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The Perks of Being a Wallflower
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on March 2, 2013
I am 74 years old. The world is different now; there are more risks and more choices than when I was 15, but this movie reminded me of what it felt like to be 15 and 16 in 1954 and 1955. In those days homework was accompanied by radio with Rock and Roll music thanks to Alan Fried, Ranger hockey against Maurice Richard, and Gene Shepard,the best story teller of all time. Most of us had after school jobs which gave us enough spending money to begin making choices independent of our parents, and every day we left home and entered the world alone, with very little confidence but with the hope that everything was going to work out. Watching Charlie going through his day, observing the antics of his friends and trying to make sense of it all, brought tears to my eyes. The beauty of the movie is that it captures the universal experience of adolescence, and fortunately, as difficult as the experience may be, just like Charlie, most of us make it through.
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on May 8, 2017
Amazing movie for all ages, I can't believe I hadn't seen this movie until now. One of my all time favorites
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on December 12, 2017
This is one of the most powerful books that I have read. Stephen Chbosky is an insanely talented writer who has the ability to capture some very real life situations, and tackle the emotional complexity of all of the different situations that The Perks of Being a Wallflower cover. This is one of the best books that I have read, and I would recommend it to anyone.
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on November 13, 2015
This book works well as a book for adults. (It's meant to be a book for young adults, but I am not sure that I would want my son reading it.)

The whole thing can be read through in about 4 hours.

The epistolary format of the book was very novel (the only other person that has used it that I can think of has been Alice Walker in The Color Purple)

The prose was very pithy, humorous, and engaging-- but the events and dates in each letter do both date the book.

Verdict: Recommended.
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on May 12, 2017
My wife and I stumbled across this movie and loved it. It a great coming of age movie that works through all the social awkwardness of trying to fit in. It is a powerful, emotional story with great twists. Highly recommend.
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on August 18, 2017
I felt like I could relate to several things Charlie was going through because I am also a people pleaser. I also appreciated the lecture Sam gave him, because those are also the values that have brought me success in my life. It also made me appreciate being raised with values and being taught to stand firm with those values. They kept me away from a lot of heartache.
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on March 7, 2017
Nice and easy reading. The story is so captivating! Once you start reading, you can not stop doing it. The main character is so well defined, that he is driving you almost crazy along the storyline! I saw the movie first, but the book was so appealing I couldn't help buying it. I love the story, and all the characters in it.
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on May 12, 2016
There aren't many novels that grip me to the point that I devour them in one sitting, but this was one of those. I laughed, I cried, and I sat gasping in my chair, stunned, as it came to a close. Chbosky's rendering of a 1990s teenager's mind is pitch-perfect, never resorting to overplayed angst or self-consciousness. Charlie is one of the most unflinchingly honest narrators you are likely to encounter in modern fiction, and following his journey into adulthood is a richly moving and evocative experience. The final moments of the book came as a punch to the gut, but the writer's touch is so deft that 'Wallflower' ends up being a deeply redemptive book. It should be required reading for all Generation X-ers and those who wish to understand them. Favourable comparisons to "The Catcher In The Rye" have been made by literary critics, and they are valid, even if Salinger's narrator is outwardly the complete opposite of Chboksy's. This is, in short, a wonderful book, and one that deserves all the accolades it has received.
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on February 12, 2014
I made the mistake of watching the film first. It was quite extraordinary, though it's very faithful (since the author wrote and directed it), and has taken all the suspense out of the book.

And yet I'm loving it anyway, which is quite the feat.

The writing is beautiful, vivid and above all candid, moving and insightful. The voice is perfect.

I've heard this described as Young Adult. What a stupid, pointless label. I'm sure it DOES appeal to lots of young adults, and that's fine, but it's just as powerful for adults. (I'm 51, and I was this age once.)

Truly a work of art. Thank you Stephen Chbosky. I can't wait to dig into the rest of your work.
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on June 9, 2015
"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."

I know that I'm about 15 years late reading this, but I finally got around to reading The Perks Of Being A Wallflower. I made the mistake of watching the movie first, back in 2012, but I always figured I'd eventually get around to reading it once I started to forget specific details about the movie. To be honest, I didn't like this book as much as I was expecting to, but I think that's mainly due to the fact that a lot of people consider this their favorite YA book of all time, and everyone praises this book non-stop, so maybe I was expecting more. The greatest thing about this book are the quotes. This is probably one of the most quotable books I have ever read and I will probably fill this review with so many quotes. I tabbed the hell out of this book while reading it. I thought at times Charlie was a little immature, but I guess he is only 15 so I'm not really sure what to expect. Sam and Patrick were great side characters, and really amazing friends to Charlie. I think it's so important to have people like that in your life.

"You see things. You keep quiet about them. You understand. You're a wallflower."

I have always considered myself to be a "wallflower", which is probably why I enjoyed this book as much as I did. Throughout high school I was always a loner, I didn't really have any friends. Freshman year of high school was one of the hardest years of my life due to the fact that I felt completely alone, and this made me feel really nostalgic for that time. This book got to be very depressing at times and it was really hard to read because it took me back to the times in high school where I was really depressed. I felt a lot of the same loneliness and hopelessness that Charlie feels throughout the book. I haven't felt like that in a long time, so at times this book was difficult to read. This book deals with a lot of strong subject matter; rape, abuse, molestation, sex, suicide, and depression in general.

"I don't know if you've ever felt like that. That you wanted to sleep for ten thousand years. Or just not exist. Or just not be aware that you do exist. Or something like that."

The scary thing is I actually do know what he means. I used to feel that way all the time. Sometimes I still do. I relate so much to when he talks about seeing a couple and if you feel happy for them, it's good because it means you're happy too. If it makes you sad to see other couples, it's not because you're jealous, or you want them to be unhappy, but because you crave that same kind of happiness that is missing from your life. I just understand the things that Charlie goes through in this book. He was an extremely relatable character and this brought back so many not so great memories about high school, and things I absolutely hated about high school (especially freshman year).

"Have you ever done that? You feel really bad, and then it goes away, and you don't know why. I try to remind myself when I feel great like this that there will be another terrible week coming someday, so I should store up as many great details as I can, so during the next terrible week, I can remember those details and believe that I'll feel great again.

I think the reason why this book became so popular was because this book was the first of its kind. Now-a-days, it is not unusual to see these intense themes like rape, molestation, depression, and suicide in YA books. In fact, it's almost common. But back in 1999 when this book was published, I really do believe this book was pushing the limits and boundaries of Young Adult and has created something new. Reading this in 1999 would have been a completely different reading experience than reading this in 2015, because there was nothing this controversial in the 90's. Also, this book has quotes that are iconic, and connects with everyone in so many ways. One of my absolute favorites is; "We accept the love we think we deserve." It's just such a powerful quote and it's so true, and it still stands true 16 years later. This book will always be iconic and it will go on to become a classic, I'm sure of it. I'm happy that at the end of the day, this book does have a positive vibe. It was a long and depressing journey, but this book is definitely worth a read.

"And in that moment I swear, we were infinite."
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