The Perks of being a Wallflower was written by Stephan Chbosky in 1999. It has been hailed (maybe, maybe not) as the "Catcher in the Rye" of our generation.

It's written as a series of letters separated into four parts (and an epilogue) from "Charlie", the main character, to his 'friend'. All the characters are decidedly anonymous, and throughout the book, are referred to by other names or no names at all (Charlie's sister and brother have no given names).

The book follows Charlie through his entire freshman year, from making friends with "Nothing" to being hospitalized for a two week mental breakdown. The main conflict of the book (as implied on the back cover) is passion vs. passivity. Is putting others before yourself better than doing what you want, no matter what others say.

In attempting to do justice to this book, I make myself sound depressingly cryptic and self centered. I am not trying to do that. This book is, despite what others say, very smart. The earnestness of the writing, which makes you nearly forget that it is not truly written by a freshman in high school, but a grown man, overrides any pretentiousness that the book may have.