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The Perks of Being a Wallflower [Kindle Edition]

Stephen Chbosky
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6,203 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.00
Kindle Price: $5.99
You Save: $8.01 (57%)
Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc

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Book Description

Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective…but there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor.

Since its publication, Stephen Chbosky’s haunting debut novel has received critical acclaim, provoked discussion and debate, grown into a cult phenomenon with over three million copies in print, spent over one year at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list, and inspired a major motion picture starring Logan Lerman and Emma Watson.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a story about what it’s like to travel that strange course through the uncharted territory of high school. The world of first dates, family dramas, and new friends. Of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Of those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up.


Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

What is most notable about this funny, touching, memorable first novel from Stephen Chbosky is the resounding accuracy with which the author captures the voice of a boy teetering on the brink of adulthood. Charlie is a freshman. And while's he's not the biggest geek in the school, he is by no means popular. He's a wallflower--shy and introspective, and intelligent beyond his years, if not very savvy in the social arts. We learn about Charlie through the letters he writes to someone of undisclosed name, age, and gender, a stylistic technique that adds to the heart-wrenching earnestness saturating this teen's story. Charlie encounters the same struggles that many kids face in high school--how to make friends, the intensity of a crush, family tensions, a first relationship, exploring sexuality, experimenting with drugs--but he must also deal with his best friend's recent suicide. Charlie's letters take on the intimate feel of a journal as he shares his day-to-day thoughts and feelings:

I walk around the school hallways and look at the people. I look at the teachers and wonder why they're here. If they like their jobs. Or us. And I wonder how smart they were when they were fifteen. Not in a mean way. In a curious way. It's like looking at all the students and wondering who's had their heart broken that day, and how they are able to cope with having three quizzes and a book report due on top of that. Or wondering who did the heart breaking. And wondering why.
With the help of a teacher who recognizes his wisdom and intuition, and his two friends, seniors Samantha and Patrick, Charlie mostly manages to avoid the depression he feels creeping up like kudzu. When it all becomes too much, after a shocking realization about his beloved late Aunt Helen, Charlie retreats from reality for awhile. But he makes it back in due time, ready to face his sophomore year and all that it may bring. Charlie, sincerely searching for that feeling of "being infinite," is a kindred spirit to the generation that's been slapped with the label X. --Brangien Davis

From Publishers Weekly

A trite coming-of-age novel that could easily appeal to a YA readership, filmmaker Chbosky's debut broadcasts its intentions with the publisher's announcement that ads will run on MTV. Charlie, the wallflower of the title, goes through a veritable bath of bathos in his 10th grade year, 1991. The novel is formatted as a series of letters to an unnamed "friend," the first of which reveals the suicide of Charlie's pal Michael. Charlie's response--valid enough--is to cry. The crying soon gets out of hand, though--in subsequent letters, his father, his aunt, his sister and his sister's boyfriend all become lachrymose. Charlie has the usual dire adolescent problems--sex, drugs, the thuggish football team--and they perplex him in the usual teen TV ways. [...] Into these standard teenage issues Chbosky infuses a droning insistence on Charlie's supersensitive disposition. Charlie's English teacher and others have a disconcerting tendency to rhapsodize over Charlie's giftedness, which seems to consist of Charlie's unquestioning assimilation of the teacher's taste in books. In the end we learn the root of Charlie's psychological problems, and we confront, with him, the coming rigors of 11th grade, ever hopeful that he'll find a suitable girlfriend and increase his vocabulary.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 3168 KB
  • Print Length: 226 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1451696191
  • Publisher: MTV Books (June 29, 2010)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003TSEEDY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,740 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
899 of 953 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Startling, Gripping, and Absolutely Honest June 30, 2000
By Emily
Format:Paperback
I read The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky, in April of my sophomore year at college. A friend lent it to me and I had read it within twelve hours. This book reaches inside of you and pulls everything to the surface. It is a beautiful and painful story about a 15 year old boy, Charlie, moving through his freshmen year of highschool. It is written in letter form to an unknown friend. Charlie is always completely honest, whether he is describing his first "beer" party where he witnessed a girl being raped by her boyfriend, or explaining masturbation and his excitement for this newfound "activity." Charlie is a wallflower who observes people and feels very deeply for the experiences occuring around him. His favorite Aunt Helen died in a car accident when he was six, and he holds himself accountable, and his best friend committed suicide a year before he began the letters. His English teacher realizes Charlie's potential and brilliance and asks him to try and participate, which Charlie agrees to do. He becomes friends with two seniors Patrick and Samantha and begins to experience dances, parties, the Rocky Horror Picture Show, pot, love, bad trips and sexuality. We feel exhilerated when Charlie describes his happy moments, and we are swallowed in pain when Charlie is overwhelmed by his depression. Charlie's realizations are eye opening for us, and we are so captivated and immersed in his life that his life and stories become a very real experience. This book is about moments, and being as much alive within each moment as possible. Read more ›
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169 of 192 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Going through the tunnel December 7, 1999
Format:Paperback
When I finished The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chybosky, I sat there in a stunned silence. The book was strongly powerful in a manner that diary or letter style books rarely achieve. There is usually a sense of implausibility in those types of books that Charlie's character completely negated. When trying to describe Charlie the mind suddenly reels, he's honest. Completely and utterly genuine in his perceptions and most of his actions. Charlie is also and emotional basket case that somehow manages to attract a special group of friends to him. A group of voluntary outcasts that go through the same problems teenagers face everywhere. Sex, drugs, relationships and acceptance figure heavily into everyone's lives, despite their personal beliefs on those subjects. I would like to mention Stephen's portrayal of Patrick, I was pleased to see the sbuject of homosexuality treated in such a plain manner. It was accepted as a fact and only the feelings invovled in the situations were important. I would recomment this book to a wide range of people, old or young, straight or gay, conservative or liberal. It was a pleasure to read and I enjoyed it immensely.
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109 of 128 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
I bought this book for my 13 year old daughter but wanted to read it first to see if it is appropriate It is a wonderfully written book in which Charlie, a deeply sensitive boy, finds true friends and learns to live, to love, to lose, and move on. The author gives this boy a voice and it's magnificent. I so appreciate Charlie's depth of emotions. I have a sensitive, emotional son and will want him to read this book in a couple years. Suicide, homosexuality, infatuation, deep deep friendships, finding yourself and re-finding yourself are all themes in this book. The author captures "moments" of adolescence -- those incredible high moments that might last just minutes -- and makes them so real. If only more kids could put a voice to these feelings. One reviewer doesn't think this book captures adolescence in the 90's -- I don't know because I'm a Mom . . . but I don't care. Charlie deals with drugs, smoking, drinking, messing up friendships, feeling alone, and uncovers family problems he has to deal with. And he deals with it as a young man who can stand back, look at it all, and make decisions about what he has experienced. I want my daughter to read it, maybe now or maybe in a couple years, for the hope it left me with. Charlie survived being hopelessly in love with one of his best friends. It hurt and he felt it and it didn't defeat him. With everything thrown at kids in jr. high and high school this book might just help them survive it a little more intact. I think I'm going to go talk to my kids right now . . . .
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well written, but somewhat cliched April 8, 2008
Format:Paperback
This review contains spoilers

OK, seriously, how I could pass up a book with a title like The Perks of Being a Wallflower? Especially after I read the back and it painted a picture of a shy, gawky and confused highschool kid who had to deal with similar issues that I did during that time?

Well, at least that's what I thought I'd be reading. It started out good enough. The writing is amusing, and some of the teenage "insights" were downright hilarious. There were also a few bits here and there that were amazingly well done and surprisingly painful.

However, taken as a whole, it's a bit too busy and I lost the believability near the end. I don't doubt that a great many intelligent kids have social difficulties in high school (I know that my own experiences were... suboptimal)...

However, the concept that, in the course of one year, a kid can learn about sex and masturbation, get addicted to tobacco, experiment with marijuana and LSD, overcome his own self-esteem problems, deal with child molestation, witness a rape, witness physical abuse, deal with an abortion, have his first drink, etc etc etc... well, it seems contrived. (As is the concept of a kid that gets to be freshman, knows about sex, but has never masturbated before.)

Let me just say that a person can be interesting and have emotional issues resulting from intelligence and poor social skills without having to have been physically or sexually abused. It gets tiresome to read books where such a situation either launches the character on their journey, or (in the case of this book) it becomes a surprise twist at the end.

This book would have been so much better had the kid just been a really bright kid who "didn't get it".
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing!
Amazing book, and I would definitely suggest the read. Totally worth the price. The movie is also great, but read the book first!!
Published 9 minutes ago by SuperJenn
5.0 out of 5 stars Though Brilliant and Provoking, May Not Be Suitable for All Readers
Although the story is a teen drama, it's a bold and dark book about sex, drugs, and abuse, not necessarily suitable for all teenage readers. Read more
Published 3 hours ago by Dustin K. Klein
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely one of my favorite books!
This book was sensational, it creates an overwhelming feelings of emotions for the reader. The characters were so real and the way the author has written them gives you an... Read more
Published 9 hours ago by Kelsea Wall
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A+
Published 15 hours ago by christ saenz
4.0 out of 5 stars The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Loved it . Such a compelling read. A wonderful innocence in this trusting sad boy. Would highly recommend it
Published 1 day ago by Ricci Lee
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Love it
Published 2 days ago by Cassandra Cass
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
came quickly and just as advertised
Published 2 days ago by susan
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent look at the range of activities that occur to ...
An excellent look at the range of activities that occur to varying degrees and frequencies at every high school. Read more
Published 2 days ago by Dougthewind
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Beautifully written book!!
Published 2 days ago by Paulaisfun
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is basically one of the best books ever
This book is basically one of the best books ever. Hands down. I feel like everyone in the world should probably read this. Read more
Published 4 days ago by Kailee Bright
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