Rated Reads

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

by Stephen Chbosky

Rated: DIRT

The book is told through letters written from Charlie, the narrator, to an unnamed stranger. In the letters, Charlie expresses his feelings and nervousness about starting high school. Through the letters, he openly discusses his struggles with a friend’s suicide in junior high school, his family, and trying to “participate” in his life at high school. He befriends a group of seniors who accept him for the smart, sensitive, odd kid that he is and introduce him to drugs and alcohol along with friendship. They accept him as the wallflower he is.

This book is easily comparable to J.D. Salinger’s classic coming-of-age story, The Catcher in the Rye. It even seems at times that Charlie is a more modern Holden Caulfield. This is Charlie’s coming-of-age story and the reader comes to like Charlie, his family and his friends as he struggles through the ups and downs of family life, high school, friendship, romance and growing up.

I enjoyed this book. I enjoyed it more than I enjoyed The Catcher in the Rye. Charlie is more likable, and as the reader, you come to worry about him when he’s down and cheer for him when things are going his way. There is something to be learned from this book, but it has a lot of mature themes. Don’t (if you’re a teen) set off alone to read this and don’t (if you’re a parent) allow your teen to read it without reading it along with them.

Rated: DIRT. This would be a HIGH rating if it wasn’t a young adult book. There are a lot of mature subjects discussed in this book including teen drinking, teen drug use, teen sex, sexual abuse, abuse, teen suicide, abortion, homosexual sex, anonymous homosexual sex, masturbation, etc.  There are also about a dozen uses of the f-word and maybe 10 uses of other swear words.

— Reviewed by Nancy Minster

Nancy Minster is an avid reader, is married to an avid reader and is the mother to four little kids who seem to like books as well. One can only wonder where they get it from!

2 Responses to The Perks of Being a Wallflower

  1. Anna says:

    Hello,
    I would like to express my appreciation for this honest review about this well-known and popular book. It’s insightful and helpful, and tells just the right amount of information without being an over-load. I personally watched the movie adaption, and recently came across the book at a local library, and was thinking about reading it since I had watched the movie. I’m glad that I read your honest review and the just right amount of information about the contents in this book. I wanted to make sure whether it would be a good idea to read it or not. I kinda don’t want to read it anymore, but I still do like the characters and the talented actors who portrayed them in the movie adaption.. I do believe I might wait until I am older before reading the book. Thanks again.

  2. Akira says:

    I don’t know why this book is so popular. It is to dirty for me to read it.

  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower
  • by Stephen Chbosky
  • Rated: DIRT
  • Genre: Young adult
  • Reviewer: