“The Perks of Being a Wallflower” will put you in the feels


Written by Rosalyn Zoglmann, staff member

“The Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephan Chbosky will make you laugh and cry all at the same time. This young adult fiction follows Charlie, an incoming freshman, throughout his first year of high school. Going into high school, Charlie is dealing with the suicide of his best friend and grieving the death of his aunt Helen. Throughout the book, Charlie experiences new things, makes new friends, and learns that relationships are some of the most important things in life. According to the website Goodreads, the book received a rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars. 

Near the end of September is Banned Books Week. “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” is one of many books on the challenged/banned books list. Some of the major themes in the book are trauma, abuse, mental health, relationships and intimacy, and adolescents and transformation. There is also an LGBT character in the book. This book was published in 1999, so there was a lot of backlash about this book at the time. According to the Marshall Libraries website, the book was first challenged in Fairfax, Virginia school libraries by a groups of parent for “profanity and description of drug abuse, sexual conduct and torture.” The book continues to face backlash.

Personally I love this book. Some of the issues in this book are still very relevant in teenagers’ lives. Charlie is such a sweet, caring character whom you learn to love. Throughout the book, I wanted to protect him from the pain of growing up. Charlie grows as a person and navigates his way through life. I recommend this book to anyone. As Charlie said, “Things change. And friends leave. Life doesn’t stop for anybody.” I give this book a 5 out of 5 Cardinal heads.