All member reviews for The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Common Sense Media says

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

Users say

(out of 87 reviews)
age 14+
Review this title!
Parent of a 6 year old Written bymadsmooney1214 August 29, 2012

the perks of being a wallflower

most challenged book on the American Library Association's list of the 100 most banned or challenged books of 2000-2009. What makes it so controversial? Who should be able to make the decision about what you read or what's in your school or public library? Teens and parents may want to compare and contrast this book with some of the other coming-of-age classics Charlie reads during his 10th grade year, including The Catcher in the Rye, To Kill a Mockingbird and A Separate Peace. Why did the author choose to include these books?
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 17 years old Written bybackstrokermaddy September 20, 2012

Perks is Perfection but for older kids.

I remembered reading this when I was twelve and getting a lot of looks from teachers, it seemed like they were mad at me. I've always been mature for my age so understood the book fully. Still, no one under the age of fourteen should be reading this unless it is fully alright with their parents. A lot of heavy stuff happens and it's not your usual fluffy story for middle schoolers and younger. I just read it again and it amazes me my parents were fine with me reading it! Although it is extremely well written and I easily felt empathy for Charlie, I would never recommend this to a kid under fourteen.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 13 years old Written byburningupasun September 20, 2012

The Perks of Reading Perks of Being a Wallflower

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 messages
Great role models
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 15 years old Written bytylerkippert June 28, 2012

Amazing Novel That Teenagers Can Learn From

-Positive Messages: Many teenagers can learn a lot from this book. The main message is to instead observing life, experience it. -Positive Role Models: Although Charlie is influenced easily, he is a good person and is extremely intelligent. -Violence: Around the beginning of the novel, Charlie is bullied and gets in a fight with his bully. His sister gets punched by her boyfriend. Some characters lived an abusive life. He saves his friend after a group of guys gain up on him. -Sex: Sexual content in here is strong. Both straight and gay couples have sex. There is discussing on "pleasuring themselves". Charlie witnessed a teenager forcing a teenage girl to have intercourse with him at a young age. He has a friend who goes the the park for anonymous sex. There's a graphic scene at the end. This story also includes molestatoin. -Language: There is a lot of language in this book. S--t, d-mn, b-tch, a--, h-ll. The "F" word is used a couple times. An offensive term for a gay person is used. -Consumerism: not an issue. -Drugs: Many characters smoke marijuana. Charlie describes his experience with LSD.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 17 years old Written bySARRABLIDI May 23, 2013

breath-taking !

I think the true value of this book is that it shows teenagers it is okay to be an outsider and to struggle sometimes. don't mind the language or the sex side, trust me teenagers don't discover this through books. it's just an amazing writing !
What other families should know
Educational value
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 15 years old Written byHaylee_LOVE_ September 18, 2012

Defiantly a book worth while! (:

An AMAZING read! I am a 15 year old freshman and I read the book because I saw the commercial for the movie. I was super excited to see that not only is my favorite actor (Logan Lerman) & my favorite actress (Emma Watson) are two of the main characters.. I got the book and immediately started reading hoping I would get the book done in time for the midnight premiere on Septemeber 21. I couldn't put the book down! I was reading constantly!! I had the book done within 3 days of receiving my order! It's a great book about what it is like to go through high school.. Yes, there is drugs, sex, and violence in the book but it is exactly what you go through in high school. There isn't a single part of the book that is bad. It's written amazingly and set up great.. I say if you have a mature child!! Go for it but it's defiantly not for the immature kids who still laugh when the teacher says vagina in science class.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 14 years old Written byEmmaMoorehead August 14, 2014

Good message, but mature themes.

I read this book when I was 13, I think you really need to know yourself, and know what you can handle. This book is very emotional, and has a lot of sexual content including rape. If you think you can handle it, read it! It's such an amazing book, and makes you feel infinite. :)
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Kid, 10 years old July 26, 2013

Great book for teens and mature tweens

WOW, great book. I know what you are thinking right now, that I shouldn't read things like this yet but, suck it up!!!!!!!!!! Anyway it is a great book but, not appropriate for sensitive tweens. There is some sex but, mostly in stories from the past, Charlie, (the main character) tells a story of him seeing a girl being raped when he was at a young age. There is a reference to masturbation. Teens drink alcohol and get high, there is also some strong language including, f**k.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 16 years old Written bychristia ferguson April 24, 2012

"perks"

it's a really good book, some content is a bit heavey though. you have to be somewhat mature to handle the book.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 13 years old Written byBlink41 February 9, 2014

One of my favorite books

This book is absolutely great. It's told through letters from the main character Charlie. There is minor drug use but that's not what makes this book inappropriate for younger kids. There is a rape scene at one point, where Charlie recounts watching a girl boy raped at his brother's party when he was nine. That part was very hard for me to read as it is fairly graphic and very sad. Near the end of the book we learn that Charlie was sexually abused by his aunt Helen and it is heartbreaking. This book is wonderful and I recommend it to anyone who is mature enough to handle these topics.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Teen, 15 years old Written bySpectacularRival April 1, 2015

