The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Book review by Kate Pavao, Common Sense Media
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Common Sense says

age 16+

Controversial coming-of-age classic with sex, drugs, abuse.

Parents say

age 15+

Based on 10 reviews

Kids say

age 14+

Based on 129 reviews

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Community Reviews

age 16+

It's not a bad book

I think this is a good book, if you are mature enough for it. I had to read it for my advanced English class in 12th grade, and it wasn't too bad. It has strong language and content, and touches on some serious topics, but is actually relevant for teens and what they go through. Think about how much of these things take place in the real world, people smoke and drink and have sex . And you probably can't even go a day without hearing swear words (Especially in school). It portrays a realistic topic and story and deserves a read.
age 15+
Going into high school can be a scary experience for anyone, especially for a social outcast like Charlie. “Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky is the emotional story of Charlie's first year of high school. From new friends, drugs, suicide, and abuse this story is a revealing look into a teenage boys struggle to just fit in during his first year of high school. I highly recommend this book to those who are looking for a good read about relevant high school topics. Many of the themes that are prevalent in this book do make it more of a young adult novel and I would not suggest it for anyone under 15. There are multiple references to drugs, alcohol, abuse, and sex throughout the novel. Most of the conflicts that Charlie faces deal directly with these problems. The climax of the novel comes very late making the ending seem slightly rushed, but it was still a novel that I did not want to end. The writing style of this novel also really help to add to the realistic elements of this novel. The whole novel is letter written by Charlie to an unnamed recipient. Charlie’s thoughts are also very scattered while he is writing giving it a personal feel while also giving us an insight into Charlie’s character. In many instances he will be discussing one topic and quickly change to the next and get off track for the next three paragraphs and while this can becoming distracting at times it gives you a much better look and picture as to what Charlie is really like. Anyone who is facing difficulties in high school should definitely give this book a chance. It is a great resource of information on how to face those real life situations while still adding a bit of humor to the situation. And even if you are not facing struggles, you are just looking for a good, inspiring novel to read, I highly recommend “Perks of Being a Wallflower”.

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Book Details

  • Author: Stephen Chbosky
  • Genre: Coming of Age
  • Book type: Fiction
  • Publisher: MTV
  • Publication date: February 1, 1999
  • Number of pages: 224
  • Last updated: December 13, 2018

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