The Perks of Being a Wallflower Discussion

This has been my favorite book for many years… well, only about three… and its probably because I have a very personal associations with it. It was recommended to me the summer between my freshman and sophomore year by a very dear friend, and he very much resembled the narrator, and at the time he commented that he thought I very much resemble the lead female, and not just because we share a name. At the time I was rather blind, and didn’t see this as his way of telling me that he fancied me, but just the intimacy of the conversation that early morning (at that time I had yet to find another bookworm, so discussing books was a very personal thing to me), and the events preceeding it (a long walk around an empty neighborhood in the early hours discussing life, the universe and everything) made it, as Charlie would have said, “feel as if we were infinite”.

In truth, this is the only book I have ever bought on tape, because I don’t much like the idea of trying to listen to someone tell a story when Id rather let the world stop and read it myself… but this is the kind of book that i know so well that I can take put my iPod and select a part of the book at random and be perfectly comfortable that way.

I’m big into quotes as well, and I remember reading that book and within a week going out and buying my own copy so I could highlight all over it (I felt like such a defiant little thing!). And I still have that copy upstairs. But my favorite quote out of the whole thing is when Charlie is talking with his English teacher and telling him about his sister, and the abusive relationship, and all his teacher can say is “We accept the love we think we deserve, Charlie.” and at the time, I was on my way down the same path and this was a real wake-up call. I don’t know if books can change lives, but this definitely changed the way I thought.

I don’t think I have much to say about it now. Its not amazingly well written, but Charlie is likeable, admirable even, perhaps as a young Atticus Finch (To Kill a Mockingbird). And Sam… I did like Sam. She was always so willing to explain things to Charlie, even when he didn’t know he was being naive about things… oh, and the brownie incident… “are you hungry charlie?”  “yeah…” “whaddaya want?”   “a… a milkshake.”   “are you thirsty?”   “uh-huh.”   “What do you want to drink?”   “a milkshake.”

I know I didnt quote it correctly… but you get it. What about you? What were your favorite parts?

Published on October 13, 2007 at 2:15 pm  Comments (6)  

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  1. My best friend recommended this book to me and i was kinda iffy about it because it was in the teen section and it was an MTV book and usually mtv is not the best for recommendations. but this book has a much more mature meaning to it than i think people think it does. I think charlie is a feeling that all of us have personified. anyways, my favorite part is the end where he stands up on the back of sams truck going through the tunnel and realizes comes to realize and appreciate everything in his life. that’s my favorite part.

  2. Everyone I know that has read this book to the end says the same thing about it: Perks says everything I think. As teenagers we can relate to it, but more imporatantly I think it is Charlie’s rare ability to voice his emotions that appeals to readers. I have found that it takes a certain kind of person to see the true beauty and truth of chbosky’s novel. When I read books (that i own), I underline words, sentences and passages that I like. There came a a point while reading Perks that I decided to be much more picky about what I underlined. It took a while to realize this and as a result 80% of part 1 is marked.

  3. I met a boy on a school trip. One day, during the trip, he came into one of the hotel rooms where my friends and i were and sat down next to me. After sitting silently next to me for a while he turned to me and said “so you’re the wallflower of the group.” it didn’t mean much to me at the time, but once we got to know each other a little better he recommended the book to me, and yes, i too believe sharing your favorite book is a personal matter. I started the book yesterday afternoon and finished it after i got home from school, i started to cry. He was right, i am a wallflower. I thought it was so profound, how someone, even after reading the book, could call me a wallflower. I felt honored in a way.
    It’s scary how alike Charlie and I are. But i guess it can be that way for a lot of people.

  4. This was a book my brother let me borrow during the summer between eighth grade and becoming a freshman. At the time I enjoyed it, but didn’t quite understand all of it. I reread it later in the year, the summer after, the following year, and every summer and school year after up until now. I am a freshman in college.
    Each year I reread it, I understood it more. It took me until about sometime last year to finally understand the ending. I asked everyone I know who had read it, and no one seemed to understand it either. It seems so obvious now, but back then I guess I was a bit naive.
    This book is as universal as it is personal. Everyone seems to be able to relate to it in their own way while at the same time expressing feelings everyone experiences. Each time I read it I am able to relate to it more and I find it unbelievable how closely paralleled my life is to the book. I can’t even express how much I love the quotes from this book, or how many copies I’ve bought to share with friends.
    I don’t think I can choose a favorite part. This book is the best I’ve ever read, and I love every part of it.

  5. as someone already stated, everyone can realte to charlie, he’s got the characteristics of the world in him. but the one thing about this book that makes it my favorite is how it made me cry. I have NEVER cried over a book, no matter how emotional and how into it i am i have never been overcome with enough emotion to do so. The first time i read the book, i didnt read the epilogue, i dont know why i didnt, i just never used to read either the epilogue or prologue. I finally read the prologue and thats what made me cry, the realization of something horrible to charlie, the sweet, blunt, naive teenagerwe all like. I can relate to charlie in the face that i too have been abused sexually, not as often as he was, but abused nonetheless. I feel like that one factor is what threw me over the edge and made me realize that even though charlie was different, he still had factors in his life that accounted for some of it, but he still made his life his own, which is something not many of us can do.

  6. Along with one of the previous comments, my older brother let me borrow this book. I am in eighth grade and have just finished this book for the first time. I plan on reading it multiple times until i fully understand the ending. I don’t want anyone to tell me, i want to figure it out on my own. I have a slight understanding of what happens but, again i am also being naive. I find it strange how much i can relate to Charlie at such a young age. Being a wallflower isn’t something I should regret, which is most likely reccommended by Charlie if he were my own friend. But, as amazing as it seems to accept the fact that I am a wallflower and being okay with it, i can not bring myself to do it. i feel as though being a wallflower makes me seem strange within myself and to other people. it has been clued to me from other people that i am a wallflower but there was nothing to call myself..until i read this book. i can’t bring myself to accept who i actually am and break down constantly and everyone thinks i am a bore because everything is fake but when i’m with myself, all i can do is just listen to the beauty of amazing music. i can’t even bring myself to let anyone know what music i listen to, not even my family when we all have similar tastes.

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