Annotated Bib for Perks

Chbosky, Stephen. (1999). The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Pocket Books: A Division of       Simon & Schuster, Inc.

Chbosky’s work in The Perks of being a Wallflower can be closely related to Schrag’s Likewise due to the fact that they both are a tale of two coming of age teenagers. Both works discusses the topic of drugs, sex, love, not fitting in, and everything in between. Chbosky’s work brings into light the idea of how mental illnesses can affect individuals in all aspects of their life, while Likewise is a story that discusses sexuality. I believe that both these topics are controversial to talk about- especially for the time that they both came out, as well as increasingly important to normalize as it is a part of what makes us human.



Likewise in social context

Ariel lives at home with her mother and sister, Valerie. She and her sister will occasionally visit her father, but this was not mentioned much in the book. Her dog (only mentioned once) lives with her father (Schrag, 2009, p. 47). Ariel is very social in school and makes many different friends. Ariel’s mother is a laid back woman, that she and her sister can openly talk about their personal thought with. Ariel and her sister are also always open to have their friends over. This showed to encourage Valerie, in the way that she feels she can smoke and drink at home (Schrag, 2009, p. 251), and Ariel to bring girls over that she has sexual intent with.


Relating to Insecurities

There are many ways that this book is relatable. I think one of the biggest relatable aspects of this comic was the theme of insecurities. I know that through everyone’s high school experiences, they feel insecure, whether it be about their weight, sexuality, looks, or something deeper, everyone has their insecurities and it can be a difficult time trying to come to terms with the insecurities. I think a lot of the conflict that was involved in the book was within Ariel and herself, trying to come to terms with who she is. I can relate to that, a lot, in terms of wondering who I am and who I’m going to be, and who I’m supposed to be, rather than what others want me to be. I think with Ariel being so open about everything in her experiences and her graphic novel can help readers understand that their insecurities could be the same insecurities others are experiencing. With Ariel being so open, it helps understand that everyone goes through the same structure of high school, which includes having insecurities that you have to go through to realize who you are and how you are to overcome them.


Romha’s Annotated



The Structure of Comics

Likewise was a book that was relatively easy to follow in terms of structure.  It was divided into three parts, with chapters to separate events (like most books). The fact that it was a comic could appeal to those who aren’t particularly into reading long chapters at a time. However, there would be times where it was hard to follow along, as the narrative would jump from one event to another without warning, or apparent correlation. It was at times, hard to tell if a certain scene was a flashback or the present.

I had never read a comic book before, so I found it to be a bit confusing and difficult in general.  This was mainly due to the fact that I had to read the dialogue, and then look at the pictures to understand what was going on in that particular scene as oppose to reading just the words and having my imagination fill in the rest. Again, this might just be a “me” problem because I had never read a comic book before, but I was most definitely not used to the writing style, artwork, and overall layout.


Ariel’s Influences

Likewise is also heavily influenced by James Joyce’s Ulysses. The writing style of Joyce is incorporated into Schrag’s work but instead in the form of a graphic novel. Though told in a straightforward fashion, some portions of the comic drift off from Ariel’s storytelling and go on a tangent (such as Schrag talking with her friends about the “It” factor. This writing style challenges the audience to trail off with the author and Scharg does this many times throughout the graphic novel keeping the reader engaged.

Ariel Schrag’s Likewise


Likewise: Releasing the Book

Ariel Schrag wrote the book years before it was released. When she went back to work on it prior to the release, she stated that she did not make any changes to the story. Aside from some minor edits, she released it as-is. Releasing it as a comic was important to her as she believed there weren’t many comics around at the time and Schrag believed it was important to try something new and go into unchartered territory.