Book Blog - The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

I've been doing a little research project with my current reading selections.  In December, The New York Times Best Seller list was divided into two new lists:  middle grade (ages 8-12) and young adult (age 12-18), with both including sales across all platforms.  This new list for young adults intrigues me. 

What makes the books on the list so popular? 

What keeps them on the list week after week (and sometimes year after year)? 

Do they have anything in common? 

I decided to read as many as possible in my area of contemporary realistic fiction to find out.

I previously read THE FAULT IN OUR STARS by John Green and 13 REASONS WHY by Jay Asher, so I recently picked up THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER by Stephen Chbosky (yes, I realize I'm way behind the times).  The book was originally published in 1999 and has recently been made into a movie starring Emma Watson and Logan Lerman, which is certainly helping with it's popularity. 

I also decided to try something else new with this book.  I bought it in audible format and downloaded it onto my IPhone to listen while I exercised.  I figured if it can keep me thinking about something else while running then it HAS to be good.

I wasn't disappointed. 

The biggest revelation with this book was voice, and that was especially noticeable in the audio format.  The voice of Charlie is so consistent and powerful.  And in making comparisons with the other contemporaries I had read on the list, this seemed consistent.  Voice.  All very different, but all so clear.  Every sentence, every word true to the main character.  So if you're one of the few people in the world (like me) who haven't yet read this book, I encourage you to pick it up.  It's an amazing study in the craft of writing with an authentic, strong voice.

"Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it, Charlie is navigating through the strange worlds of love, drugs, "The Rocky Horror Picture Show", and dealing with the loss of a good friend and his favorite aunt."


An easy read, perfect for the 18-23 age bracket. I bought this book having read the e-book and wanted my own copy. And then the movie came out, which was quite a disappointment by comparison, seemed to scratch at the surface. Highly recommended.

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