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Showing 1-10 of 6,723 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 9,100 reviews
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 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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on June 8, 2016
Wow. This book had so many different levels and was really well-written. It follows a very smart freshman in high school who is a wallflower (surprise!). He's an introvert, prefers to watch than participate, reads a lot, doesn't have many friends. Two seniors take him under their wing, and this book follows his first encounters with drugs, alcohol, sex, and other social aspects of high school. In that journey, he uncovers more about himself than he or I really expected to.

This book is written from the freshman's point of view, almost as a diary, and I think his way of over-analyzing everything made it seem so real. I remember doing very similar things as a kid (and even sometimes now). Remembering every word someone has said, wondering why they had used some words instead of others. Taking things a little too literally sometimes.

For a while throughout the book, it didn't feel like there was much of a plot. This boy was going throughout his days, trying new things, talking about his feelings, exposing himself to the reader. It was entertaining and raw, but I didn't know where it was going or how this was going to wrap into a cohesive story with an ending that felt like an ending. In the final pages, you uncover this secret that's been hidden between the lines the whole time, but I never noticed it was there. It's one of those things where, you uncover the truth, and you want to reread the story now that you know where it goes. Definitely worth reading!
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on April 11, 2017
I will admit that I had a hard time getting into this book. I don't know if it is because I am 45, but I could not relate to Charlie much at all. However, my student teacher is teaching it, so I forced myself to go on. I felt it got better as it went along. Charlie never seemed as authentic as I felt he should be. For one thing, his writing style did not match what a "genius" would write. I also had a problem with his constant crying. I understand why he did, and I don't have a problem with boys crying, but it seemed like he only cried, but never tried to find a way to fix things or even figure out why he was crying. However, I think teens will like this book, or at least appreciate it. I like Chris Crutcher books better.
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on November 17, 2013
I agree with another reviewer, Stephen Chbosky's film should have won several Oscars, from screenplay to directing to acting. All three of the primary actors, Logan Lerman, Ezra Miller and Emma Watson were at their best in this film. Logan Lerman's Charlie is miraculous. For such a young actor to understand the power of minimalism is astonishing. I've watched the film several times, and I can't help noticing Lerman's actorly stillness. He knows that less is more, and because he seemingly does nothing, he inadvertently steals every scene he's in. It's a good stealing because Lerman is not out to steal, his attention exquisitely focused on the other actors. Their scenes are a fine example of ensemble acting. No one is out to hog a scene. Ezra Miller is an astounding actor who completely embodies the role of Patrick. He was born for this role. Emma Watson is so believable as an American senior in high school, her British accent left in England. And Logan Lerman, he too was born for the role of Charlie. His acting is all in the face, in the eyes, in the mouth. He actually listens to his friends, he looks at them, offering them himself in acts of exquisite attention, so it is no wonder that he knows exactly what to give them on Christmas. He knows his friends. Yes, the major theme to Chbosky's film is friendship, beautifully underscored in three powerful scenes, the Kissing scenes. The first scene involves Sam and Charlie. Sam has been sexually abused by men and boys. Her first kiss stolen by her father's boss when she was a mere girl. She wants something far more magical for her friend Charlie. She tells Charlie that she wants his first kiss to come from someone who loves him. She loves him, a love the Greeks would call Philia (friendly). When she kisses Charlie, she is not aware yet that Charlie's love for her is of another kind, what the Greeks would describe as Eros (romantic). Later in the film, Sam and Charlie kiss again on Sam's bed, but this time both experience romantic love, Eros (erotic). Then there is the kiss between Patrick and Charlie.
In this scene, Patrick is dejected, for he has been rejected by his male lover Brad. He wonders if he will ever meet and love a good man, and just as he articulates this, he turns and there sitting next to him is a good person. And he impulsively kisses Charlie. He instantly realizes his mistake and says, "I'm sorry." But no problem. Charlie accepts Patrick's display of love. He has already been the recipient of love from both Patrick and his step-sister Sam. It was Patrick who invited Charlie to sit with him at the football game. It was Patrick and Sam who accepted Charlie on the dance floor, forming a circle while they danced. It was Patrick and Sam who brought Charlie to his first party. This brother and sister invited Charlie into life, urging him to "participate." Charlie, therefore, loves them unconditionally, a love the Greeks call Agape. Agapetic loves does not judge, it accepts another with no strings attached. Charlie loves Patrick, and his response to Patrick's apology is simply, "It's okay."
The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a beautiful film, and it will survive. A Wonderful Life was not honored when it first came out, but it is now watched by millions every Christmas. And what are the perks of being a wallflower? To love and to be loved. Nothing can beat that!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you Mr. Chbosky!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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on December 23, 2014
About The Perks of a Wallflower. This isn't an appraisal of the movie. I've only read the book, and certain portions of it are decidedly rated -X. Sexual references might as well have been less explicit, and would still have served their function of setting up a rather surprise ending. It's about a somewhat introverted individual who as a high school student comes to discover, through occasional therapy and mostly experiences with friends that he's carrying around some sub-conscious psychological issues which result in disassociative pre-cognitive defense mechanisms that interfere with normal social and interpersonal relationships.

O.K. I got sucked into reading it by the title (There were supposed to be perks? What perks?) I can only guess that it made it past the screen writers to become a feature film because they envisioned nubile sexually obsessed teens acting out the bizarre behaviors of the characters. The protagonist is a geek, but his friends, being a bit senior, if not so mature treat him decently. I think the movie turned up in one of my recommendations because actress Emma Watson plays the pretty girl he's got a crush on. The characters come across as believable, but nobody I'd want to emulate.

If I take any moral (or) lesson from these accounts, it's just a variation on the theme that most of us would much rather sound off with a friend to critique, instead of a mental pathologist obsessed with uncovering new venues of deviance. Charlie, the protagonist has a best friend who's gay. He's not the one who kills himself. He's the giver of hospitality. His step sister is Charlie's crush. But the real entertainment is reading about Charlie's family. If it weren't for the obligatory pornography that modern authors toss in to titillate the publishers, I would have said four-star rating.
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on March 8, 2017
When this book debuted in 1999, I was working in a large chain bookstore and I was the one to unpack it. With the original green cover and simple text "MTV Books" I was intrigued enough that I read it immediately. I loved it. I came of age in the early 90s myself (like Charlie) and this book is so true to life and authentic. It remains a favorite. The film was so good, I was pleasantly surprised and less so upon finding that Chbosky had a heavy hand in its creation. I recently purchased this for a friend's teenage daughter at her request and am excited to see how she likes it.
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on July 22, 2015
I have to admit that I wasn't interested in this book until I saw the trailer for the movie adaptation of it. Once I did decide to read it, I wasn't too sure what I was going to find inside it's odd cover.

I was thrown off a little at first because it's written a letter-like form. I got into it quickly, however, and almost read the entire book in one sitting.

The books rawness intrigued and captivated me in the same way as books like Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. There's a realness to the story and the characters that sometimes make me wonder if they're based on real people and events.

The book was very well written and the story was amazing. The Perks of Being a Wallflower had me chuckling at times and tearing up during others. I am dying to see the movie now. (Note: I wrote this review right when the movie came out. I have since seen and it was awesome.)

Rating: 4 Stars.
Characters: Charlie, Sam & Patrick.
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on May 13, 2017
The Perks of Being a Wallflower, both the book and the movie, were, to say the least, life changing. Of course the book is always better, but the movie was still great. The movie did clear up the ending (no spoilers, I swear) because I didn't really get what happened to Charlie and it ended abruptly. Ezra Miller was phenomenal and his performance in the Rocky Horror Picture Show slayed my entire existence. My family didn't stop talking about it for days. I'd say it is suitable for kids 12 or 13+ depending on their level of maturity because of drugs and some traumatic experiences described. Please, for my sake, watch the movie.
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on April 9, 2017
To say I loved this book would be an understatement. To say that this story opens your heart would not do it justice. Charlie's coming of age story of his life is a familiar one. You may not have been the super introverted teen but maybe you did possess some awkwardness. You may not have lost your best friend but perhaps you've been around death. You may not have been molested but you struggled with your emotions at some point. The point is, the story is so relevant that it can be tailored to any individual's life. I've experienced this novel three separate times across 3 stages of my life, having a different perspective each time. I've experienced this novel as an introverted high schooler, as a depressed adult in my early twenties, and then again right before I became a graduate student. I've since listened to the audiobook an additional three times and I've seen the movie more times than I can recall. The story can be heartwarming and yet concerning. At times you'll feel so empathetic for Charlie that your hear is tearing out of your chest. You can feel what he feels. And you want for him what you feel he's so deserving of. No matter what stage of your life you're in, whether you're 15 or 45, you can place yourself in a similar situation that will have its own consequences, it's own repercussions, or its own triumph. And you will become instilled which a greater self-confidence and apprecitation for what you're doing in your own life, or what you wish to achieve, or what you're trying to dig yourself out from. This story exudes a sense of clarity through you, and you recognize that as it slowly moves along.
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