Review: The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

I’m really sorry I haven’t posted much lately (it’s been a whole week!!) You know how it is – exams, exams, exams… Revision has been taking up so much of my time recently, so I haven’t had that much time to read, let alone write a blog post! I’ve still got four exams left to do, but I’ve got the worst one (ICT, ha ha!) over with, phew! Hopefully I’ll have more time to write now. I find exams so stressful, and when I’ve actually had time to sit and read, this book has been a real comfort over the past few hectic weeks:


I have put off reading The Perks of Being a Wallflower  by Stephen Chbosky several times, because as I’ve mentioned various times here before, I don’t like sad books, and this was one that I heard was a sad book. Having now read the book, I would say it depends heavily on how you look at it, as to how you feel at the end.

The book was quite unexpected for me, really. It deals with a lot of issues surrounding growing up such as sex, drugs, alcohol and difficult relationships. The narrative was unique, too. The book is in the point of view of a boy called Charlie, and the whole story is a collection of letters he is sending to a mystery person, who Charlie claims to be his friend. The letters deal with Charlie’s struggles growing up and his social-journey through his first year at high school when he develops from being a wallflower to being himself:

He’s a wallflower. You see things. You keep quiet about them. And you understand.

They span over one year and record the highs and lows in one memorable, heart-warming book. Charlie is such a considerate and emotional character. I didn’t really think I would bond so much with him, but I was wrong because it is impossible not to like him. He is vulnerable, funny and innocent. He starts writing these letters to this anonymous person just after his friend commits suicide.

The letters record his family experiences and his school life. The book’s main focus is Charlie befriending two senior students: Sam (Samantha) and her step-brother Patrick. Charlie immediately falls for Sam, who he describes as a ‘beautiful person’ not just because of her appearance, but also because of her personality.  But Sam says that it wouldn’t be right for them to have a relationship because she was too old for him.

There’s some pretty powerful messages in this book about love, life and how we see things and everything that Charlie expresses in his letters has a deeper meaning than first meets the eye. The writing is so clever. I think it’s one of the most well-written and thoughtful books that I’ve ever read. And it carries some amazing messages.

We accept the love we think we deserve.

It’s hard to put across how great this book is and what a powerful message it gives you. I feel like I should read the book all over again and see more of the morals and thoughts that the writer puts into the book. Because I could compare this book to one of those thriller books where it’s all really confusing; stuff is happening all over the place, and then suddenly you realize who the criminal is and it all starts to make sense, and then you want to read the book all over again to spot the red-herrings. The Perks of Being a Wallflower gave me this impression, because at first, I couldn’t quite see what message Charlie was trying to put across and in the end, everything became clear.

It was just amazing. I think everyone should read this book (of a certain age, because it’s quite inappropriate for younger children) because it makes you reconsider things and become more appreciative of life. It also makes you see things in life that you never saw before.

I give this book five stars because it is so well-written and moving:

five star



28 thoughts on “Review: The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

  1. irena_bookdustmagic says:

    Beautiful Review, Poppy!
    Perks of being a wallflower is actually my all-time favorite movie, but I still haven’t read the book.
    I’ve been putting it off for years now bc I heard that the movie is so much better, but I’ll get to it at some point…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Donna says:

    What a fab review! It’s been on my wishlist for ages now, but the comments saying it was a sad story have prevented me from buying it until now. Your review had me change my mind and I will be reading this soon 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Poppy says:

      Thank you so much Donna! Yeah, I was the same for a while, but I definitely think that it all depends on how you interpret the story, what feelings you get from it. I’d love to hear what you think about it, when you’ve read it. 🙂


  3. Grab the Lapels says:

    Is there actually someone reading the letters Charlie writes, or is that a spoiler to answer? I like that quote about getting the love we deserve, though the famous quote is from Joseph de Maistre, who wrote in 1811 “Every nation gets the government it deserves.” Scary business if you live in the U.S. right now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Poppy says:

      Thank you so much, Loana! I really appreciate that. 🙂 I hope you enjoy the book if you read it, and I do think that you will be impressed if you like good writing, because it is beautifully written. 🙂


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