This book is a must-read for teens and adults alike. Striking chords similar in tone to that of "The Catcher in the Rye", "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" follows an impressionable and socially awkward boy through life as he hopes to eventually know it. Throughout the text, Charlie falls in love, tries LSD, contemplates masturbation, deals with an epic family secret, and discusses life and dying. Charlie is our tour-guide through his life, which is full of problems brewing beneath the surface and above. He quickly becomes a clueless but interesting friend to the reader; readers will want to reach out and point Charlie in the right direction, and actually feel for him because they cannot help him after all.
Chbosky stresses the importance of making friends and socializing, learning things through trial-and-error, and that throughout trials and tribulations, one must never relinquish hope. These ideas are painted through the eyes of Charlie, a hilarious, brilliant, loner-of-a high school wallflower. The book reads very quickly and easily, and Charlie is so honest, aloof, and hysterical that it is hard to put the book down. In that sense, it makes for a great classroom read--but with that comes many caveats.
Because such sensitive matters such as suicide, depression, use of narcotics, adult language, and sexual content (such as masturbation and molestation) are prevalent throughout, readers must be of a mature mindset. If they are, they will have no choice but to learn from this book--and laugh a lot along the way.
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