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Being A Wallflower Is Good

author
Maria Johnson
• Tuesday, 18 May, 2021
• 34 min read

When Stephen Chomsky's book “Perks of Being a Wallflower was made into a film in 2012, the controversial coming-of-age tale resonated with many audience members. Chomsky created a fictitious band of characters with the focus on young Charlie, an isolated high school freshman who is trying to find friends and ends up finding them within a bunch of senior class misfits.

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Contents

Many teenagers and young adults find that being a wallflower is the worst thing they can possibly be. Often comparing it to being a nobody or a loser, being a wallflower is one of the least desired statuses on a school campus.

Being an observant person does not mean you are antisocial, have no friends or lack social skills. Everyone’s comfort levels vary, and it is okay if someone enjoys watching people dance at a party instead of doing the “Cupid Shuffle” routine themselves.

True, Charlie’s story takes place in the 1990s, so a friends list would have been a foreign concept, but the idea remains the same no matter the time period. Charlie had one good friend who passed away, then entered high school without having anyone.

Being a wallflower means that people do not see you and that they often dismiss you as being part of the backdrop. Urban Dictionary, the hub of accurate definitions, defines a wallflower as “often some of the most interesting people if one actually talks to them.” The misconceptions that wallflowers are nobodies, losers or dweebs is beginning to change -- a part of this change can be credited to Chomsky for penning Charlie’s story.

Report this Content This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator. I am critiquing this book, based on my own opinions, personal taste, experiences and perspective, criteria and standards for literary work.

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I mean no disrespect to the people who like this book, and who have found in it something of value. I am critiquing this book, based on my own opinions, personal taste, experiences and perspective, criteria and standards for literary work.

I mean no disrespect to the people who like this book, and who have found in it something of value. You are as entitled to your own opinion, subjective reading experience, and standards, as I am, and yours is just as valid.

The knowledge that I have of some issues handled in this book, and the real people I’ve met working in this field, of course affects how I view the book, and is actually one of the reasons I think, that the way this book was written isn't a very good approach to or description of some of these very real issues. I want to underline that I look at Charlie as a written character, not a real person, and I value the book as a literary piece of work, not as a real life story.

To me, there is a huge difference between the two. That doesn't make my opinion anymore 'right' it is only to explain where I am coming from. Some of the things that matter most to me in books are prose/writing style, storytelling and message.

It’s one of the things that can make or break a book for me. In this case, the writing style just didn't work for me. It was just too lacking. Maybe it's the whole premise of the book, a story narrated by someone who is emotionally inhibited as Charlie, that didn't work for me? I find it a bit concerning, that Chomsky wrote a book with so many serious issues like suicide, death, rape, social exclusion/inclusion, relationship violence, abortion, drugs, homosexual adventures, child molestation/incest, parties, fights, without really dealing with any one of them in depth.

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To have all of these issues crammed into one book, without giving it the time and place it deserves, I felt, was a huge fault. I had a hard time stomaching that both Chomsky and the characters seemed to care so little, for something that is so very real and so very difficult, for so many people.

It was almost making a mockery of them, which was very off-putting to me. The staccato writing and Charlie’s detached narrating, made me feel detached as well. The story is written in a very plain, very dull, very simple language, with the same sentences reoccurring over and over (e.g. The portrayals of Charlie and everyone else in the story was so lacking that they felt like cardboard cutouts and simply came off as what they were; made up characters in a fictional story (and not a very good one at that if you ask me).

Again, I would have wished for some more in-depth exploration of why and what is the basis of this, to better be able to understand and relate to Charlie’s character. Charlie also cries a lot, which wouldn’t be a problem, if it was more nuanced described.

I want to be taken behind the tears, into the pool they stem from, the pain they are a symptom of and maybe a release from? But when it comes to a literary work, I expect the author to give more nuanced descriptions of feelings than just bucketful of tears.

And I wonder if all the crying came down to Chomsky simply not knowing how else to describe emotions, or how explore them. There is the fact that he suffered from childhood trauma, and then there is whether or not Charlie might be autistic.

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The latter is hinted at and up for interpretation, but never explicitly stated/diagnosed. The autistic spectrum is a varied one, and it comes in many forms, very few fitting the standard, but classic ‘trainman’ syndrome of a very intelligent but socially closed off person. It’s admirable to want to write about autism, a difficult diagnosis to live with, sure.

