In my opinion, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is one of the best YA books ever written, and one of the best YA books I've ever read. That being said, I'm not shocked, but aghast that the contents of this book would even be questioned. Charlie is the main character, who spends his first year of high school writing letters to "Friend" about his school experiences and challenges.
Stephen Chbosky wrote about Charlie and his struggles, to connect with the every day teenagers who have issues that might not be visible on the outside. He took Charlie's delicate subject matter and turned it into a story that every teen reader (and some adults) can relate to.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower has been challenged and/or banned in schools ten years in a row. Year after year, parents beg their school board to pull the book off the shelves because they don't want their pre-teen/teen reading it. Or any others for that matter, since they want it taken off the shelves so that nobody can read it.
The book has very intense, awkward, severely emotional and saddening scenes in it, but it's definitely not enough to take the book away, or enough to bypass any of the other "blasphemous" YA books out there. Another reason is because of the fact that one of the characters is a homosexual. Oh my goodness...
I do have friends and know of others who don't care for this book. It's not that surprising to me! I know that it's not everyone's cup of tea (I don't expect it to be), and that not everyone has fallen in love with it as I have. I understand that a lot of readers are uncomfortable with some of the things that happen in the book...but in no way- no way- does that allow you to take it away from other readers.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower, in my opinion, is one of the best coming of age novels ever. It's the perfect book to make a connection with when you need someone to understand and listen to your problems; a friend, and a shoulder to cry on.
Stephen Chbosky has taken understanding and sympathy and turned it into a novel that you can pick up and take with you everywhere.