When I started this book, I was expecting some cheesy love story about a shy boy getting the "hot girl". The title seemed to suggest a light-hearted romp into adolescence.I was so wrong."The Perks of Being a Wallflower" touches on every dark subject that a young man can experience as he faces the demons of growing up.First, the sexual molestation towards the end of the book really floored me. So many times, we link young girls to sexual abuse, but it can happen to young boys as well. It really hurt me when Aunt Helen was outed as a sicko. I have an aunt that (up until the end) reminded me of Charlie's aunt. I even sent her a text about the book and how I thought about her when I read the parts about the aunt being an awesome aunt. I'm so glad she didn't ask me how it ended. My aunt is great, and she allowed us to stay up as children and do as we please, and I felt horrible that Charlie had to endure this buried secret that gnawed away at him as he grew up.His relationship with Mary Elizabeth really tugged at the heartstrings as well. Overall, he seemed so out of place and unsure of who he was, so the horrible first relationship was like watching someone drink battery acid. I did like the book, but I didn't rate it higher because I must admit, the book just depressed me. I felt this book more than I read this book. When I was growing up, I was living with social anxiety, dyslexia, and very low self esteem. I had no idea what was wrong with me, and no one wanted to be my friend for long because I just had no idea how to handle myself. As an adult, I have a much better sense of who I am, and even though I still struggle socially, I no longer lock myself in my room for hours, sobbing and wondering who I am and why no one can tell me what is wrong with me. I now know that I am simply different, and when it comes to face-to-face social plans, I prepare myself and try to go with someone who can help me.So when I read about Charlie's frustration with himself, I almost broke down. I wanted to tell him that he'll value what he has when he is older, and high school is no worth sacrificing your self image. This is a great (and depressing) book. I would recommend this book for advanced readers.