Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

From American Library Association 
I read this in support of Banned Books Week and, a long time ago, I'd bought it as off Amazon's Essential Teen Reads, because I like reading books on lists.  Also, they just made it into a movie with Emma Watson (Harry Potter) and Logan Lerman (Hoot, The Lightning Thief). And it's short.

It's about this kid, Charlie, who's entering his freshman year of high school and he has no friends. He's writing a letter to someone that he doesn't know personally but feels he can trust. And he's just letting us know what's going on. And you can tell there's something different about Charlie, you just don't know what. He seems to either get very emotional easily or he doesn't understand the emotional nuances of others around him.

And, you're thinking, "KB, but what did you think of the book?" Honestly, I don't know. All the while I was reading it, I kept trying to figure out how they would make this into a movie that kids could see. It's so emotionally honest and open. You feel punched in the face and sometimes you don't know what to think about what's happening. And maybe that's what Chbosky wanted. For you to feel what Charlie is going through. Losing a friend. Being alone. Not knowing how to "participate". Trying to be a friend.

I just finished the book, and the ending was a doozy. But Charlie says that's not why he is the way he is. That sometimes we just are. He tells a great story about two brothers who make opposite choices based on the same influence. I loved the dad and the mom in the book. They were a part of the story and they supported their kids.

Have you read this? What did you think?

Here's Stephen Chbosky participating in a Banned Books Virtual Read Out

And here's a Timeline Celebrating 30 years of FREADom


  1. I just read this last week, I liked it and I definitely see why it is such an important book to so many people, but I can't say it was one of my favorites. The emotions were really well done, but there was just so much ANGST. It almost seems like every possible problem that could ever befall a teen was in this one short book. It's definitely a book I want older teens to read, though. I feel like Charlie is a character a lot of people can relate to.

  2. Ah! That's it! It was TOO much. I liked it a lot but it was overwhelming for such a short book!

  3. I'm not a fan. I know some people just LOVE it, but it just didn't click for me.


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