Don’t glamorize or deride it, but show its many layers and nuances through the particulars and the concrete. It was left at the end as an easy way out, like 'hey, he suffered/suffers from this and so I'm excused for writing a terribly boring book'. No. Whatever made Charlie the way he is, it doesn’t compensate for how the story was written and pulled off. To me, it's really besides the point, since I don’t base my rating/review on pity for a character.

SO whether Charlie has any form of autism or not, doesn't really matter, because I thought he and the story was very poorly written. Note (November 2013): I recently saw the movie, and thought it was better than the book. Maybe because it fixed some of the issues I had with the book, like it left some drama llama out, and it wasn't as heavily centered on Charlie's narration and perspective, and emotions and reactions was expressed through expressions instead of just (bad) writing.

Stephen Chomsky’s epistolary novel has something of a cult following, and the quotes that litter the internet seem almost anthem, given the passion with which they are re-blogged, quoted, slapped across artfully light-leaked photographs and “liked”. A generation appears to have adopted The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and by extension it’s narrator Charlie, as a sort of symbol of the experience of adolescence.

Frequently criticized and challenged, Perks seems to offer its devoted fans a sense of connection, of understanding, of honesty about things left unspoken, or whispered behind hands and closed doors. This book speaks to the sense of alienation that many teens experience, the questions of who they are and where they belong.

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I know my reading tastes quite well by now and I no longer feel the need to read books based on any kind of social or intellectual cachet apparently attached to them. So I confess to a little chagrin at the realization that I don’t hate this book.

While some issues and content in Perks may seem less groundbreaking now, more than a decade after its initial publication, I think it’s fair to say that they still resonate with readers. There’s been a lot of water under the bridge since 1999 in terms of “edgy” or “controversial” YA books, so it’s possible that the impact of the explicit or implied events in Chomsky’s novel are somewhat softened by comparison.

Regardless, it’s still a book that successfully captures the way these topics are internalized by the protagonist, and it’s evidently a voice that continues to engage and move its more recent audience. Basically, it’s not strictly the topics that appeal, so much as the manner in which they’re approached and discussed.

That said, there is a lot going on in this book, and I have to wonder whether the sheer breadth of the issues touched upon lessens the strength of the story. And not in the sense that I think the events are unrealistic, necessarily, but more that (and I offer this opinion with some trepidation) at times Perks reads like it’s a bit in love with its own moroseness.

The novel’s gaze is so relentlessly self-involved that I can’t help but feel that there is something indulgent in its tone, which I was not enamored with. Whether wallflower is a strictly accurate descriptor for Charlie is a topic I’ve seen expanded upon in other reviews, and I won’t go into that much here.

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Charlie is evidently an introvert, allegedly “gifted”, who has a rich and consuming inner world, but I think it’s clear that there is more at play here than simple shyness, intellectually and socially speaking. While some of Charlie’s emotional state is explained at the end of the novel, I feel that there’s even more to Charlie than Chomsky ever reveals, hinted at by the apparent naivety of his fifteen / sixteen years.

What I did appreciate, and what ultimately caused me to like this book, was how accurately Charlie’s experiences with anxiety and depression were presented. Prior to this, I hadn’t read a book that so closely mirrored the physical and emotional manifestation of anxiety as I am familiar with it.

The deeply unsettling sensation of nebulous tentacles of panic radiating out in search of something to fixate on, of instability and uncontrolled sadness, honestly made me feel nauseous. I can’t help but wish I’d had this book in my hands when I was teenager, when it probably would have meant the world to me.

Anxiety is an incredibly frightening and isolating condition, and I think this book communicates that very truthfully. The sensation of being a spectator of life, rather than a participant in it, is all too relevant and close-to-home for many who have experienced a mental illness in some form.

It’s probably no surprise then, that I found Chomsky’s characterization one of the highlights of this book. From Charlie himself as the narrator, through the supporting cast, I felt that I knew who these people were, that they were real.

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(It actually makes me curious to see the film adaptation, and how the nuances and subtleties of the characters translate to the screen). I can’t say that I’ll be joining the ranks of dedicated, vocal fans of The Perks of a Wallflower, leaving a trail of quotes in my wake across the internet.

