“The Perks of Being a Wallflower”



I have just reread “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky for two reasons. Firstly, I really felt like rereading the novel! Secondly, I really ought to use my Kindle more. “Perks” is a book that really resonates with me due to its focus on growing up and teenage life. The book is one of my personal favourites for many reasons. As a teenage girl with “unusual” interests I can really identify with Charlie and the way he feels as though he doesn’t fit in. “Perks” is definitely one of the most beautiful, moving and emotional books I have read. I first read the book around two years ago, shortly after my 13th birthday, and soon fell in love with its every sentence.

Charlie is beautifully crafted by Chbosky and may be one of my favourite literary characters of all time. I would like to think the author would liken his character to a younger version of himself, as the book has always felt almost biographical in places. Any teenager can identify with Charlie as he struggles to choose between fitting in with his peers or standing out and being himself. I had a huge amount bof sympathy for Charlie when he recounted being abused as a child and discussed his mental illness. My favourite female characters from “Perks” are Sam and Charlie’s unnamed sister. I loved Sam because she represents the sort of girl I aspire to be in 3 years time when I am 18- fun but kind and considerate. For that reason, I think most girls will like Sam. I liked Charlie’s sister because, despite appearing unrealistically perfect at a glance, we soon learn that she does possess well hidden flaws. My all time favourite character in the book is Patrick. Everything about him makes me smile and the things that happen to him make me both laugh and cry.

One of the things that adds to the book’s appeal is the way it is told via anonymous letters from Charlie. This really stands out, as it is not often a book in its entirety is shown in this form. Chbosky’s writing is absolutely beautiful- so many quotes can be taken from this book! I feel as though you could flick to almost any page and still find something wonderfully written that you can identify with. There are barely any errors to this book, and I guarantee Chbosky’s wrting will bring a tear to your eye on at least one occasion!

One of the main things that makes “Perks” so beautiful is its storyline…Or rather, its lack of a storyline. Instead of telling us about unrealistic and extraordinary events, “Perks” simply chronicles a year of Charlie’s life and focuses in on him growing up and allowing his mental illness to influence his life. Everything about the book is great and it’s so easy to read that I’m struggling to pick a fault with it. My one criticism would probably have to be that I couldn’t stand Mary Elizabeth, however that didn’t really influence my opinion on the book as a whole. I must also mention that I loved the references to early 90s culture (partly because I adore Nirvana). I know I’ll returning to “Perks”, and I know I’ll be crying again as it is one of the few books that never fail to make me emotional. Overall, the book is absolutely great and is near perfect. It’s definitely a book I can identify with strongly.

Rating:  10/10

“We accept the love we think we deserve.”


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