In books like The Perks of Being a Wallflower, the author often begins by asking a question of his or her own in the process of writing. ‘Why do good people allow themselves to be treated so badly?’ asks author Stephen Chbosky in this novel, and he responds by saying, ‘We accept the love we think we deserve’.
An unapologetic look at the effects of child abuse, death, suicide, and mental disorders in a coming-of-age tale that touches on romance, sexuality, and teenage angst. In fact, many American high schools and libraries forbade the publication of this book.
It is through the letters that Charlie, the main character in The Perks of Being a Wallflower, expresses his feelings about college life to no one in particular. Many of the events in the book appear to have been based on the author’s own experiences.
At first, Charlie’s only ally is his English teacher, who encourages him to write; however, Patrick and Sam, his stepsister, arrive and transform Charlie’s life. Sam is Charlie’s primary interest, and Charlie’s feelings for him run throughout the story.
Logan Lerman played Charlie in the film adaptation, which was directed by Stephen Chbosky and starred Emma Watson as Sam.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower is one of my favorite books, and I’ve rounded up a few others for you to add to your library.
Books like The Perks of Being a Wallflower
The Catcher in the Rye, by J D Salinger
It’s impossible to go wrong with The Catcher in the Rye when you’re looking for books like The Perks of Being a Wallflower. It has been likened to JD Salinger’s classic tale, another book that was banned in some areas for its open inclusion of swearing and sexual themes. During their adolescent years, the protagonists of both books struggle with sanity and judgment.
Holden Caulfield, the protagonist of The Catcher in the Rye, is a confused sixteen-year-old boy who, according to some theories, tells his story from a psychiatric hospital. A couple of days in December of the year before he tells his tale.
That’s why it was banned in the 1950s: It has a contemporary feel, despite its age. Despite the generally somber tone, there are moments of levity sprinkled throughout.
Fun fact: David Chapman was carrying this book when he shot John Lennon, thus the title “Dangerous.”
For those willing to take a risk, I recommend The Catcher in the Rye, especially those who enjoy books like The Perks of Being a Wallflower.
Have you already finished reading it? Visit this page to see a list of similar books to The Catcher in the Rye!
Looking for Alaska, by John Green
Looking for Alaska by John Green, author of The Fault in Our Stars and The Perks of Being a Wallflower, is also on the “banned” list.
Parental anxiety was high around the world because of some explicit scenes, controversial religious views, and liberal use of profanity in this modern classic.’ Every single one of the factors that will make it a teen favorite!
Pudge, the reclusive alter ego of Miles Halter, is fascinated by the Great Perhaps and how to move forward in life when there are no answers. In the course of his travels, he makes a few new friends, one of whom is a bright and energetic girl named Alaska.
From romance to religion and all that adolescence has to offer, Pudge tells the tale of his journey of self-discovery.
Here are some reasons why Looking for Alaska is an excellent choice for those looking for something akin to The Perks of Being a Wallflower:
Have you already finished reading it? To see what other books like Looking for Alaska are available, check out our list!
All the Bright Places, by Jennifer Niven
Prior to the death of her sister in a car accident, Violet was one of the most popular kids in school. Now she is haunted by guilt over her sister’s death.
Theodore is known as the oddball of the school. He suffers from (undiagnosed) bipolar affective disorder and has an unhealthy preoccupation with dying.
They plan to jump from the school tower one day when they both climb it at the same time.
They set out on a journey to find love and support after talking each other out of taking their own lives.
Throughout their story, you’ll be gripping the edges of the book / e-reader with both hands.
Theodore is said to have been based on a boy Niven had a crush on.
You should definitely check out All the Bright Places if you enjoyed The Perks of Being a Wallflower!
What if you’ve already read it? Find more books like All the Bright Places on our list!
The Secret Life of Bees, by Sue Monk Kidd
My recommendation for a book similar to but more inspiring than The Perks of Being a Wallflower is The Secret Life of Bees. Story of one girl’s journey through violence and racism to find the happiness she craves in this touching coming-of-age tale.
The year is 1964 in South Carolina. After her mother died at the age of 4, Lily Owens blames herself. A black servant named Rosaleen is her only friend and mother figure; her father is aloof and distant.
Lily decides to flee with Rosaleen after she becomes the victim of a racial incident. They go to Tiverton in the hopes of finding out more about Lily’s mother while they’re there. They are taken in by a group of three black sisters who keep bees in their home.
Like The Perks of Being a Wallflower, this novel takes you on a rollercoaster ride of emotions.
Have you already finished reading it? Find more books like The Secret Life of Bees on our list!
The Book of Lost Things, by John Connolly
Like The Perks of Being a Wallflower, this book is described as “wonderfully weird and quirky.” While World War II is taking place, a 12-year-old boy loses his mother to cancer, which causes him to withdraw into his own thoughts.
He and his father will soon be relocating to the home of David’s new stepmother, where he will spend most of his time in the attic, reading and listening to the fairytales that hang on the walls.
He is taken to a fantasy world where mythical creatures rule the roost. When David is unable to return home via the portal he entered, he seeks out a distant king and the Book of Lost Things.
As in many fairy tales, the plot revolves around violence, death, and greed. Get your freak on with this unique tale by John Connolly if you’re looking for books like The Perks of Being a Wallflower.