But I am quietly appreciative of this book, and the powerful, unique experience of reading it. You can read Shirley Mary's extremely awesome take on this book here.

Wallflower (noun) a shy or retiring person who remains unnoticed at social events, especially a woman without a dance partner I was a wallflower. I was not one of those kids people notice immediately. I was one of those people who blend in very well that I was no longer noticeable. I was a “nobody”. I was one of those uncool kids back in high school that almost no one spoke to because I always kept to myself. I was insecure. I was scared that if I try to talk no one would listen. Actually I think I still am even though I am already working. I am still a “nobody” here. I have a couple of friends, but it seems like no one really knows who I really am because I never let them find out whom I really was. They know my name and a couple of unimportant things, but I think that’s about it. They don’t really care about the things I like, the things that make me cry, the things that make me smile. I was just another person they knew by name but never really knew at all.

Charlie (the main character) and I don’t have very much in common but still I found myself relating to his situation almost all throughout the book. I was not as introverted nor was I as smart as he was but there was something about how the author wrote him that you’ll start to see the world through his eyes. You’ll see how innocent and pure his outlook was in life. Charlie wasn’t normal and he knew it. He was struggling after the death of his favorite Aunt. He tried his best to “participate” but there is still this part of him that would be locked away from everyone else. Charlie was a freshman, and he still has a lot of things to learn. Hanging out with Patrick and Sam (who were both seniors) exposed him to a lot of things he wasn’t used to (like smoking, drinking, making out this sort of stuff). His letters mirror the experience or the things we went through during his first year in high school.

As I was saying earlier I loved this book a lot because I related much with not only the character but with the whole story. We may not be like Charlie but the things he went through in high school were something almost everyone went through. I didn’t do drugs nor did I smoke a lot when I was in high school. But some kids were motivated in doing so by peer pressure but in Charlie’s case I think it was more of curiosity rather than peer pressure. This book showed us how a special kid like Charlie would cope with being in high school and overcoming the problems he would encounter as he goes along. Another thing I loved about this book was how it was written. Though it was written back in the 90s when you read it, you’ll get this impression that it was just written recently in a 90s setting. This book was transcend time. When you read it probably in the next 10 years you would still be able to relate to it.

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Maybe I really am just a coldhearted person with no feelings. Amazingly, I actually managed to start The Perks of Being a Wallflower knowing absolutely nothing about it. I've avoided all the reviews and hype over the years, I've purposely put off seeing the movie because I wanted to check out the book first.

Maybe I really am just a coldhearted person with no feelings. Amazingly, I actually managed to start The Perks of Being a Wallflower knowing absolutely nothing about it. I've avoided all the reviews and hype over the years, I've purposely put off seeing the movie because I wanted to check out the book first.

I was a bit skeptical from the very first page when 15-year-old Charlie's narrative opened with short, choppy, fragmented sentences: But I perked up at the idea of reading a book by a narrator with obvious learning difficulties and/or autism×.

One of my favorite parts of reading is getting to see the world through the eyes of someone whose perspective I might not have fully considered before. So I was willing to overlook the slightly annoying use of immature language and structure because I realized it was needed to get inside the narrator's head.

Imagine my surprise and confusion when I discovered that not only does Charlie not have any learning difficulties, but he is actually considered “intelligent beyond his years”, is apparently extremely talented and somehow manages to get straight-A grades. Because to me this seems like nothing more than the usual melodramatic issue book, desperately trying to manipulate my emotions with the subtlety of a million flying bricks.

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Well, wait a few more chapters, and we get drugs, incest, fights, first sexual experiences and masturbation, told through the eyes of a guy who sounds about eight but is actually a teenager. I didn't feel sad or moved or anything so, like I said, maybe this is a character flaw on my part.

My mom always says that you can never really understand a person until you walk in their shoes, but I guess getting to know you and reading your My mom always says that you can never really understand a person until you walk in their shoes, but I guess getting to know you and reading your story did just that.

You showed me the purity of feelings, beauty of thoughts, generosity of love and warmth of friendship. You made me appreciate books and poetry more, and see the impact they have on people's lives.

