This review was first posted on Music, Books and TeaPerks has been on my reading list for a good five years. However, as is the story for many books that I want to read, different books caught my attention. I finally succumbed and purchased a copy last month. It was definitely worth the read, although it wasn't entirely what I expected it to be. I loved the way Perks was set out, with Charlie, our narrator, writing letters to an unknown friend. I knew from the first few letters that this book was going to deal with some pretty heavy topics. I was right, of course, but it also made me wonder just how realistic this book really was going to be. One of my favourite things about Perks was the music and literature that was mentioned throughout the book. Asleep by The Smiths is mentioned several times, and it really is the perfect song for this book. I’m so pleased to see Asleep has been included in the soundtrack for the upcoming film, as it would have been criminal to not include it. The way Charlie seemed to connect with the books and music he listened to really resonated with myself, as I know I connect to books and music in the same way.At times, I found myself to be so frustrated with Charlie. I know (at least, I know now) that his childhood wasn’t the best, but did he really need to cry so much? Those parts of the book really got to me, as I found them to be so unrealistic. That said, the excessive drug and alcohol use in the book didn’t bother me all that much. I kind of accepted it would be in there, because Charlie befriends two seniors, who are in turn, friends with people older than themselves. If I’d read Perks when I was fourteen, there would have been parts that I’d have lived by. It’s easy to appreciate why this is a book revered by so many teens, especially those going through the difficult transition of starting high school. It’s a book about friendship, and about the highs and lows of life. It doesn’t shy away from anything, it’s not a censored account of someone’s freshman year. Everything is laid out on the table, which I love. This is definitely a book I’d recommend to people, young and old.