real person for me and I had to keep reading to see if he was going to be alright.

The writing in this book is beautiful. It was not needlessly verbose or full of symbols and metaphors, it was honest and poignant. Charlie had a very distinct voice, naive at times but also observant and startlingly wise, which made him a very endearing character to me. His whole journey of self-discovery was filled with moments of sadness and humor and a ton of quotable quotes.

This may sound silly, but a part of me holds on to this belief that Charlie is a real person who exists somewhere out there in the real world. Who wrote these amazingly sincere letters. Who really touched me with his words. Like I said, it's a somewhat silly notion, but that's how compelling this book was. So, to fellow bookworms out there, I hope I've convinced you to read this book. And to Charlie, thank you.

Love always,


  1. Hi there, the January edition of Books You Loved is open for entries. Here is the link Books You Loved January Edition Please do pop by and link in a post about a book/s you loved. Maybe this post? Cheers and Happy New Year!

  2. <3 this review. Those are the reason I wanted to read it, even when there wasn't the movie called for. And, it's what making me dying to get my hands on it already. I am so glad my friend let me lend his and I might stay up just like you too. XD

    Dear Joie,
    Thanks for the follow and for introducing me to your blog.


  3. Joie, you wrote an absolutely beautiful review for this; truly, you did, so believe in yourself when you come across such a book like this one! I love how you mentioned that sometimes good books are those that you just fall in love unwittingly. That is so, SO true!!! I've yet to read this book, but I will because I'm a book before movie person, always ^_~ This sounds like a must-read anyway. Gorgeous review, Joie!

    Vivian @ Vivaciously, Vivian

  4. Aww that's a beautiful review Joie! I really need to read this and watch the movie.

  5. Awesome review and glad to hear that it was powerful and meant so much to you.
    Happy reading,
    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

  6. Joie, thanks for linking this in. I have just signed up to follow you. A follow back to Carole's Chatter would be wonderful – or are you already following? Cheers


Thanks so much for commenting! I read every single one and they always make my day! <3

*Sorry, this is now an awards-free blog as I've already been nominated for them. Thanks for your consideration!


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