I'd like to think that you get better, I hope one day you can be honest with people you love, be who you really are and do what you want to do. There may be a book in the world that can address, just within very few pages, suicide, molestation, domestic abuse, homosexuality, drug use, mental issues, first sexual experiences, rape, abortion, etc., and not sound like a Lifetime movie, but The Perks of Being a Wallflower is not an example of that.

For me, the straw that broke the camel's back was when I realized that, to add to all the above mentioned melodrama, the narrator was either emotionally or mentally handicapped. There may be a book in the world that can address, just within very few pages, suicide, molestation, domestic abuse, homosexuality, drug use, mental issues, first sexual experiences, rape, abortion, etc., and not sound like a Lifetime movie, but The Perks of Being a Wallflower is not an example of that.

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For me, the straw that broke the camel's back was when I realized that, to add to all the above mentioned melodrama, the narrator was either emotionally or mentally handicapped. It appeared, Charlie's inability to identify any emotion within himself besides sadness, his constant crying, his lack of knowledge (at the age of 15) what masturbation was, his failure to understand any social situation (like a rape while witnessing it in his teen years) was indicative of either some form of autism or just severe mental immaturity.

At that point, only a victim of cancer (or AIDS) was missing from this already uber-dire, emotionally manipulative narrative. Charlie was, evidently, just a shy, socially awkward, AP-classes attending, extremely gifted and observant student with a dark secret.

I can attribute the popularity of this novel only to the story's great variety of tear-jerking opportunities, teachable moments and life lessons, gently delivered by the ever-so-wise and deep narrator. MTV promoted it, it got a lot of press, so many people shun it and say it is overrated.

MTV promoted it, it got a lot of press, so many people shun it and say it is overrated. My boyfriend owned it, it seemed like a quick read, and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about.

There are endless quotable quotes in this book that had me folding the page over, so I could write them down later. Charlie has an honest innocence to him yet such an intense depth and intelligent mind that he is quite the multifaceted character.

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While the story has its ups and downs, and really, there isn't a very intense plot, the reader is somehow sucked into Charlies head sharing his first kiss, his feelings toward his new friends, his feelings towards literature and music. He is native about so many things, and his bluntness made me laugh out loud on numerous occasions.

He not only deals with issues like love, but also having a gay friend, dealing with death, and sexual assault, but also sharing his love of music and literature, which I think are two things that are being lost on youth today. I would give this book to every teenage boy and girl I knew.

While Charlie isn't exactly an excellent role model, he does show that being different is O.K. I don't even think I can truly convey how much I loved this book other than to say it was entirely life changing, and I'm so upset it took me this long to read it. I don't even think I can truly convey how much I loved this book other than to say it was entirely life changing, and I'm so upset it took me this long to read it.

Charlie is a freshman, a loner and an odd duck, all wrapped up in one stunningly awkward package. He's always been a bit....out there...but his family knows how to handle his moods and step around his antics.

Charlie is a freshman, a loner and an odd duck, all wrapped up in one stunningly awkward package. He's always been a bit....out there...but his family knows how to handle his moods and step around his antics.

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Luckily, he met Sam and a few other friends...and with them, things are finally looking up. It feels like the author googled “Most traumatizing teen issues” and then, looking at the list of twenty-or-so of them, says, “F×ck it.

He's blessed by the two coolest kids in the school taking him under their wing and made him their best friend. Personally, I find that the odds that these two popular senior kids adopting the cripplingly awkward freshman to be astronomical...but hey, it's fiction.

...but his monologue sounds like an eight-year-old with a bucket of sugar and a microphone. I just want it all to stop spinning or like this: And I thought about how many people have loved those songs.

Honestly, for the first 2/3 I thought he was slow or autistic and this is one of those books where everyone knows but the kid (and he finds out in some hugely traumatizing way). He has emotional episodes, monologues like he's half his age and just seems so spaced out all the time.

At one point, he watches a drunk girl get raped (forced to give a blow job to a much more sober guy). It was nice receiving letters from you, even though they're dated long ago.

It was nice receiving letters from you, even though they're dated long ago. I know that I got them for only a couple of months (in a span of one year), but it felt like you've been talking to me since you were very young.

