Teen Pick: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Charlie just needs someone to talk to. Someone who listens and understands and doesn't try to sleep with people even if they could have. And he finds someone, a person he only ever refers to as "friend." He tells them everything through the letters he writes. Through these letters we watch Charlie as he goes through his freshman year. We're there, helping him to deal with his grief after his best friend Michael commits suicide, leaving Charlie all alone when he starts high school. We're there when Charlie makes his first friends, Patrick and Sam. When he falls in love for the first time. When he learns that all it takes is the right song to feel infinite. Most importantly, we're there as Charlie begins to grow up.

I suggest this book to anyone who feels they can handle it. Charlie and his friends don't just sit around playing board games or frolicking in fields. They smoke. They drink. They act like real people with real flaws. In some ways that's one of the best things about the book. You can imagine Sam and Patrick as people you know. Charlie, who is awkward, bookish, and terrible asocial is in some ways the type of person I imagine myself to be. But if you can handle the adult themes that appear in this novel every now and then, read it. Don't hesitate, run to the library and pick up a copy. The Perks of Being a Wallflower isn't the type of book you forget. It's not the type of book you regret reading or never finish. It's the type of book that makes you think, the type of book that makes you feel. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky is the type of book you want to read.

Reviewed by: Maya (8th grade)


Staff Pick: Dash and Lily's Book of Dares

Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

It is the week before Christmas. You are in your favorite bookstore, and you come across a red journal. Inside is a list of questions along with a dare. Do you dare to take the challenge from someone you don’t know? In this holiday story, set in New York City, two young teens take this challenge, and by doing so, they write back and forth in a way of getting to know one another. But to find the journal each time, Dash and Lily dare each other to do things that they would not normally do. This is a good story about discovering oneself while discovering a new friendship. I was cheering for these two the whole way!

Reviewed by: Jacquie