Title: It’s Kind of a Funny Story
Author: Ned Vizzini
On the Shelves: Young Adult Fiction> Contemporary
Ambitious New York City teenager Craig Gilner is determined to succeed at life – which means getting into the right high school to get into the right job. But once Craig aces his way into Manhattan’s Executive Pre-Professional High School, the pressure becomes unbearable. He stops eating and sleeping until, one night, he nearly kills himself.
Craig’s suicidal episode gets him checked into a mental hospital, where his new neighbors include a transsexual sex addict, a girl who has scarred her own face with scissors, and the self-elected President Armelio. There, Craig is finally able to confront the sources of his anxiety.
Ned Vizzini, who himself spent time in a psychiatric hospital, has created a remarkably moving tale about the sometimes unexpected road to happiness.
This book had been on my radar with good notions since I got into reading YA lit, and I won myself a copy of it in a giveaway hosted by the lovely Rachel over at Confessionsofabookgeek.
In this book, Vizzini tells one of the first widely accepted YA perspective on what it means to suffer from a mental illness, specifically depression. And he does it in a balanced and empathetic way. The story follows Craig as he goes from an ambitious academic high flyer to an unstable adolescent who struggles to get out of bed in the morning, and all of the issues and expectations that come with that type of pressure and stigma.
While I feel this is an important book with a lot to say, and it probably has helped a lot of people and will continue to do so, it did lose some points for me personally along the way. I struggled to connect with any of the characters and at times I felt like cement was moving quicker than the plot. However, I still enjoyed and finished the book overall and would recommend it to anybody who is looking for a book to remind them. What it may remind them of is ultimately upto them, but it may help them through whatever struggle they are currently going through.