Book Review: The Perks of Being a Wallflower


The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky – Paperback, 232 pages – Published by Pocket Books

There’s obviously been a lot of hype about this novel and although I didn’t know much about the plot (at all) I decided it was worth a read.

I had no idea that this was written in the form of letters to the reader. Don’t get me wrong, I adore that writing style, it was just totally unexpected. Chbosky has really captured Charlie’s voice, giving us a better insight into his life and personality than any descriptive writing ever could.

Charlie is 15/16 in this novel, and lonely. He befriends Sam and Patrick, siblings who are older than himself. Then follows people like Craig, Alive and Mary-Elizabeth. Charlie’s siblings are also a prominent aspect in this book, not to mention his deceased Aunt Helen.

They go through typical teenage experiences, including crushes and breakups and even some abuse. They help each other and they fall out and Charlie tells us everything in brutal honesty, apart from those few parts where he feels incapable of repeating what happened/was said.

There are a lot of deeper undercurrents, which may or may not be hard for some people to read. But again, these subplots are truthful and realistic and full of emotion. A lot of them are also pretty unexpected and shocking – as they often are in life.

It’s definitely easy enough to read this whole novel in one sitting and is totally worth having a look at. Although it isn’t quite one of my favourites – though honestly I’m not quite sure what exactly it’s lacking – it has earnt a strong four stars out of the full five.