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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 October 23, 2017
I adored how this book was written because you were reading from a personal point of view.
The letter/ journal style writing was endearing and insightful and the main character enough to break your heart, especially as you learned what he had been through. So many brilliant minds do not fit into the mainstream so they are bullied, picked on or considered slower than their peers when in fact they are light years beyond.
This is a heartfelt and raw view into what its like to be in high school and trying to figure out who you are and how you relate to the world. Absolutely loved this book!
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on December 14, 2016
The Perks Of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, will make you laugh hysterically, cry uncontrollably, and go through a rollercoaster ride full of emotions as young teenager Charlie Kelmeckis searches for where he belongs in the world and figures out how to deal with his mental illness. Friendship, learning how to cope with grief, and growing up are large themes displayed in this short and simple, yet powerful and effective novel. Important lessons also are included in this book. Moving on with life is one of the major lessons presented. “Because things change, and friends leave, and life doesn't stop for anything” I would strongly recommend this book to teenagers due to the fact that Chbosky writes about many modern day issues teens are faced with today, such as: drugs, alcohol, depression, independence, and high school relationships. Although his way of writing is simple, Stephen Chbosky does a magnificent job in conveying the personalities of his characters and themes. Reading The Perks Of Being A Wallflower is something you won't regret. So many valuable and touching lessons about life, love, and friendship from a young teenager’s perspective will leave you stunned and wanting to read Chbosky’s novel again and again.
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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 August 29, 2015
As a fifty year old male. I am not the target audience for this book, but I still found it enjoyable. Charlie is a strong voice for the y generation. I can still remember what is is like to be that shy, sensitive loner kid and how wonderful it is to find people you fit in with. Charlie is a troubled kid and we find out he is rightfully so. Some may hate me for saying this but I see Charlie as a modern Holden Caulfield. The Author's choice to tell the story in a letter writing format is not original, but it is sometimes difficult to pull off. I think he does pull it off masterfully. Really enjoyed it.
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on May 6, 2017
This movie was so good. The soundtrack was great. The acting was great. The plot was great.The relationships between characters, their arcs, their acting--all wonderful. I was so happy to watch this and hope to do so again soon.
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on January 24, 2016
I loved this book.

I picked it up after watching the movie (rare form for someone who is a reader first and a moviegoer second), expecting something different than what I got. There are a few things that you need to know before deciding whether or not this book is for you.

First, the book is very short. It's heavy due to the quality of the paper (incredible!), but it's a particularly short little book. I like this because the format made it more difficult for me to read and the length of the book allowed me to get through it faster than I might have otherwise.

Second, the book is written in a second-person narrative through the letters of Charlie to an unknown recipient.

Third, that it is set in the nineties, and the author does an amazing job of capturing the feel of this decade throughout the writing. The reader may be immersed entirely in a new timeline. Chbosky did a wonderful job of making me feel that I was in the decade in which I (like Charlie) graduated from high school.

I think that this third point was my favorite thing about this book, though there are many things that I loved about it.

I loved the fact that the epistolary format allowed me to read one or two small chunks at a time, making the book more manageable since second person is difficult for me to read.

I loved the fact that Chbosky captured the nineties as well as he did. It's not so much that it's a difficult decade as that it's not often done.

I loved the way that Chbosky wove the central storyline throughout the book instead of rushing straight ahead with it. In so many ways this is the story of the life of a fourteen-year-old high school freshman, his struggles, the things that he goes through an that he deals with, but the underlying storyline is huge, and the author does an amazing job of revealing it slowly, the way that a teenager might do in a series of letters to a stranger.

Charlie's struggles are real, things that every teenager grows up with, regardless of the time in which they group up. He struggles with immature love for an older girl, with uncontrollable rage, with frustration, with his relationships with his sister and brother and with his parents. He is one of the most relatable characters I've ever read about in what may be considered a "young adult" novel.

I cannot recommend this book enough. It's incredible!

My only complaint is that I struggle with this type of format. I'm not fond of the letters, and though it works for this particular novel, I struggle to read it for long periods of time, which meant that I couldn't sit down and read this book from cover to cover the way that I might otherwise have done.
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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 September 22, 2016
I read perks of being a wallflower as a book choice for English class. The way Stephan Chbosky portrays characters in the novel is extremely talented and amazing. The main character Charlie shows and tells all of the things many never speak about during a coming of age period which is maybe why this is a banned book. This is by far one of my favorite books ever. How Chosbosy has Charlie speak of his experiences makes him seem young and immature which I believe was the best way to wright the book. The lessons in the book are something very teen or even a parent should read because understanding what teens go through is a hard task but in the novel Charlie writes some of the most wise quotes ever. One if the most important quotes to me was "We accept the love we think we deserve". This is only relating to dating it has meaning for family, friends and just love in general. I would recommend this book to everyone because at one time someone was a teen who may have been struggling or growing up which is truly one of the hardest things to do.
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on September 12, 2014
Loved it. Like "the fault in our stars" I tore through this one in 2 days. This is a book that will take you through the american high school growing up experience. It doesn't attempt to avoid any part of it, which is why it is often found on banned book lists at schools. I think it is easy to see why (though the author is apparently surprised). There is drug use, there is sexual stuff, some violence. Having said that, I don't think it is a book that emphasizes any of it, but simply acknowledges: these things are a part of the culture.

I really appreciate that this book does not overhype any part of life. It is not trying to sell you anything and that is so refreshing.

The story is set up as a character named charlie writing letters to a more mature person he has never met, a person who "listens and understands and doesn't try to sleep with people just because you could have." Someone describes charlie as being a "wallflower" --a person who observes things and doesn't participate. He tries and begins to participate a bit more often. He finds a group of friends that is something like the 90's equivalent of the modern "hipster" crowd, who likes to listen to music, read books, is not inclined towards pop culture, experiments with some drugs and alcohol.

This book is full of observations on the american culture from a wallflower perspective- someone who is in it, but observing it as much as participating in it. In retrospect it is beautiful for taking a calm look at it, not worried, but seeing what is there.

This book would be most valuable to the adolescents who are going through, and about to go through the experiences described. They will know that there are many parts that are socially constructed and they should know it is all a phase and to feel confident in who they are, there is more to life than what you experience as an adolescent. Experience that time, don't miss it, but be yourself, even if there is no immediate popularity, you will be fine.

Some parents would feel nervous about some of the topics in the book. But to be honest, that is life. I'm reminded of a certain man from Galilee who was eventually killed saying "don't worry about your life" and a certain hobbit from the shire saying "it's dangerous business to walk out your front door" ... it is. There are great experiences and ones that hurt and are sad. That's life. This book is a snapshot of life. If I continue to work with this age group, I will often recommend it.
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