I sometimes felt like the things you were pouring out in your letters were a little too personal, but you let me into your head, into your heart, into your soul. I may not have ever seen you or the persons you know personally, but I could almost taste your fries from that fast food chain, I could almost hear Mary Elizabeth's chatter, I could almost see Patrick's smile, I could almost feel the winter cold of your world there.

I think it has a lot to do with the fact that I am finally secure with who I am… but in high school that Stephen Chomsky directed the movie, and it was very true to the book, I would say almost exact.

So if you liked the book I would definitely recommend going to see the movie, you will enjoy it! I think it has a lot to do with the fact that I am finally secure with who I am… but in high school that wasn’t true.

Without my closest friends around me, I was a definite wallflower, ” the insecure, quite, nerd who would rather blend in then be seen. I didn’t do drugs or drink in high school, but I’m sure we all had friends who did or even just know the feelings that led him too.

“ We accept the love we think we deserve,” When I first started the book and after the suicide of Michael and the death of his aunt being carefully tiptoed around I initially thought the book was going to be mainly about suicide. I am glad that Stephen Chomsky introduced me to this song and the poem Charlie reads to his friends: “That's why on the back of a brown paper safe tried another command he called it “Absolutely Nothing”Because that's what it was really all abound he gave himself an And a slash on each damned wristband he hung it on the bathroom door because this time he didn't think he could reach the kitchen” The Pros of this book: The letter writing was a unique format that felt very open and sincere.

(Even though I still want to know who he was writing to and what that person thought as they received the letters.) The events in the book seemed real as if they happened in my own high school.

The characters were fantastic even if I felt Charlie was being whinny at points, but hey it’s a letter that’s probably how it would sound. The Cons: Okay the main thing that really bothered me in this book was the essays he was writing for extra work.

I know it isn’t in a formal setting, but I expected his writing overall to get better which it didn’t. I don’t know if it is just me but the writing in the book seemed below a freshman level but that could have to do with the fact that I think that Charlie suffered from some sort of autism.

Those moments when you are truly happy or even on the flip side when the world is crashing down they seem infinite. After 100 pages I would have clapped because really, wow, Stephen Chomsky really did want to tick all the strong issues boxes, haha.

After 150 pages I would have needed a drink to handle all that fucking CRYING and talking and the total LACK of any attempt to actually DEAL with the issues piling up. After 100 pages I would have clapped because really, wow, Stephen Chomsky really did want to tick all the strong issues boxes, haha.

After 150 pages I would have needed a drink to handle all that fucking CRYING and talking and the total LACK of any attempt to actually DEAL with the issues piling up. I am very sorry for all the people on Earth who loved this book, and know that this review isn't about you.

You do NOT involve a reader by creating an unrealistic overkill of serious issues, as if they were trying to outbid each other. It reads like a catalog of the worst situations possible.

(He) need(s) to know that these people exist.” (pg.2) This books talks about drugs, sex, sexuality, literature, films, music, and daily adolescent life. The main character, Charlie, a freshman in the early 1990s, is just beginning high school like all of us.

Following his meeting with Sam and Patrick, two seniors who become his best friends, Charlie begins to experience more of life. He was always more of the shy understanding type who would “use thought to not participate in life.” (pg.24)”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 you need is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite…” (Back cover) When I read certain books, or certain lines I can get the chills.

Don’t take me wrong though, everyone should read it, but at their own time. This book has inspired me to try and do so much more. One that I can look back and be proud of, one that I can tell my kids about, of walking home from school and spending the best times with my friends.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Stephen ChboskyCharlie, the 15-year-old protagonist, begins writing letters about his own life to an unknown recipient addressed, “dear friend.” In these letters he discusses his first year at high school and his struggles with two traumatic experiences: the suicide of his only middle-school friend, Michael Dobson, and the death of his favorite aunt, Helen.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Stephen ChboskyCharlie, the 15-year-old protagonist, begins writing letters about his own life to an unknown recipient addressed, “dear friend.” In these letters he discusses his first year at high school and his struggles with two traumatic experiences: the suicide of his only middle-school friend, Michael Dobson, and the death of his favorite aunt, Helen.

