Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Audiobook / Banned Book / TBR Pile: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky is about a freshman in high school, Charlie, who naturally distances himself from what is happening around him. In an effort to start participating more in life, Charlie introduces himself to a couple of seniors at a football game, and his life begins to change almost immediately.

(pictures in this post taken from Goodreads)

First Impression: I was pretty disappointed with the first CD of this book. I guess I don't understand the wallflower mentality very well. As much as I observe people, I also participate very actively in life. I don't think Charlie would be quite this naive at his age in reality. He might not have tried drugs, but he would understand what is in the brownie he's eating at a party with strangers. Likewise, he would know of things such as sex and masturbation even if he hasn't done them. That being said, I'm at a point where the book is starting to get better.

(movie cover)

Conclusion: There is always danger in reading a book about which you've heard a lot. Not if people say it's just okay, I guess, but if they tell you it was amazing and completely changed their lives...BEWARE. My reason for saying this is that I liked this book, but it didn't change my life. There are a lot of important issues that Chbosky brings into play with his characters, and he represents certain high school experiences very well. My two problems with the book were pretty small: 1)When a serious and complicated issue was introduced (such as teen pregnancy or abusive relationships), sometimes it was dealt with quickly and never mentioned again; and 2) Charlie was naive about a lot of things he would have known in reality (drug awareness programs existed in the 90's, people!). These were not very big deals in the general scheme of things. Anyway, this was a good book about being a teenager and dealing with some of the things you don't expect or deserve from life, good or bad.

Recommendation: If you have a teenager or enjoy teenage books about understanding one's life and the world, this is a good book for you. I would also recommend that you be comfortable with and prepared for discussions of drugs, sex, and abuse.

This book is my fourth 2015 Audiobook Challenge read, my fifth read for the 2015 Banned Book Challenge, and my ninth read for the 2015 TBR Pile Challenge.


  1. I've dallied with the idea of reading this for a while now. I was very naive as a teen, and have generally been shy and retiring, so I'd probably relate to the protag a lot. One of these days...

    1. You should read it; it really is good. Don't try to relate to the main character too much, though, because there are other things going on with him that I would hope you haven't experienced. It's pretty short. Maybe you could find time between a couple of your longer books?

    2. Hee, okay, thanks for the warning :-) I'll have to see if it's in at the library next time I'm there.