Sex, drugs, first dates and mix tapes..


At 16 Charlie is just starting high school, but while the casual friendships and partying seems to come naturally to everyone else, he can't help feeling like an outsider, always standing on the fringes.

Sick of feeling so alone, he decides to see what life is like from the dance floor and after accidentally befriending the charming, loud-mouthed Patrick, he comes to realise that being an outsider doesn't always mean being alone.

But life isn't always that simple and after falling head over heels for Patrick's half-sister Sam, what follows is Charlie's attempt to navigate the minefield of sex, drugs, first dates and mix tapes, while coming to terms with his own increasingly dark past.

perks of being a wallfower

Being such a cult classic, any movie version was always going to attract a lot of attention but with a cast including Logan Lerman and Emma Watson, we though it was only right to put both the book and the film to the test..

What we love about the book:

Having heard it from Emma herself that Perks Of Being A Wallflower is one of the most banned books in the US, we naturally felt it must be worth a read and weren't disappointed - we're telling you now, once you pick it up, you will need to ban anyone from talking to you until you've read had the full cover to cover experience!

Written as a series of anonymous letters to a nameless friend, it's a really powerful way of dealing with the increasingly strange emotions and memories that Charlie seems to rediscover about himself as the book reaches its dramatic and completely unexpected climax.

The story itself is pretty dark at times, but as Charlie struggles to balance passivity with passion, you can't help but fall a little bit in love with him and his mission to share that infinite feeling of freedom with his newly found friends.

 

What we love about the film:

We can get a little bit protective when it comes to translating our favourite characters into real people, but we were in no way disappointed with fitties Logan Lerman (Charlie) and Ezra Miller (Patrick), plus it was great to see Emma Watson (Sam) playing someone more complicated than the eyebrow waggling Hermione Granger we're so used to.

Having been adapted and directed by author Steve Chobsky, the story is pretty true to the book, although the movie version did add a neat little twist to the way Sam and Charlie become so close and ultimately the devastating implications it has on his life.

We should probably admit that we committed a cardinal sin and saw the film before we read the book, but because so much of Charlie's haunting past is implied and never really spoken about, it was a completely different experience going back to the book to relive the story from the inside out.

While both are guaranteed to have you feeling a little teary, the book and the film will definitely have you feeling all warm inside by the end. With that in mind, we asked you lot to tweet us why you needed a literary cheering up and below we've got out winners, who will be having their spirits lifted when they receive a copy of The Perks of Being a Wallflower!

We also asked one of our experts if they could recommend a second book for our bookworms, which they can pick up with the £10 book voucher they will receive with their copy of Perks. Here are the titles they suggested..

@Elski2 - The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks

"My spirits need lifting because it's October & the chance of summer finally arriving has gone :( "

Seventeen-year-old Ronnie Miller's life was turned upside-down when her parents divorced and her father moved from New York City to Wilmington, North Carolina. Three years later, she remains angry and alienated from her parents, especially her father...until her mother decides it would be in everyone's best interest if she spent the summer in Wilmington with him.

Ronnie's father, a former concert pianist and teacher, is living a quiet life in the beach town, immersed in creating a work of art that will become the centerpiece of a local church. The tale that unfolds is an unforgettable story about love in its myriad forms - first love, the love between parents and children - that demonstrates, as only a Nicholas Sparks novel can, the many ways that deeply felt relationships can break our hearts ...and heal them.

@AnabelleH - The Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

"Because I'm back at college tomorrow after a four day weekend!"

On the one hand, Karou is a seventeen-year-old art student in Prague; on the other, errand-girl to Brimstone, a monstrous creature who is the closest thing she has to family.

Raised half in our world, half in 'Elsewhere', she has never understood Brimstone's dark work - buying teeth from hunters and murderers - nor how she came into his keeping. She is a secret even to herself, plagued by the sensation that she isn't whole.

Emma Watson in The Perks of being a Wallflower trailer

@Tessabadamo - The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd 

"The Perks of Being a Wallflower is actually my life biography, it's so amazing accurate it's terrifying OMG!"

Lily has grown up believing she accidentally killed her mother when she was four. She not only has her own memory of holding the gun, but her father's account of the event. Now fourteen, she yearns for her mother, and for forgiveness. Living on a peach farm in South Carolina with her father, she has only one friend: Rosaleen, a black servant whose sharp exterior hides a tender heart.

South Carolina in the sixties is a place where segregation is still considered a cause worth fighting for. When racial tension explodes one summer afternoon, and Rosaleen is arrested and beaten, Lily is compelled to act. Fugitives from justice and from Lily's harsh and unyielding father, they follow a trail left by the woman who died ten years before. Finding sanctuary in the home of three beekeeping sisters, Lily starts a journey as much about her understanding of the world, as about the mystery surrounding her mother.

@Nickiem - Gold by Chris Cleave

"My spirits need lifting with The Perks of Being a Wallflower as I'm still in the post-Olympics letdown mode; miss all the excitement."

What would you sacrifice for the people you love? Kate and Zoe met at nineteen when they both made the cut for the national training program in track cycling—a sport that demands intense focus, blinding exertion, and unwavering commitment. They are built to exploit the barest physical and psychological edge over equally skilled rivals, all of whom are fighting for the last one tenth of a second that separates triumph from despair.

Now at thirty-two, the women are facing their last and biggest race: the 2012 Olympics. Each wants desperately to win gold, and each has more than a medal to lose...

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is out now - will you be seeing it, reading it or both?

Win! awesome Perks of Being a Wallflower goodies!

Check out the trailer for The Perks of Being a Wallflower

EXCLUSIVE: Emma Watson on Harry Styles sneaking out of Perks of Being a Wallflower