His caring English teacher, who encourages Charlie to call him Bill, notices Charlie's passion for reading and writing, and acts as a mentor by assigning him extracurricular books and reports. Charlie quickly develops a consuming crush on Sam and subsequently admits this to her.

Similar to his own experience, Charlie witnesses his sister's boyfriend hit her across the face, but she forbids him from telling their parents. He eventually mentions the occurrence to Bill, who tells Charlie's parents about it.

Charlie's relationship with his sister rapidly deteriorates, and she continues to see her boyfriend against her parents' wishes. Eventually, he discovers that his sister is pregnant and agrees to bring her to an abortion clinic without telling anyone.

This book is our teenage years filled with friendship, and angst, and heartbreak, and future planning, and everything in between. This book is the yearning for the past, whilst also looking forward to the days to come.

Anyways, as I'm writing this one, I want to reassure you that I'm permanently and inevitably flawed as well just like you. That aside, anyone who is reading this eccentric preamble doesn't need a formal introduction to your story.

Although my experiences are different from yours at a certain level, it doesn't change the fact that what you've shared with me was emotionally resonant. I'm still reserved and as awkward as ever in big groups and specific social situations though.

It doesn't mean that I'm antisocial, a loser, freak, have no friends or anything negative related to that. It just means that I can see the bigger picture as well as the infinitesimal ones, which most people would likely dismiss or bypass.

I know you wouldn't judge me, so I'm telling you that mostly I'm away with the fairies and would return several hours later back to our mundane reality. But seriously, Charlie, you are the spark that rekindles the hidden flame of the millions of wallflowers living in this world and in the future to come.

Written in the form of letters from Charlie to an anonymous recipient, it is a compelling read. Written in the form of letters from Charlie to an anonymous recipient, it is a compelling read.

Readers learn that Charlie has many secrets that have been entrusted to him; one in particular has caused him to become a quiet person without a voice, letting people do what they want to him. (view spoiler) [He passively witnesses a rape, has a girlfriend he doesn't really like, aids his sister in getting an abortion, takes drugs and alcohol others give him, smokes, and even lets his grieving gay friend Patrick kiss him just to make Patrick feel better.

He has mental problems, gets angry, sees things and then passes out and cries. Right before he started high school his best friend shot himself, but there is also another, worse reason for his problems.

At school Charlie meets Patrick and Sam, both of whom are outsiders too, just cooler ones. Patrick is gay and before his stepsister Sam introduced him to good music, he was a popular kid.

Parties, drugs, Rocky Horror, Billie Holiday and rock music become new parts of Charlie's life. For the first time in his life, Patrick knows what it really means to have good friends.

Charlie's friend Patrick is gay and in a relationship that is accepted in their social circle. Homophobia is present, however--a boy is beaten by his father for being gay after he’s caught being intimate with Patrick, and Patrick is in turn beaten by his boyfriend and the football jocks at school.

Aren’t we all too familiar with the set-up where the loser turns out to be the really cool, popular guy? This book is going to catch and surprise you every time you turn a page.

Um yeah, maybe if all kids teetering on the brink of adulthood made you question if they were autistic and spent the majority of their free time reading the classics and going to therapy. You want to find out what the deal is with the main character for the entire book and at the end, you eventually get a pretty damn good idea.

But for the love, this is not the CatcherResounding accuracy of the voice of a boy teetering on the brink of adulthood, goo dreads? Um yeah, maybe if all kids teetering on the brink of adulthood made you question if they were autistic and spent the majority of their free time reading the classics and going to therapy.

You want to find out what the deal is with the main character for the entire book and at the end, you eventually get a pretty damn good idea. You find out at the end why he is so weird, but the catch-22 about this book for me is that a kid with his kind of emotional issues probably never would have been able to experience the kind of social interaction he experiences and writes about throughout the book.

In real life, that girl never would have even spoken to him, let alone gotten to the point of making out with him. Finally, there is a whole hippie vibe to this book that reminded me of a Wonder Years episode.

You'd have no idea that it was supposed to take place in the early 90s if the diary entries hadn't been dated. Free live sex shows, but you are not allowed to tell anyone.

C. Free to make out with girls who take fancy on you because you seem to be harmless. Free live sex shows, but you are not allowed to tell anyone.

