The Voice of the Bellwood-Antis Student Body

The BluePrint

The Voice of the Bellwood-Antis Student Body

The BluePrint

The Voice of the Bellwood-Antis Student Body

The BluePrint

Book Vs Movie: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Jayden Bartlebaugh
The movie version of The Perks of Being a Wallflower lives up to the lofty expectations set by the novel.

Stephen Chobonsky wrote The Perks of Being a Wallflower in 1999 selling 100,000 copies by 2000. In 2012, Chobonsky would release the film adaptation of the book grossing over $33 million dollars worldwide.

Over the years the story has gained traction with both the book and movie gaining a cult-like following. However, critics have raised issues with the books content containing topics as sexual abuse and suicide. Due to the touchy subjects, the book was the 14th most banned book between 2010 and 2019.


The Perks of Being a Wallflower follows 15 year old Charlie (later 16) who writes letters to an unknown recipient about his freshman year of high school. Charlie is an introverted boy who has a passion for books and writing. Later in the book Charlie befriends two seniors, Patrick and Sam. We learn that Patrick is in a secret relationship with Brad, a football player, and Sam is Patrick’s stepsister. Charlie also talks about his Aunt Hellen who was a role model until she died.

Later, Charlie is accepted into this group of friends being labeled as a ‘Wallflower’ and begins to cry because he thought, “I didn’t know that other people thought things about me.” As the story continues, Charlie begins a deviating relationship with Mary Elizabeth. This relationship ends when Charlie is dared to kiss the prettiest girl in the room choosing to kiss Sam over Mary.

Due to his kiss with Sam, Charlie is told by Patrick to stay away for a while. Charlie is later forgiven after defending Patrick from Brad after a fight broke out between the two. Brad’s abusive father discovered their relationship, Brad became like the jock stereotype provoking a fight between Brad and Patrick.

Nearing the end of the school year, Charlie becomes more anxious of losing his graduating friends. Charlie helps Sam pack when she brings up his feelings for her and that she’s mad he never acted on them. The two begin to engage romantically when Charlie becomes unexpectedly uncomfortable. The interaction stirred up repressed memories of being sexually abused by his Aunt Hellen when he was young. This helps provide the reader a possible insight to Charlie’s episodes of derealization.

The book ends with Charlie being released from a hospital two months later meeting up with his friends, Sam and Patrick.


With most book to movie adaptations it’s hard to capture the same feeling you get when you read the book. With The Perks of Being a Wallflower that feeling is well preserved through the movie. The movie adaptation was directed and written by Stephen Chobonsky himself, allowing him to fulfill his dream of turning the book into a movie. 

However, with book to movie adaptations it’s hard to capture certain moments that the book has. For example, Charlie’s family isn’t as involved in the movie as in the book. In the book, Charlie brings up a lot of memories of him and his family that the movie doesn’t have. The book also addressed the suicide of Charlies friend Micheal in the beginning of the book rather than later like in the movie.

Despite these changes the movie does an amazing job capturing the story. The movie also had believable characters and the acting was well done. Overall the adaptation was well produced and represented the book almost perfectly.

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