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I am hopelessly in love with this novel. I remember reading it for the first time when I was in middle school at some point - I'm thinking 8th grade. I remember crying my eyes out at the end and then having to go downstairs for dinner and being unable to think about anything else other than Charlie and his story and everything that he'd been through and how I related and understood and just wanted to give him a hug. I have that same feeling now.

When I read this book initially, I was in a really bad place - probably one of the worst places I have ever been in my life and I remember how much I wanted to feel like Charlie did at the end of the novel. Now, almost 9 years later, I am working to get to that place, to heal and take care of myself and put pieces back together that I forgot about or pushed away or that just didn't really fit right in the first place. Coincidentally, my therapist told me that this is the perfect book for me to read right now with everything I have going on in my life and I couldn't agree more.

I love all of these characters, I love the plot, I love that Charlie's innocence just radiates off the page but it's not a boyish innocence that is underwhelming and sometimes frustrating like it is in other novels, but it's pure and he's just doing his best and he fiercely loves and protects those he cares about. It's like his innocence is his love and he loves so well.

I think this book will be one that I tell my kids about, urge them to read, and hope they tell their kids and they tell theirs. I love this book that much.

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