Charlie is about to start his freshman year of high school. He has no more friends, after his best friend's suicide. This didn't help him with being less depressed. He starts writing letters to a stranger, which will hopefully help him with any anxiety he has. After a week or two Charlie overcomes his shyness and meets Sam and Patrick who become his best friends. Charlie experiences many new things throughout the school year. Such as his first kiss, and girlfriend. He also has his experiences with bullies, drugs, drinking, and parties. He makes many new friends other than Sam and Patrick, and he also looses some. He has to live with a disturbing family secret though, that Charlie doesn't fully know about until the end of the school year. Charlies ends up in a bad place towards the end of the book. But thankfully his last letter talks about him becoming better, and forgiving his past. He has to make new friends for his sophomore year and hopes to stop living in his head and experience more happy positive things.