The Perks of Being a Wallflower Review

The Perks of Being a Wallflower Book and Film Review

Book Synopsis

The book written by Stephen Chbosky follows 15 year old protagonist Charlie who has trouble socially, due to a troubled past that is revealed throughout the novel. He is writing letters to an unknown recipient, talking about his life in freshman year in high-school. He deals with unrequited love, sexuality, drug use, and mental health throughout his first year at high school. Unrequited love for his senior friend Sam, along with sexuality in the form of Sam’s step brother Patrick, who is going out with Brad, a closeted homosexual on the football team. Charlie also has his first encounter with drug use as he trips on LSD to be cool and mental health through the effects of his best middle friend committing suicide and his aunt dying in a car crash.

Film Synopsis

The film adaptation starring as Logan Lerman as Charlie, Ezra Miller as Patrick and Emma Watson as Sam, follows closely to the book as is also directed by Stephen Chbosky. The only major differences are Charlie teacher has a bigger role in the film. As in the book, he is mentioned as is supportive towards Charlie, but it never talks about his teaching style. Having Paul Rudd play the teacher though, obviously, the teacher was going to have a bigger role. Charlie’s sister being abused by boyfriend doesn’t play as a major point, although it is shown in the film. In a way, a major change is the tunnel scene where Sam stands up, as the song they are listening to is changed from Fleetwood Macs Landslide to David Bowie’s Hero creating a whole new meaning to the word infinite. The film also had Imagine Dragons Its time which was awesome.


Both book and film are worth visiting as they deal with social issues everybody goes through during their adolescents. The book and film holding that nostalgic feeling but also that cringe-worthy moment of when you were younger. An example being, when Charlie is dared to kiss the prettiest girl in the room. Charlie sitting with his girlfriend Mary Elizabeth, played by Mae Whitman, chooses not to kiss her and kisses Sam instead causing everyone to resent him. It shows the perils of being a wallflower as he lying to himself in when he said yes to going out with Mary Elizabeth. Later, when he reveals his true feelings to Sam as she is leaving, she berates him for not acting earlier. The Perks of Being a Wallflower are being very good at observing things in a social situation, taking everything in the conversations around during you, allowing you to be able to judge things more rationally. Thus linking in with Carl Jung‘s theory of introversion/extraversion. Charlie portraying introversion as Patrick shows extraversion in dealing with life. Overall this book is good coming of age book, like the book The Wanderers by Richard Price dealing with taboo subjects and dealing with the trials you face when growing up.

Here links to some of my other book reviews:

Man Seeking Woman and The Last Girlfriend on Earth

Mortal Engines: Infernal Devices Book Review

Villains by Necessity Novel by Eve Forward Book Review

Ready Player One Book Review


20 thoughts on “The Perks of Being a Wallflower Review

  1. I’ve seen this film two or three months ago, and when I’ve seen the trailer I thought it was OK.
    When I’ve seen the movie on the other hand, I was blown away,I loved it so much! I didn’t expect such an ending and it really makes you think about other people and what they might be going through even if they don’t show it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah exactly! You never know what is under the service. It is like even with Patrick and Brad’s relationship, Patrick is a confident gay individual but Brad can’t be because of fear of his Dad, which is quite sad. The film is great, Ezra Miller is great in it!


  2. I’ve never seen the movie, but I’ve read the book more than once. I actually really enjoyed the book. We actually dissected the book in one of my English classes, and when I first read it, I didn’t realize that underlying trauma that Charlie goes through. Once i reread the book, I noticed all the tiny signs. Really great book. Great post and comparison xxx

    Melina |

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, not to be that guy but the book is better than the film in my opinion, although the film is great. The way all the secrets build up throughout, and although he takes all this information in, doesn’t really know what to do with it. It’s cool you did The Perks of Being a Wallflower in an English class 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I read the book a few years ago after watching the movie. I love the movie so much but it’s one I can’t watch that often because the second half of it always gets me. It’s so heartbreaking. I love that you tackled both the book and the movie at once. x

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad it soothes your soul! Like its the first time I’ve heard that 🙂 Yeah the book is so relateable, I was the kid who had a crush on girl then went out with someone knowing I still liked the other person more 🙈 Emma Watson was perfect for the roll

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I loved it.Everything about it.It was so emotional.Both book and the movie.The actors were incredible and they did a wonderful job.Your post is truthful and your writing is amazing.Glad I ran into this post!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Just watched the movie again.Ezra honestly nailed it.Emma was amazing.Logan was so true to the character.Charlie is my favourite and I was afraid of the movie at first.I feel so relieved.A dream cast for sure.


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