Second Look: THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER by Stephen Chbosky

November 4, 2012

Dear Friend,

I am writing to you to tell you all about a boy named Charlie. He’s a bit of a wallflower, which means he tries not to get involved, but he notices things. He doesn’t just notice how you style your hair, or who you might be dating, or how many times you’ve worn that shirt with the coffee stain on it. He notices things like what kind of person you are and what you love and what moves you.

He’s had a bit of a tough life. His family is ok, but he lost a dear relative when he was 7 years old, and his best friend shot himself just last year. He’s had some difficulty adjusting, but he’s starting his freshman year of high school and he’s somewhat nervous. Eventually, Charlie gains new friends that are unlike any other. They open his world to new experiences, new people, and accept him in a way he’s never felt before. This is the story of Charlie’s freshman year with a rag tag group of friends and some of the many perks of being a wallflower.

Love always,

P.S. The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a shockingly realistic look at high school life. Friends are made. Couples break up. People get hurt.  Just like real life. It deals with lots of sensitive and sometimes controversial topics such as homosexuality, mental illness, and abuse. But it is the most awesome coming-of-age novel you will every read. It’s sad, yet hopeful and inspiring all that the same time. I think everyone can find a bit of a kindred spirit in Charlie in one way or another. He makes you feel like you’re not alone with whatever drama you’re dealing with, and that it’s perfectly normal to feel a little lost and more than a little imperfect.

P.P.S. This book has historically been somewhat controversial and considered inappropriate for its intended age group because of some of the content it contains. To people who think this book is inappropriate for teenagers: You have the right to your opinions and I respect that. But you should also know that the events in this book happen to people in high school everyday. It may even be happening to your child/friend/sibling as you read this paragraph. Teenagers drink, do drugs, have sex, masturbate, swear, keep secrets, and get into fights.  And they’re probably going to do it whether or not they read Perks or any other book you feel is inappropriate.

P.P.P.S. OFFICIAL RATING: 11/10 (see amendment to our traditional 1-10 rating scale on the Ratings page).


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