Perks

This book is as emotional as if you were going through what the characters were going through. Also, the perks of being a wallflower has all of the coming of age type of taboo subjects that one way or another your child is going to find out about. For a mature 12 year old this book is probably suitable as they aren't going to shriek at the profanity and sex in it. Also as I have had severe depression in the (recent) past, this book (but luckily it went after a week after reading this) brought it back. I believe this happened because Charlie writes so innocent and beautifully graphic about his depressed sate of mind. The book has: Gay sex scenes ( and non gay sex scenes) (Accidental) drug use. LSD( MDMA) drug use Smoking (although a character does state how bad it is and makes Charlie stop doing it.) An auntie of the main character sexually abusing the main character. Suicides and suicide notes. Although you might be thinking why I do believe this book has some educational value for teens and adults.
What other families should know
Educational value
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 15 years old Written byihaveatwin July 22, 2014

Brilliant ~ a must read!

Although the book has drinking/sex/smoking/drugs it is brilliantly written! Once i opened it, i wouldn't put it down - finished with a day. I would advise to anyone who enjoyed The Fault in Out Stars//John Green. Or Ketchup Clouds//Annabel Pitcher.. to read The Perks Of Being A Wallflower. (Also i also advise The Fault in Our Stars or Ketchup Clouds if you haven't read them.)
Teen, 16 years old Written byBammey February 10, 2014
Teen, 16 years old Written byBrandonMark June 16, 2013

Great book

I read this book when I was eleven, and it's one the best books i have ever read.
Teen, 13 years old Written byinfinite-hope February 20, 2013

Rather disappointing, but not too bad.

Many people have recommended this book to me and I've heard some pretty good reviews on it so I had pretty high expectations for this book and when I read it, I was sort of disappointed. This book isn't too bad, but sometimes it just doesn't make sense. It's not realistic and sometimes it seems like the author just wrote some of the scenes for the sake of filling the pages instead of actually writing it because it's a crucial part of the story. Some people think there are positive messages or positive role models in this book but personally I don't really think there are any. There are also too much smoking, drinking and drugs. I advise kids under the age of 13 not to read this book as the amount of sexual content in the book is too inappropriate. Homosexuality is also mentioned a lot in the book. Despite all the negative aspects of this book, there are two particular quotes that I quite like, "We accept the love we think we deserve." and "And in that moment, I swear we were infinite." It just seems so deep and I just can't help but love it. I think it might be because I really like the word 'infinite', as you could probably tell from my username.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 14 years old Written bySumBO October 16, 2012

And in that moment i swear we were infinite.

Steven Chbosky is an amazing author no doubt about it. This is an incredible book about the experiences and dangers of high school. I read this book first when I was 12, I'm very mature for my age so even if it was too "old" for me, I still understood it. This is a great book to read when starting high school, but it all depends on how mature you are, Because if you like me are/were a very mature 12 or 13 year old it's fine but the book deals with sex, drugs, child molestation, and alcohol, (nothing too explicit though). So in my opinion 14 is the perfect age to read this book.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Kid, 12 years old July 11, 2012

One of the best books I'v read

you would think it was a typical high school story, but it's not. It's original because this story is told from a feshman, who would in most stories complain about how his life is a living hell in high school. but this story for once doesn't do that. for violence, charlie's sister gets hit by her boyfriend, but resumes to date him and his best friend commited suicide. there is a lot of talk about sex and only one or two mildy graphic scenes. main character does drugs and drinks even though he is underage. a lot of language, since it is high school. but it will defiently keep you reading
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 15 years old Written by100annabella May 27, 2012

Amazing! Must-read!

It is an amazing book with a positive outlook on life not normally in books, with a interesting character who has real issues giving a raw reality to the book. It is amazing and everyone should read it, but due to some strong sexual content you should be aware off, anyone under 14 I think might be a little young, and 14 +15 year olds should be mature for their age to read it.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 13 years old Written byResidentEvilPotter January 7, 2012

Helps Teens Understand

Educational value. There aren't really any good role models, except for maybe Charlie's parents, but even then, they don't know about what's going on with Charlie. His friends introduce him to drugs. Good coming of age story, though. The author really got it.
What other families should know
Educational value
Too much sex
Teen, 15 years old Written bylemacken2 March 18, 2017

deep meaning

Honestly, im 15 years old and i wish i wouldve read this sooner. It really shows people how you can get out of a bad place or state of mind even if youre a quiet shy person. Only people who have been through a lot really understand the deep meaning behind all of this sex, drugs etc, thats just on the side and you cant tell me that kids under 12 dont know that because they all do. I was really touched emotionally by this book considering ive been through a lot. Plus, I dont normally cry over books/movies/much but I did in this book because it meant a lot to me.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models

Pages