Skip to main content
PBS logo

Search - The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Perks of Being a Wallflower
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Author: Stephen Chbosky
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.This haunting novel about the dilemma of passivity vs. passion marks the stunning debut of a provocative new voice in contemporary fiction: The Perks of Being a Wallflower.This is the story of what it...  more »
The Market's bargain prices are even better for Paperbackswap club members!
Retail Price: $14.99
Buy New (Paperback): $12.29 (save 18%) or
Become a PBS member and pay $8.39+1 PBS book credit Help icon(save 44%)
ISBN-13: 9780671027346
ISBN-10: 0671027344
Publication Date: 2/1/1999
Pages: 256
Reading Level: Young Adult
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.

4 stars, based on 587 ratings
Publisher: MTV
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Members Wishing: 1
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed The Perks of Being a Wallflower on + 10 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 14
One critic compared 'Perks' to 'A Seperate Peace', and they couldn't be more right. There are several books that follow this sense of adolescent tragedy and emotion, and frankly, I believe 'Perks' lives up to the extremely high standard by which classics like 'A Seperate Peace' set. The realistic quirkiness of Chbosky's characters is amazing, and it really reminded me of a real life story. That is, in my opinion, something hard pressed to do. Too many people are afraid to read realism, and thus too many authors are afraid to write it. But Chbosky does not make any exceptions here. He writes with a passionate character and he makes that character as real as any human being could ever be.
obsidianfire avatar reviewed The Perks of Being a Wallflower on + 133 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 11
Written as a bunch of letters to an unknown "friend", whom he has never actually met either, this is a very quick read. Even though it's is written in letter, the story still draws you in.

And the ending was quite a shock to me. I really didn't see it coming. All in all a very engrossing novel.
jai avatar reviewed The Perks of Being a Wallflower on + 310 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 10
This book is a series of letters written to an unknown friend by Charlie - a quiet young man who lives mostly in his head. These letters span about a year from the start of his freshman year in high school, as Charlie starts to learn how to "participate" in life instead of watching. He makes friends with some seniors who take him under their wing and seem to be understanding about his innocence. Charlie is a very unusual character - quiet, observant and thinks a lot about what he sees, seemingly highly sensitive and prone to crying, and unsure about how to interact with people comfortably. He seems very intelligent and yet strange. I had a feeling like.. something is up here, something I don't know, so I had to keep reading not only to find out about his high school experiences (which were hilarious, sad, crazy, unexpected and wonderful all wrapped up in one), but also to figure him out. I really had a good time reading this book - Charlie feels like a sweet kid everyone knows and is fond of, and I just zipped through this, but I want to go back and revisit.
reviewed The Perks of Being a Wallflower on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
This was a great book. I stayed up all night to read it. I know it's cliche but I really did laugh out loud in some parts & then cried in others. It completely exceeded my expectations and the tone reminded me a bit of "Catcher in the Rye." Definately a recommendation!
reviewed The Perks of Being a Wallflower on + 41 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
About the trials of an early teenager; in this book, a boy. Anyone reading it will remember parts of their growing-up years. I especially enjoyed the tale of his friendship with an older girl.
Read All 72 Book Reviews of "The Perks of Being a Wallflower"

Please Log in to Rate these Book Reviews

reviewed The Perks of Being a Wallflower on
I enjoyed the format of this book and how personal the journal entries were, but at the same time it was almost a bit too much. A lot of it leaves you feeling a bit sad
anniechanse avatar reviewed The Perks of Being a Wallflower on + 35 more book reviews
This was a beautiful book. I literally read it in one sitting. I bought it a long time ago, but I finally decided to read it today. So, I pulled it out of my bookshelf this afternoon and started reading, and I just couldn't stop. The narrator's voice is a bit like Holden Caulfield, only more innocent, kind, caring, and naïve, and there is a raw, open quality to the story-telling that reminds me of "Go Ask Alice", only the story is lighter and less downward-spirally. Charlie's transformation from the shy loner into the sweet and accepted wallflower is simply a gorgeous journey that I loved experiencing with him.

Furthermore, the complex relationships between the characters in the novel are fascinating. I love the interpersonal dynamics between Charlie and Sam, Sam and Patrick, Patrick and Brad, Patrick and Charlie, Charlie and Mary Elizabeth, Mary Elizabeth and Sam.... Not to mention the familial relationships between Charlie and each member of his family, even the ones that don't play huge parts in the novel, such as his grandfather.

Finally, the shocking revelation behind Charlie's relationship with his Aunt Helen... well, that adds a whole different level to the story that takes it above and beyond a simple coming-of-age story.

It is definitely a story worth adding to my 'favorites' shelf.
susieqmillsacoustics avatar reviewed The Perks of Being a Wallflower on + 1062 more book reviews
This is a story of dysfunctional lives, dysfunctional families and coping with high school. Charlie is a gifted kid with issues and a good heart. He is an endearing character learning to be himself. He writes anonymous letters to an anonymous friend so the entire book is from that perspective. However, I read this because of recommendations to me and it is really not my cup of tea. Reading, for me, usually means an escape from the real world, not seeking out dysfunctional characters in fiction. I think there may be some lessons for teens but too much political correctness and too many issues for the sake of issues for my taste.
reviewed The Perks of Being a Wallflower on + 3 more book reviews
Very interesting book of a teenage boy's struggles in dealing with life. Written as a series of letters. Worth reading.
reviewed The Perks of Being a Wallflower on + 1436 more book reviews
The author describes a year in Charlie's life through letters that he writes to an unknown person. It's delightfully well done. Charlie is bright and articulate, a high school freshman with the emotions of his age and an understanding that reflects his age level. Like so many others, I did enjoy this read. However, as I lay the book aside, I asked myself how any one boy could experience all the events that are chronicled in the letters within a year.