Saturday, August 24, 2013

Teen Review: Wallflowerishness

The Perks of Being a Wallflower
by Stephen Chbosky
Teen Nonfiction
256 pages
Not part of a series
Reading Level:
     High school / mature
Rating: 5
Reviewed by:
     K. G. Mitchell, 12th grade
The Perks of Being a Wallflower is quite honestly a coming-of-age masterpiece. Perks is beautifully narrated by the main character, 15-year-old Charlie, as he tells the reader about various life experiences, in a series of letters to an anonymous stranger. Charlie is an outcast. He gets bullied and prefers to walk home rather than taking the bus. Isn't this a familiar plot? Yes, it has been done before, but read the story and you’ll easily discover that Perks has a bigger purpose and deeper plot. Charlie himself is a mystery. He has mental problems, sees things that reminds him of his past, and often passes out. Through his letters to this anonymous person, we learn what it’s like to deal with these setbacks as well as discovering how Charlie survives high school in the 1990s. Eventually Charlie meets Sam and her step-brother Patrick. Together the three of them help each other deal with personal secrets and tough relationships.

Stephen Chbosky has graced teenagers everywhere with what I consider a blueprint to being a teen in 2013. This may sound odd because the book is set in the 1990s, but I would go as far as saying that Perks was simply ahead of its time. As a writer myself, I deeply admire the writing style Chbosky uses to make all of the characters real and relatable. There is a strong level of liableness that lies in its mature content referring to sexual activity, sexuality, and the occasional use of alcohol. I would not, therefore, recommend this book for middle school and below. If you decide to indulge yourself with this fantastic book, you will not be disappointed. The Perks of Being a Wallflower offers three things that are often found in most books but bluntly ignored: acknowledging the negativity in your life, accepting the negativity in your life, and working hard to reinvent that negativity and turn it into a silver lining.

Editors' note: We agree, and we liked the movie too!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

It's time to vote!

During the summer, did any of your reading include the 28 nominations for the Teens' Top Ten of 2013? Did you perchance pick up the handy BALLOT we made for you? and read some of the books on it and mark off whether you "loved it!" "hated it" or it was just "so-so"?

If so, it's time to vote! If not, you can still vote on any of the books you have read. In fact, you can still pick up a ballot in your teen section at the library, or download it from our website! (Scroll to the bottom and print out the pdf.) To vote for your top books and be counted towards the Teens' Top Ten, go to the voting link and choose your faves! (Some possibilities below--not trying to skew the vote, just adding a little color and interest to this blog post, honest!)