The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Chbosky, S. (1999). The perks of being a wallflower. New York: Pocket Books.

Age Range: 16+

Rating: 4/5

Written as a series of letters, fifteen-year-old Charlie is nervous about starting his freshman year of high school. He befriends Patrick and Sam, stepsiblings in their senior year. Charlie is introverted, shy, and struggling with undiagnosed mental health issues that makes “participating” in everyday activities difficult. He spends a good portion of the book standing on the sidelines, either being hyper- or un-aware of his surroundings and wondering “what is wrong with him”, which is relatable to any reader whether or not they have similar diagnoses.  This book deals with very mature themes: sexual abuse, recreational drug use, homophobia, and unsafe sex practices such as “cruising” in the park. Charlie’s writing drastically improves throughout the novel, which is an interesting stylistic choice.

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