The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a coming-of-age epistolary novel written by American novelist Stephen Chbosky. It was published on February 1, 1999 by MTV. The book is semi-autobiographical. By 2000, the novel was MTV Books' best-selling title, and The New York Times noted in 2007 that it had sold more than 700,000 copies. Wallflower also stirred up controversy due to Chbosky's portrayal of teen sexuality and drug use. The book has been banned in several schools and appeared on the American Library Association's 2006 and 2008 lists of the 10 most frequently challenged books. In 2012, Chbosky, acting as director, adapted the novel into a film.
The story follows Charlie, 15-year-old bashful boy through his freshman year of high school in a Pittsburgh suburb in 1991.Charlie is the third child in the family; he has brother a football player whose plays all the family watch, and pretty sister who is a school-leaver. Charlie does not feel that he can lean on his parents or older siblings for support because they never truly understand him. He says that the only relative that he ever felt close to, his Aunt Helen, who died in a car accident on his seventh birthday.
The story starts with his letter to an anonymous stranger where is told about his only friend, who committed suicide several months earlier. So it means that he will be alone in a new school. First days at school he is very inconspicuous. One day one boy decides to give him a "swirlie" (to stick his head in the toilet and flush to make ones hair swirl around), but Charlie doesnt want it at all and really hurts this boy in self-defence. However after that Charlie starts to cry. Also at school his advanced english teacher gives Charlie books and demands to write the essays on them. They become close and the teacher even asks Charlie to call him "Bill”. At shop class he sees a senior guy, named, “Nothing” who does an impersonation of their teacher (you either call me Patrick, or you call me nothing). Later at school football game Charlie meets Nothing who introduces Charlie to his sister-in-law Sam. They are really kind to Charlie and even take him to the café after the game. So he understands that he found real friends and he also falls in love with Sam. Sam and Patrick drive Charlie to the first party in his life and introduce him to their upperclassmen friends.
Everyone is very friendly to him and asked him a lot of questions about his life. The host gives Charlie a little weird brownie after which the room starts to slip away. There he finds out that Patrick is homosexual and that he has a relationship with Brad, one of the best school football players. His new friends also take him to The Rocky Horror Picture Show, theater where his friends and others who play dress up like the people in the movie, and they act out the movie in front of the screen.
In December they start a kind of a game, called “Secret Santa”, when a group of friends draw names out of a hat, and they are supposed to buy a lot of Christmas presents for whatever person they choose. The presents are "secretly" placed in their lockers when they're not there. And at the final party they reveal who is whose Santa. Charlie gets Patrick. His presents are mix tape, harmonica, set of water colours, book about a gay leader in San Francisco. Charlie gets different items of clothes. It is appeared that Charlies Santa is Patrick. After the exchange of gifts Sam takes Charlie to her room and presents him an old typewriter with a fresh ribbon. There Sam kisses Charlie and tells him that she loves him too, but as she has a boyfriend and as Charlie is younger they cant have any relationship. Next day his friends goes to the holiday with their parents, and Charlie starts look forward to the end of Christmas and his birthday because his aunt died at his seventh birthday and he has a kind of depression at this period of time. She was the only person who always bought him two presents. He has blamed himself in her death. Than at the New Years party he takes LSD, after what the police find him passed out in the snow. In a conversation with the police and his parents, Charlie reveals that he often blacks out, which implies that he needs a psychiatrist.