‘Perks’ Pop Culture: What To Read, Watch And Listen To From Stephen Chbosky’s Novel

The young-adult literati got its first look at the big-screen adaptation of Stephen Chbosky’s beloved novel, “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” over the weekend as stars Logan Lerman, Emma Watson and Ezra Miller presented the clip during the 2012 MTV Movie Awards pre-show.

We’ve already introduced you to the trailer’s featured musical artists, Imagine Dragons, whose “It’s Time” provides the background to the stirring bite, but the book upon which the movie is based is also rich with pop-culture references. From “The Catcher in the Rye” to “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” here’s what you should read, watch and listen to while you wait for the film’s September 14 release.

It’s only fitting literature get its due in literature, right? Charlie’s English teacher, Bill (played by Paul Rudd), recognizes his pupil’s intellect and enthusiasm for for the written word, so he gives Charlie extra assignments to keep him engaged and foster his interest in writing. Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird,” Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road” and J.D. Salinger’s “The Catcher in the Rye” are just a few of the works Charlie reads during his freshman year.

If you pay close attention to the trailer, you’ll notice a scene in which Emma Watson is done up in a seductive feather boa and black lingerie. No, this isn’t “Harry Potter” fanfic come to life, but instead, a shot from the teens’ staging of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” (which seems to be having a bit of a resurgence of late). The production not only allows Charlie to bond with his new friends, but is a major catalyst for bringing him out of his shell. If you haven’t yet, be sure to check out the 1975 movie musical starring Tim Curry and Susan Sarandon.

Music is a major player in “Perks,” and seeing as Chbosky’s novel is set in the early ’90s, Charlie and his friends use mixtapes (I know—so old-fashioned!) to share music and often times their feelings, as well. Artists name-checked include The Smiths, The Beatles, Nirvana, Nick Drake and The Misfits. We’ll forgive you for eschewing period authenticity and pulling these guys up on Spotify.

Are you excited for “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”? What’s your favorite pop-culture reference in the novel? Sound off in the comments and on Twitter!