C. Free to make out with girls who take fancy on you because you seem to be harmless. If there were, I am sure people would first prioritize buying food on the table rather than spend the money on drugs.

Since we also did not have maids at home, I was busy with household chores: washing my family’s clothes every Saturday, ironing our school uniforms every Sunday, washing the dishes every evening (my older sister was in charge of cooking while my oldest brother was in charge of fetching water and the older one for washing dishes every noontime). People on the island were conservative on those days, so they frowned on homosexuals.

I was sure they did their business in complete privacy so nothing like that came out during my time. In fact, during those years, there were only a couple of grownup men who I remember being referred to all so silently as homosexuals.

C. I was a year younger than my classmates-friends and I swear I was clueless at the time they were already talking about finding their underwear wet in front when they woke up one morning or when their hair started to appear down there. A. I dawned on me during my re-read that Charlie is actually addressing those letters to his readers, including me, and he is a pure soul.

Notice that despite all the sad things that happened to him during his first year in high school and even in the past, he did not bear grudges on anyone. He still sees things positively and even wishes good life at all.

This is in complete opposite to Holden Caulfield in J. D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye who is full of teenage angst he calls all grownups “phony”. [BTW, Chomsky in Wiki says that this novel is one of his inspirations in writing Wallflower ”.

In fact, this is one of the books, Bill asks Charlie to read.] This reminded me of Mark Had don’s The Curious Incident of a Dog at the Night-Time because of its take on autism.

Charlie is an autistic child who gets straight A’s in all his subjects and can finish and appreciate 12 adult modern fiction books most of which have “heavy” themes: To Kill a Mockingbird, This Side of Paradise, Peter Pan, The Great Gatsby, A Separate Peace, The Catcher in the Rye, On the Road, Naked Lunch, Walden, Hamlet, The Stranger and The Fountainhead just during his first year in high school. This is intriguing considering that Charlie’s style in writing barely changed from his first letter to the last so the learning or insights that he got from the books did not influence him in any way.

C. Chomsky’s way of mimicking the sentence construction and grammar of a 15-y/o autistic boy plus the fact that the book is thin and slim encourages the reader to take this lightly, a book that one can breeze through and just say “the teenagers seem to like this book.” Wrong. Once you close the book, you will feel that there is something in the story that you missed, and you will have that impulse to read through again.

Chomsky hides his message on the simple and harmless looking letters, Charlie’s innocence and the unsaid words and untold stories, e.g., What is the significance of his favorite song Asleep by The Smiths in the story? This is the first novel of Peter Chomsky (born 1970), an American novelist, screenwriter and film director.

He wrote the screenplay of 2005 film Rent, and he was co-creator of 2006 CBS television series, Jericho. Drugs, abuse, child molestation, anything that would make people cry & be traumatizing for a teenager, it's all here in overdose, injected wherever possible into every character's life.

How can the author be such a douche. I felt emotionally manipulated by this inconsistently written, I'm-trying-to-be-deep-and-real-and-strike-emotional-chords crying fest. Drugs, abuse, child molestation, anything that would make people cry & be traumatizing for a teenager, it's all here in overdose, injected wherever possible into every character's life.

How can the author be such a douche. I felt emotionally manipulated by this inconsistently written, I'm-trying-to-be-deep-and-real-and-strike-emotional-chords crying fest. Or maybe Chomsky didn't even realize what he was portraying. See, I love a mildly autistic kid.

Charlie's friends? Sam & Patrick were 20somthing hipsters that do not exist in high school. But I challenge anyone who thinks that, to go back and read some of their shitty poetry or obnoxiously angst diary entries.

Some people also have a problem with all the underage drinking, drug use, and sex. Rape, molestation, suicide, gay bashing, bullying, the list goes on.

And I loved Charlie. I just hope my Charlie has the courage to participate in life the way this one did. And it's not one of those books where you figure out how amazing it is at the beginning, or even through the first half.

And it's not one of those books where you figure out how amazing it is at the beginning, or even through the first half. It is a story about a boy named Charlie who just started high school.

Because he felt alone and scared, he started writing letters to... well to whoever is reading this book. Yeah, they all had some flaws, and they all did some things which I sometimes didn't understand why, but we all act like that sometimes.

