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Essay on The Perks of Being a Wallflower: Book Review

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The perks of being a wallflower also called “Wallflower” first was released in 1999 but since then been very popular and grown as a book. The perks of being a wallflower is a truly moving story about Charlie, a freshman in highschool whos shy, intelligent and socially awkward, but that all comes down to a mental issue that occured from some old trauma and family issues. He’s a wallflower stuck between trying to live at the fullest and running from it.

The author, Stephen Chbosky has plotted this story well. Stephen Chbosky is a novelist, screenwriter and a director best known for writing The New York Times bestselling novel The Perks of Being a Wallflower (1999), as well as for writing and directing the film version of the same book. Stephen Chbosky was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on January 25 1970. He grew up with his mother, father and younger sisters in a very Christian household. In 1992, Chbosky graduated from the University of Southern California's screenwriting program. He wrote, directed, and acted in The Four Corners of Nowhere (1995), which gained Chbosky his first agent and got him into a big career at a young age. The Perks Of Being A Wallflower, Chbosky's first novel, was published by MTV Books in 1999, and was an immediate popular success with most teenage readers. By the 2000, the novel was MTV Books' best-selling title, and The New York Times came out in 2007 that it had sold more than 700,000 copies. As of May 2013, the number of copies in print reached over two million.

Charlie meet two very outgoing teens at a football game whose much cooler than him but still accept him. Patrick, a very outgoing, happy, gay guy who becomes Charlies best friend. Patrick welcomes Charlie into his large friend group including Mary Elisabeth and Bob. Mary Elisabeth is smart, attractive, self-centered senior in Charlie’s friend group. Mary Elizabeth invites Charlie to the Sadie Hawkins dance, and they date, but she is more interested in talking about herself than about building a relationship. Bob goes to community college, and he represents what might happen to Charlie’s schoolmates if any of them start using drugs.

Patrick makes Charlie feel more comfortable in high school. He also makes Charlie feel a lot better about being bullied and he makes his self confidence increase through the year. Sam whos Patricks step sister is a very gorgeous young girl who Charlie get introduced to really quick into the story. Charlie immetadly develops a crush on Sam that only grows through the novel, despite the fact that Sam is dating Craig whos a male model.

Sam, like Patrick and Charlie, also has some personal demons. Sam was sexually abused as a child, which may help explain some of the deep bond Sam and Charlie have, although neither realizes the connection until the very end of the novel.

They introduce Charlie to a whole new world of drugs, parties and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. They also show Charlie a lot of new music and he becomes more and more music savvy. Charlie goes through a rollercoaster ride full of different emotions and learns that he has the best friends he could ever wish for.

The whole book is written in small letters to an anonymous person, called “Friend”. Each letter begins with the greeting “Dear friend” and ends “Love always, Charlie.” Because the recipient of the letters never writes back, the novel reads like a series of diary entries. Charlie tells this person everything he does and feels, who he meets and loves. Charlie is writing these letter to help himself work through two extremely traumatic events in his childhood: the recent suicide of his best friend, Michael, last spring and the death of his Aunt Helen when he was seven on his birthday. The perks of being a wallflower is a fiction book and the genre is young adult which is a category of fiction written for readers from 12 to 18 years old. While the genre is aimed to teenagers, half of the readers are adults. The book is also the genre epistolary. An epistolary novel is a novel which is written as a series of documents. Diarys, newspapers and other documents are usually used in the story too. By using the epistolary form you can add more realism to the story and make the reader fall in love with the book even more. Charlie is the protagonist in the story. He has just started his high school life. In some aspect, he’s very mature, but in some situations he’s not.

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They introduce Charlie to a whole new world of drugs, parties and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. They also show Charlie a lot of new music and he becomes more and more music savvy. Charlie goes through a rollercoaster ride full of different emotions and learns that he has the best friends he could ever wish for.

It’s actually difficult for me to find something that’s bad about this book. It’s really catchy and have a story that a lot of people would be interested in reading. There were some spots in the book where it got boring and a bit spiritless but that’s not at all a big deal for me. The tone throughout the novel is nostalgic, inquisitive, and exploratory; Charlie’s mood can swing radically between depressed and elated.

'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.”

Right there, right in that quote, I knew that I was going to love every word this book offered to me. Things like that are just so perfectly worded that it makes you think about it for days and think about how it relates to your life. This book has so many amazing quotes and relatable moments that it just makes this book stand out from all of the rest in so many amazing ways. This book was what got me back into reading.

I think one of the best things about this book is the fact that there are so many quotes that just comes back to your mind when the book is finished. For example, probably the most popular one from the book:

'We accept the love we think we deserve.'

If you really think about it though, it's extremely true. We do only accept the love we believe that we deserve. Not too often do we go out and try to see things differently and try to make things happen for ourselves. There are probably many times where we don't think we deserve the love that we get, however, it's not like that at all.

Even if this book is absolutely stunning and wonderful in every way I need to mention that sexual abuse and suicide feature quite heavily in The perks of being a wallflower. Therefor i wouldn’t recommend this book without a trigger warning. In general this book is absolutely amazing and i would recommend it to anyone who would like to read about people discovering everything about growing up as a teen. Even if the book was written in the 90s it's still quite relatable. With every character in the book i could imagine a movie scene or a real life friend. With each character described, i pictured someone as that who i experienced the same experiences as my life. Someone always fits the description in these stories. This made the whole story a lot better and i really liked to read this book.

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Essay on The Perks of Being a Wallflower: Book Review. (2022, December 27). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 1, 2023, from
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