REVIEW: The Perks Of Being A Wallflower (book and film)

If there’s one film that I’ve absolutely ADORED this year then it has to be The Perks Of Being A Wallflower. I’d never read the book (I got it from the library straight after seeing the film) and so knew relatively little about what I was about to watch other than that it starred Emma Watson.

The story follows Charlie – a teenage boy whose eternal hopefulness is crippled by dark memories and over-bearing shyness – and his budding friendship with step-sibling duo Patrick and Sam.

The ensuing adventures are uplifting, tear-jerking and horribly poignant. It’s almost impossible not to feel tears prick to your eyes at least once during this film: whether it be when Charlie first realises that he’s making friends or as the film nears its conclusion.

The movie’s cast are utter perfection: Logan Lerman could not have played Charlie any better had he tried, and Emma Watson and Ezra Miller lit up the screen as BFF duo Patrick and Sam. It was directed by the book’s author, Stephen Chbosky and so it was true to the novel; the book was written in 1999  but has a sense of timelessness about it that makes it feel a lot older (in fact I was surprised when I realised it was published in ’99).

The book is great – written in letter format to an unspecified recipient, it chronicles Charlie’s life in painful – sometimes uncomfortably so – detail but still brings the same resounding warmth to Charlie that the film manages to capture so perfectly. We like Charlie – in fact, we love Charlie: we want him to be happy and we feel every moment with him. When his dad gives him money to buy Christmas presents, when Sam tells him she loves him, when he calls his sister at the end – we

feel every single moment.

The ending of the book was different to the film in that it was more explicit – you will be shocked but equally you will be glad that Charlie has finally realised why he feels the way he does. The film was cinematic perfection (IMHO) and the book is a quick, enjoyable read – if I had to recommend an order, go for book first as I feel that it really wouldn’t compare if you see the movie prior to reading the novel.


1)  “I just need to know that someone out there listens and understands and doesn’t try to sleep with people even if they could have. I need to know that these people exist.”

2) “We accept the love we think we deserve.”

3) “I just want you to know that you’re very special… and the only reason I’m telling you is that I don’t know if anyone else ever has.”

4) “Please believe that things are good with me, and even when they’re not, they will be soon enough.”

5) “And in that moment, I swear we were infinite.”

The Perks Of Being A Wallflower is in cinemas now – the book is available to buy here.


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