This book was essentially my life last year. While short, when I finished reading it, I lay in bed for hours, simply reflecting over the quote, "And in that moment, I swear we were infinite." Some people say it's cheesy and fake, but I think that people who say that evidently didn't understand the book. If you truly read it and appreciate it, quotes like that and "We accept the love we think we deserve" will hold with you throughout life. I just re-read it again yesterday, and fell in love with the characters all over again.
Charlie is somewhat naive, though charismatic and endearing. Throughout his freshman year, he matures into a more self aware, curious, and "out there" kind of person. Sam shows how, while some people can think one thing about a person, the true personality of that person can be completely different - the rumors can be completely off-base. Patrick is one of my favorite characters, along with Charlie's sister, because it shows how accepting the author is, and thinks we should all be, of gay rights. At this time especially, that's a very controversial point, but I love the way Chbosky portrays it. Charlie's sister shows how important it is to get out of an abusive relationship, and shows the author as pro-choice, which is, once more, a very controversial point. These two are two of the main reasons Perks is so high up on the Banned Books List, but I think it provides the book with texture, makes the book feel more real.
Know your child - some people can handle things like this, some can't. It contains a few trigger warnings, though not many, and is also sexually explicit in some chapters (or, rather, letters). However, if you can handle these things, it is a beautifully written book - realistic, where the main character doesn't have a vocabulary decades of years beyond him. Beautifully written, it makes you question - Don't YOU want to be remembered for something great?
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking