The Perks of Being a Wallflower Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Perks of Being a Wallflower

This book is a sequence of letters that a boy is writing someone. The twist is that we do not know who the person he is writing is. In fact we don't even know the boys true name, for he has covered up his name and the names of every and anyone whom he mentions in his letters. He does this because he says that he would rather the person he is writing not know who he is and never find out.
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Charlie lives in Pennsylvania with his mother, father, and sister. His brother is a football player at Penn State. His father is very stern and is not keen on touching, his mother is very quite, but when she does talk she usually gets what she wants. His sister is a senior in High school, as are most of Charlie's friends.
Charlie tells of his first year in high school and of how different things that have happened in his life before high school are affecting him. He tells of how he changes through out the year because of his new friends. He tells of times spent at a local restaurant, going to his first party, getting high, the rocky horror picture show, and most of all the girl he loves, Sam.
Charlie is a very gifted person. The one person who actually sees how extremely smart Charlie is, is his English teacher, who gives him extra books to read, and tells him to write essays on them. Although Charlie is very smart, he is burdened with some emotional instability. He often cries, for what most people who see as "stupid reasons".
Charlie is trying to figure out the world, and how everyone works. He tends to sit on the side lines and just watch people, wondering what is going on in there life. He does this until his teacher tells him that he should try to participate, in stead of just observing. When Charlie meets his new friends, Sam and Patrick, he tries to participate more, and observe less. Though he does begin to participate he continues to observe people and figure out their lives and how they feel. This is Charlie's main struggle through out the book.

The review of this Book prepared by Chris Parker

Charlie is a young, impressionable genius who cries more than anyone. He begins writing letters to an anonymous person, recalling things like the death of his favorite aunt and suicide of his best friend. Although Charlie has always been an outcast, it is his first year of highschool, and he is surprisingly more nervous than usual. His brother is a big football star who has gone off to college, leaving Charlie to fend for himself. His sister is a senior this year and believes her younger brother is a freak, and aparently doesn't associate with people of this stature. Because his best and only friend is dead, he has gotten on to entertain himself through working hard in school for a scholarship and reading every book he has ever read twice in a row. He has a wonderful teacher who offers him books to read with summaries to write on the side.
   Charlie has a shop class with a boy who begins to make him laugh and eventually at a football game, Charlie gets up the confidence to introduce himself to this boy who's called Patrick, and Patrick's step-sister, Sam. They are both non-judgemental seniors who take Charlie under their wing, and very patiently at that.
   Patrick and Sam teach Charlie all about sex, drugs and rock and roll. Patrick is a homosexual who is having a secret relationship with Brad, the quarterback of their football team. Sam is beautiful inside and out, and Charlie loves her, but knows he doesn't have a chance.
    Throughout the book, Charlie is touched and cries.
The review of this Book prepared by Nicole Ziccardi

As "Charlie" enters high school he must deal with the suicide of his single close friend in his class and an ever continuing feeling of guilt over the death of his Aunt. As an entering freshman, Charlie finds friendship in two seniors Sam (who he falls in love with) and Patrick. Sam and Patrick introduce Charlie to their friends, who immediatly accept Charlie into the group. As Charlie begins to get into school his English teacher, Bill, recognizes his genius and begins to give him work beyond the class room to stimulate and interest him. The relationship between Bill and Charlie progresses from teacher and student to a true friendship.

As the book countinues Charlie matures and begins to become intergrated into highschool. He deals with his first girlfriend and his first breakup, Sex, drugs and rock and roll all are introduced to him. As he begins to become more confortable with his life, he uncovers an ugly supressed memory that changes his life.
The review of this Book prepared by Scott Landis

The protagonist Charlie is a freshman who grows up in experience and self-confidence throughout the book. In fact he is the one who is called a "wallflower", because he "hears things, understands them and keeps quiet about them". He also has to deal with the suicide of his best friend and the death of his favourite family member, his aunt. Altough, throughout the book he learns with the help of two seniors and his English teacher more about life, dealing with love, drugs and sexuality. He falls the first time in love, goes to partiess and takes drugs. He learns to share his problems and opinions by writing it down.
The review of this Book prepared by Julia Pavlovska

Chobsky's "The Perks of being a Wallflower" starts off with Charlie sending a letter to an unknown friend who he continually sends anonymous letters to without a return address. He explains that he found ‘you' to be a good person, who listens, and cares.   He feels comfortable writing to this person (the reader) about situations that are going on in his life, insecurities, and things that are important to him. At first his only worries are about starting off high school, his new environment, and making new friends. As he continues writing the letters, he seems to open up more. His writing becomes more intimate as if he were writing in a journal.

