Oh, welcome dear reader to another instalment of Rawan is a writing yet another book review!
This time, I’m reviewing the Newyork Times Bestseller, The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky!
I won’t say too much here in the intro, but I do wanna give you a note before you continue!
I’m reviewing all the books I read and scheduling them to post at a later time, so when you’re reading this, I’ve probably read this book months ago.
Now to the review!
Publication Date: February 1st 1999
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Publisher: MTV Books and Pocket Books
Page Count: 232 pages
Charlie is a freshman.
And while he’s not the biggest geek in the school, he is by no means popular. Shy, introspective, intelligent beyond his years yet socially awkward, he is a wallflower, caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it.
Charlie is attempting to navigate his way through uncharted territory: the world of first dates and mix tapes, family dramas and new friends; the world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite. But he can’t stay on the sideline forever. 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.
- This is kind of a classic to most book readers, and I always get this surprised face when I say that I’ve never read it. So when I was at the bookstore, I decided to pick up the beautiful UK cover.
I kind of went into this whole book with completely no knowledge about what it was gonna be, but I really did like it more that way.
I completely fell in love with this by the 10th page or something. It’s just the humour and looking at life from the perspective of this 15/16-year-old boy in the 90s.
I burst out laughing so many times while reading this because there are moments when Charlie is just so clueless, like when he ate a couple weed cakes by accident and got stoned, or when he found out that he can…. pleasure himself…
He just has this strange innocence to him that you just can’t overcome without laughing your ass off!
I also loved that we get to read the book in the form of letters that he sends to this anonymous reader. You never really get to discover who Charlie is sending these letters to, but I concluded that he’s indirectly sending them to us, the readers. It would be really smart of Stephen Chbosky to envelop the reader into this whole world that he’s created for us.
I also like nothing in here is outrageous. It’s like most of the books I’ve read so far have just amplified everything into this huge drama fest, just why. This book is just so beautifully accurate and parallel to the modern real world.
I also found out that I love to read books set in the late 80s and early 90s, like Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell or this. They’re not really historical fiction, just not in the 2000s.
My only criticism is that we don’t really get much closure at the end. It’s kind of an anti-climactic ending for me, I don’t know if that’s how everybody feels.
It’s like he was building up this grand ending, but we kind of end on a flat note, I was kind of just frustrated by that.
Now for the character analysis section! For this, I chose Charlie, Sam, Patrick, Charlie’s sister, Charlie’s brother, and Brad.
First off, we have Charlie, the protagonist. Oh, is he a relatable character for all of us. We’ve all been a Charlie once, even if we didn’t notice it.
He’s gone through it all; he’s mourned over his friend’s suicide, lamented over his aunt’s death, dealt with his sister being abused and aborting her baby, his brother leaving for college and falling in love with a girl he can’t have.
He’s a clean slate when he enters high school, but then he’s introduced into the world of drugs, drinking and sex. He’s still Charlie, but he grows to be a different Charlie by the end of the book. And I couldn’t ask for better character development.
Next, we have Sam… Oh, Sam. I don’t really know how to describe Sam. Maybe infinite or carefree. She’s the girl you’ll probably see in the vintage store just looking around, or in the park walking while having a smoke or something. You get what I’m saying, she just gives off this vibe.
Now on to Sam’s brother, Patrick. If you’ve read Will Grayson, Will Grayson then you know Tiny, and I can’t get over the fact that Patrick reminds me of him. It’s not just the fact that they’re both gay, it’s kind of their personalities and how they react to shit.
He’s kind of the funny free spirited, helplessly in love kind of guy. He fell in love with the wrong guy that was just not ready to get out of the closet, which completely just ruined their relationship.
I feel like even if Patrick is heartbroken and is only holding on to his sanity by a thread, he’d still crack a joke to lighten up the whole mood, and we really get to see that in the end.
Now on to Charlie’s sister, who we don’t know the name of, but we do know some basic info about her. (1) She’s older than Charlie -a senior in high school. (2) She’s a feminist. (3) She’s rebellious, but with limits (4) She’s really smart -valedictorian of her class.
She does get into a lot of drama with her boyfriends throughout this book, which kind of bugs me. First, she got into a fight with her first boyfriend, where he hit her. He laid his hand on her. He slapped her. I just want to stress that point. And she stayed with him! THE HELL?! That was something that really just pissed me off about her. AND SHE’S SUPPOSED TO BE A FEMINIST!
Later, she gets pregnant (with the same abusive boyfriend, who breaks up with her when he finds out), but gets an abortion straight after she finds out.
This just really irritates the feminist in me, because if that son of a bitch hits you, you bolt out of there after you give him the middle finger. No looking back. Be a strong woman and stand up for yourself.
Yeah, that’s all I have to say about her for now…
Next, we have Charlie’s brother, who we again, don’t know the name of. But we do know that he plays on the pro football team, that’s kind of all we know about him, even though he is mentioned quite a lot in the book.
I think that he’s kind of the stereotypical older jock brother, so most of the readers can relate to him or compare him to somebody that they know.
He does go through some character development throughout, which is really good because that’s what I love to see in books: how a character can change into the real them, instead of what they used to put on as a show.
Oh, Brad. Brad, Brad, Brad, I started off loving him, then hated him, then just feeling plain sorry for him. He’s still in the closet but ‘dates’ Patrick, which causes his father to have a huge outbreak when he does find out that his son is gay and shit.
Brad then acts like a complete ass to Patrick, blah blah blah. He’s a coward that couldn’t stand up for himself and the guy that he loved.
My favourite character of all is gonna have to be Charlie or Patrick. And I think that I have to mention that I totally ship Sam and Charlie, just so you know.
I really don’t wanna spoil it for you by telling you if they end up together, but I will tell you there is a kiss scene between them (or two….)
I gave this 5/5 stars on GoodReads!