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All booksYoung adultThe Perks of Being a Wallflower
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Young adult

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

We love supporting debut authors. Congrats, Stephen Chbosky, on your first book!

by Stephen Chbosky

Quick take

Get the 20th anniversary edition of this modern cult classic so you can say you've read the book behind the movie.

Good to know

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    Social issues

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    Famous author

Why I love it

Book of the Month

There are hundreds upon hundreds of books published each year. Many of these books are loved by readers upon their release. Many of these books receive rave reviews. But only some of these books will continue to be well-loved and well-reviewed twenty years after their publication.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is one of those books.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of this modern classic, but the book is as relevant today as it was back then. It tells the story of Charlie, an introverted teen just trying to find his place in the world. He’s experiencing love; he’s experiencing heartbreak; he makes impactful friendships; he makes some bad choices. Who among us, in 2019, can’t relate?

Since Charlie’s time, we’ve replaced his letter-writing with texting, cassettes with Spotify. But the themes this book covers continue to be universal. If you haven’t picked up this emotional coming-of-age story, what better time to do so than right now?

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The critically acclaimed debut novel from Stephen Chbosky follows observant “wallflower” Charlie as he charts a course through the strange world between adolescence and adulthood. First dates, family drama, and new friends. Sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Devastating loss, young love, and life on the fringes. Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it, Charlie must learn to navigate those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up.

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Check out a preview of The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

Member thoughts

All (710)
All (710)
Love (523)
Like (163)
Dislike (24)
724 ratings
  • 72% Love
  • 23% Like
  • 3% Dislike
  • Charlotte, NC

    This book will make you laugh, cry, gasp, fume, and hope several times before you turn the last page. Plus it’s got a killer broody built-in soundtrack that’ll get you in your feels. A modern classic.

  • House Springs, MO

    I can't believe I waited this long to read this book, but I am very glad I read it when I did. I relate so much to Charlie. I too am a freshman in High school in love with a senior. Amazing book! <3

  • Scottsdale, AZ

    First time reading this book I was 16, it felt good to know I wasnt alone but couldnt grasp the epilogues hopeful tone. Now reading it at 36 it was like a different experience. I LOVED the new letter!

  • Brookfield, CT

    Wow! How did I miss this when I, myself was a teenager. This book has left me speechless! Touching, hits home, real, raw, emotional, eye opening, relatable. Oh Charlie, I think we have all been there.

  • Lawrenceburg, TN

    Its been a while since I first saw the movie, but reading this brought back all of the feelings and more that I felt when I watched the story. It is beautifully written and I think it is a must read.

  • Harrisville , UT

    I saw the movie years ago, and honestly forgot a lot of what happens. You’re truly like experiencing life through Charlie’s eyes and you feel what he feels. I would read this again and recommend!

  • Dallas, TX

    This has been one of my favorite books for years and I was so excited to see the 20th anniversary. Moving story about a struggling kid in his first year of high school. Happy, sad, all the emotions.

  • Cincinnati , OH

    I initially read this book when I was in high school. As a young gay kid, I always felt like my place in the world was uncertain, but this book made me feel like I had value and a place I belonged.

  • New Braunfels, TX

    At 16, I liked this book. At 24, I loved it. I felt like I understood and related to Charlie more this time around. The new bonus letter at the end was heartfelt and supportive and perfect❤️

  • Nashua, NH

    I love Perks. I do believe this is a book everyone should read one point in their lives. When I saw this was the 20th anniversary edition I had to get it. I already have a copy in my bookcase.

  • Cincinnati, OH

    I absolutely love this book. I recommend it to basically every teenager or young adult I meet. It puts into words feelings that so many of us know, but have never figured out how to explain.

  • West allis, WI

    I just....there are no words. Just read it please, you will close this book with a better understanding, not just of yourself but of others as well. I ended this book with tears in my eyes.

  • Mineola, NY

    This is a book I always meant to read, but never got around to. The 20th anniversary was timely and I’m so grateful to have finally read it at this point in my life and career.

  • Somerset , KY

    As soon as i opened the book, I could not stop reading. You can sympathize with the main character and really makes you feel how the protagonist feels. Over all, an amazing book.

  • Decatur, GA

    I avoided the movie so I could enjoy the book without outside influence. Most beautifully written and profound. Each character is well developed and fleshed out. A classic.

  • Rochester, NY

    This is one of my favorite books of all time and I’m SO excited to have a BOTM edition of it now. Cant wait to reread it for the millionth time and cry again and again

  • Lynchburg , VA

    This is the best coming of age story I’ve read to date. I reread this book through book of the month because I just loved it so much I wanted to relive the story.

  • Woodbridge, VA

    This is a classic for me. Charlie is uncertain and shy like I was growing up. Seeing him break out of his shell and fall in love is satisfying every time I read it.

  • New Egypt, NJ

    I read this book a few years ago and gave it only 2 stars on GR, now rereading it, I understand the references and find this to be a much more heartfelt story

  • Phoenix, AZ

    Well written and touching. An emotional rollercoaster of adolescence in letter form is totally relatable. Good to reread again and think about my students.

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