Today’s review is in honor of Banned Book Week, led by Sheila, at Book Journey:  





Michael and Katherine met at a New Year’s Eve party during their senior year in high school. It wasn’t “love at first sight,” but very slowly they started to connect and began dating.

Like many books about young love, Forever was a story that showed the reader what the obsessive nature of first love looked like. The two of them progressed to the actual sex like most young people, gradually, with a lot of “making out” on the way to actual sex. While the sex scenes, when they happened, were explicit, they were tasteful; they actually unfolded awkwardly, as they would normally for young and inexperienced people. There was nothing crude or vulgar about the scenes, and it was easy to tell that the two of them were “in love.”

But, like most young romances, there would be obstacles to overcome. Would the tests of their love be too much? Would a brief separation during their first summer cement their bond, or be the tipping point for them?

Katherine’s parents handled the relationship between the two very well, mostly advising them about the challenges they would be facing; like most young people, however, they were even more determined to be together.

Michael and Katherine were realistic characters that I couldn’t help but root for, even though I knew that the odds would be against them. The story took me back to my own younger days and the feelings that seemed to define me back then. I believe that young people can relate to the story and learn about some of the issues they will face in their own relationships. 4.0 stars.

***Forever was banned from certain schools due to the sexual content, with some stating that the book lacked “aesthetic, literary, or social value.” The book, in most cases, was reinstated by the school boards.




3aIn the first person voice of our main character Charlie, The Perks of Being a Wallflower leads the reader through the day to day moments in one young teenager’s life, during his first year in high school.

The narration comes through letters written to “Dear Friend,” an unknown recipient. We know that Charlie lives in a city, but not which one. The time period is the early 1990s.

It is clear that Charlie is very bright, judging from the books he is reading, given to him by a teacher who takes a special interest in him. He also is very introspective, almost too much so, as he tends to hold himself back from others, like an observer rather than a participant. He develops friendships, but only after a period of time, and by the end of the year, he realizes that all of these friends, older than he, are leaving for college and he will be alone again. At this point, an emotional crisis brings him to a point where he must examine some issues.

What moments in Charlie’s early life changed how he views and engages with others? How will he finally learn or remember about those events?

It took me awhile to connect with the story and the writing style, but when I did, I literally could not put it down. And this book is not my usual reading genre. But Charlie stands out from other teen characters I have encountered, so that says something about why the story resonated with me.

By the end of the story, I was so invested in Charlie and his story that I didn’t want it to end. He is definitely not the typical teen, yet he experiences all the usual emotions of that time in a teenager’s life. A very memorable young man. A five star read.

Why was the book banned?

Reasons: anti-family, drugs, homosexuality, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit, suicide, unsuited to age group.



Banned Book Week is hosted by Book Journey.