Book Review: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Maleny Martinez

               The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky is a coming-of-age bestseller book of 2012. Although the book has recently become well know, it was released in 1999.

                If you enjoy drama, The Perks of Being a Wallflower will be a book you would not want to miss reading. It will make you cry, laugh and you might even have the need to listen to old mixed tapes. The book story concentrates on a troubled teen and his experience in high school and is told in a series of letters that Charlie- the main character- writes to an unknown friend. He is troubled by his past and constantly analyzes everything in his head. He is encouraged to socialize and participate in “life” by his English teacher Mr. Anderson. Sam and Patrick, who are half brother and sister and seniors in high school, become close friends with Charlie. They all spend time together hanging out and Sam and Patrick introduce Charlie to their close friends. And so Charlie starts to participate, but as problems and conflicts arise within the close group of friends Charlie finds himself once again alone and involuntarily isolated by friends and family. He begins to think of his past and soon is back in the hospital. But as these problems rise and later die down, Charlie finds himself closer to his family, his sister in particular, and friends and suddenly the future doesn’t seem so bad.

The novel inspired the motion picture. The movie features well know actresses such as Logan Lerman who plays Charlie, Emma Watson plays Sam a carefree girl, with great taste in music, who Charlie falls head over heels for, Dylan McDermott who plays Charlie’s father, a figure of authority who is not quick to show emotions but a good father and husband to his wife according to Charlie, Patrick, who is gay and has a tough break up before heading off to college, etc. The book captures the ups and the downs of growing up. The Perks of Being a Wallflower contains a bitter sweet love tale, loyal and betrayal friendships, loss, fear and hope. I think this book is a great read that people in high school and young adults would enjoy.