The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I originally bought this book for my sister-in-law for Christmas, but my wife said that she probably wouldn't like it since it looked like it was for "kids". I initially thought it was for kids myself, too, and, unsurprisingly, a lot of "kids" HAVE fallen in love with this book. But now I actually know why. Just like The Catcher in the Rye has spoken to so many angst-ridden adolescents over the years, I think The Perks of Being a Wallflower will do the same for many years to come. And this is coming from an adult in their early 30s. This is a marvelous story with true honesty and wisdom. So a "kids" book, it's not.
The story centers around a teenager named Charlie starting his freshman year of high school...at the age of sixteen. There's a reason why he's starting so late, but it's all revealed in time so I won't spoil it for you. It's a quick and easy read and you can find out for yourself. That's part of the journey.
If there's one thing I didn't like though, it's that there are so many names. Sure, they aren't hard to remember--Bill, Patrick, Sam, etc--but there are just so many of them that it sometimes tripped me up.
Overall, though, this is a masterpiece of young adult lit that should be read by all, and not only teenagers going through the struggle (Since the struggle is real, of course). There are a few F bombs and questionable material for youngsters, but it's nothing more than what they would hear or find in an R-rated movie, which all of them are watching these days, you can be sure. Read it first before you let your kids take a peek, though. Sixteen would probably be the best age to introduce them to this story.
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