One more thing that I absolutely loved was the friendship between Charlie, Sam and Patrick. I really wish I had a friendship like they did, in my own high school.

So in conclusion, I loved this book, and I can't say how much I'm glad that I've finally read it. One of the most important things that I appreciate and love about books, is that they remind me that I still have a heart, and my heart is a rather fragile thing, especially when I chose to read “The perks of being a Wallflower I'll admit, I was slightly apprehensive about reading this, as I'd seen the film a long while ago, and I thought it was pretty average.

The book, however, was not. I love the word Wallflower There is just something about it that I like, apart from the fact that I used t. One of the most important things that I appreciate and love about books, is that they remind me that I still have a heart, and my heart is a rather fragile thing, especially when I chose to read “The perks of being a Wallflower I'll admit, I was slightly apprehensive about reading this, as I'd seen the film a long while ago, and I thought it was pretty average.

I kind of fluttered about hoping that nobody noticed me, just quietly learning, soaking up information like a sponge, and just attempting to get on in life. I worried about my appearance, my weight, and I was definitely concerned that if I spoke that my voice would not be heard.

Well, those days are long gone, and I found my voice as soon as I left school, and I've not once looked back. I felt emotion for the different characters, and the problems that they were facing and going through, especially Charlie.

There has forever been a stigma with mental health, not as bad as it was years ago but nevertheless, it evidently still exists. Mental health issues don't just disappear with some medication, or with the click of your fingers.

Now that I’ve finally made the time to read this, I’m looking forward to watching the film! *5 Stars* A touching and emotional portrayal of an ordinary boy finding his significance...

There is no specific plot design; no standard structure this story follows, In fact, at first glance, you may be inclined t *5 Stars* A touching and emotional portrayal of an ordinary boy finding his significance...

Charlie has the unique ability to put other people's happiness before his own. Charlie counts every kiss, every hug, and every kind word spoken to him.

Even being a part of an inside joke makes him genuinely happy and appreciative. But his messages are deep and his thoughts so profound they take a moment to digest.

Although it may initially seem as though this story has no distinct direction, its importance subtly shows itself, if you care enough to look ... Just like Charlie. This author did an incredible job bringing Charlie to life by creating a universal character with whom so many can resonate, and on varying levels.

This book doesn't act as a guide on how to handle such issues, it simply passes through an emotional piece of a young boy's life* Book Stats: Genre/Category: Young Adult Characters: Hero is a wallflower.

I get being book smart but dumb streetwise, but it was basic social and life knowledge that he didn't get. One minute he seemed wise beyond his years and the next he acted like a child thrust into a teenage life.

I almost put the book down (view spoiler) [at the rape scene. I get being book smart but dumb streetwise, but it was basic social and life knowledge that he didn't get.

One minute he seemed wise beyond his years and the next he acted like a child thrust into a teenage life. I almost put the book down (view spoiler) [at the rape scene.

There is no way a guy and his girlfriend would go that far with a middle schooler staring at them, much more if it weren't consensual. (hide spoiler)] It seemed like Chomsky was throwing in random drama just to make his novel edgy (I hate that) and was wandering aimlessly.

It would have been a great voice had it not been so fraught with inconsistencies, had it not been so hard to figure out, and had it not made so many observations about what adults must think that didn't feel real (more like Chomsky telling us what teenagers will learn when they aren't teenagers anymore). But sometimes I enjoyed Charlie's observations, especially about how a song on a radio while you're driving can make you feel infinite.

I also did a full spoiler video review of this book on my YouTube channel. TW/CW: Child molestation, abuse, suicide, homophobia, rape, drug use.

Charlie of course doesn't read the writing on the wall until his fast talking friend, Patrick tells it to him straight. The saddest thing about this book is Charlie finally confronting his demons, put there by someone he trusted not to hurt him.

And in as much as I wish I had met him when I was 15 too, I'm still glad I could meet him when I was old enough to have a lot more insight from his story. I wish I had Charlie's way of staying quiet and understanding the world around him.

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Sources
1 www.classic-country-song-lyrics.com - https://www.classic-country-song-lyrics.com/yourplaceorminelyricschords.html
2 jerryleelewis.com - https://jerryleelewis.com/
3 en.wikipedia.org - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerry_Lee_Lewis