Book review: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Perks of being a wallflower


Perks of being a wallflower by Stephen Chbosky is about a 15 year old boy named Charlie who suffers from mental health problems as well as social anxiety. Charlie is a wallflower because he wants to throw himself to life but is trapped by his own mind.

In the beginning of the book you will realise what is going on in Charlie’s mind, how he copes with his friend commiting suicide or how he wants to defend his sister who’s boyfriend is abusive towards her. Also quickly Charlie makes friends, a couple years older than him. Patrick and Sam, stepsiblings. They introduce Charlie to their wild lifestyle and begins experiencing tobacco, alcohol and drugs. Since Charlie was little he had grown a strong bond with his aunt Helen but she died in a car crash on her way to buy him a birthday gift when he was 7 years old. Turns out that aunt Helen sexually abused him when he was young and his love and empathy for her caused him to repress traumatic memories.


When Sam and Patrick are graduating  makes Charlie anxious after losing his friends. He expresses his feelings towards Sam and tells he is in love with her. Sam is angry at Charlie because he never acted on his feelings. They share a intimate moment but Charlie realises that his sexual contact with Sam has stirred up repressed memories of aunt Helen. He starts to show signs of PTSD.


What I liked most of the book is how the author was able to express the thoughts inside of Charlie’s head. How he could make it so real like you had known Charlie for years. Also bringing this kind of topic up with a good plot. You followed how the plot grew and at the same time you got ahead of Charlie’s mental illness, social anxiety and PTSD.

How the book is coped with health class 2 is that the book discusses the subjects like mental illness, PTSD and social anxiety. And what I learned from the book is that you will get better and recovery is possible but it takes time. You just have to release your inner demons first.

I love the quote that Charlie said in the book where he comes terms with his past.  

‘’ Even if we don’t have the power to choose where we come from, we can still choose where we go from there. ‘’


Heidi Koponen

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