He later opens up about issues of death, sexuality, and friendships/family. He first tells about how his friend committed suicide and how it is killing him inside to not know the reasons why. He also speaks about the loss of his aunt and how he felt that she was the only one who truly understood him. He later makes friends with two seniors named Patrick and Sam. He begins to develop feelings for Sam but is turned down by her because of age. Charlie recurrently confides in the reader with family issues and is truly sensitive to everything around him.
The review of this Book prepared by a Level 1 Blue Jay scholar

Charlie sends letters to a complete stranger for his entire freshman year of high school. He discusses his feelings, activitives, and thoughts into great detail and deepth, revealing disturbing experiences from the past that shape him now. The loss of his close aunt and suicide of his best friend haunt him throughout the book, yet provide answers to Charlie's innermost dilemas.
The review of this Book prepared by nancinator

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to recieve letters from someone you've never met? In The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Chalie, a 14 year old boy just entering high school, writes to a mystery person about life, love, and all the other things involved with growing up. He stands on the outside of life, making beautiful obesrvations about how life doesn't always make sense. The people surrounding him make many efforts to have him "live his life" rather than sit on the sidelines. These attempts, along with the pains of growing up help Charlie to come to shocking realizations about his past. Stephen Chbosky has created an amazingly accurate picture of an introverted teenager growing up. Charlie is one of those rare charaters who feels like a friend you never want to lose. This novel paints a beautiful picture that everyone should see.
The review of this Book prepared by Colleen

The main character Charlie is a freshman in High School and is sort of a pariah amongst his peers until he befriends another outcasted group of seniors who show him a world he does not know. Charlie writes letters to an unknown person about his adventures and realizations about life that take place with his new group of friends.
The review of this Book prepared by Tiffany Redford

The plot unfolds via the letters to the reader as written by Charlie, the protagonist of the story. He is a high school freshman in Western Pennsylvania who is a wallflower, one who lives a remarkably passive existance. He remains passive primarily due to the loss of his favorite aunt, whose death he blames on himself.   
The Perks of Being a Wallflower details the expansive world that adolescents have to deal with in today's world. Using and dealing with drugs, alcohol, sex are an everyday occurrence for Charlie.
The review of this Book prepared by Peter C. Schreiber

This touching, coming of age story is a collection of letters from a 15 year old boy to an unkown "friend". Within his letters, we come to learn of the boy's struggle with the loss of a friend, as well as the loss of an aunt. Through his letters, he learns much about himself, dealing with love, alienation, depression, mental instability, and the many other things children encounter in high school. Above all else, it is a touching story of a young boy who comes to learn of his own molestation by a family member. Thorugh Chbosky's story, every reader has a chance to look back at their youth, and understand that one's problems are always important, no matter how "bad" everyone else might have it.
The review of this Book prepared by Jennifer

with charlie as his main character, chbosky successfully manages to explore the thoughts and feelings, however uncontrollable, of a teenager faced with growing up 'alone' - the reader looks on, fascinated, as charlie discovers he himself, and other people, work.
The review of this Book prepared by Kookabara

The main character is a freshmen boy named Charlie. The book is a collection of his letters to "a friend." It is incredibly written and a new favorite of mine.
The review of this Book prepared by Anne Melger

This book is about Charlie a boy who is in 9th grade and doesn't have any friends. In this book he writes to a mysterious person who he doesn't know very well. Throughout the book he makes friends and discovers things throughout the book in the end a haunting secret is revealed.
The review of this Book prepared by Rachel

A thoughful insight into a childs perspectivie of life and growing up to understand his identity. Challenging, enticing ang very deep, makes you look at your own life and ponder on your past.
The review of this Book prepared by Yvonne

An incredibly accurate portrayal of early adolesence, this book consists of letters written by Charlie to an unidentified person during his freshman year of high school. Prone to depression, shy, introverted, on the fringes in everything, Charlie is a wallflower who, with the help of friends Samantha and Patrick, comes to terms with life and learns to interact. Although Perks covers just about every tough issue known to teen, the book has its moments of humor, and the tragic aspects are handled so well that it comes off as realistic rather than melodramatic or soap-operatic. A masterful book.
The review of this Book prepared by Ivy

Chapter Analysis of The Perks of Being a Wallflower

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Plot & Themes

Time/era of story    -   1980's-1999 Kids growing up/acting up?    -   Yes Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Age group of kid(s) in story:    -   high school Wild kid(s)?    -   druggie culture (& crime)

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   student Age:    -   a teen Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White (American) Unusual characteristics:    -   Super sensitive soggy jelly muffin


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   3 () United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Northeast    -   Midwest

Writing Style

Sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   vague references only    -   descript of kissing    -   touching of anatomy    -   impregnation/reproduction    -   two guys doing it    -   rape/molest Amount of dialog    -   significantly more descript than dialog

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Stephen Chbosky Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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