Friday, January 13, 2012

It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini

Release Date: May 1st, 2007
Publisher: Miramax
Age Group: 15+
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Recommended for: People who enjoyed Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher, Impulse by Ellen Hopkins
Ned Vizzini, the talented young author of Be More Chill (the first YA novel selected as a Today show book club pick), crafts another superb study of angst-ridden adolescence in this story of teen depression. Craig Gilner is a gifted 15-year-old boy who works hard to get into a fiercely competitive high school, then crumbles under the intense academic pressure. Blindsided by his inability to excel and terrified by thoughts of suicide, Craig checks into a psychiatric hospital where he finally gets the help he needs. Vizzini, who himself spent a brief time in psychiatric "stir," invests his novel with great emotional honesty. A graceful, skillful, and witty handling of a sensitive issue, this is an important book we heartily recommend for older teens. -GOODREADS
Funny. Angst. Teenage depression/drugs/therapy. 

You think It's Kind of A Funny Story is that kind of book? Nope, you're wrong-it's that times two, and funny times two again. Or one hundred. 

It's Kind of A Funny Story is raw, red emotion, right out there in the open. And it's absolutely delightful. I can totally relate to what the main character, Craig, is going through. First he gets accepted into a prestigious school. Then prestigious school gets really hard. Then he starts The Cycling, which is where he lies in bed for hours just thinking about his homework, and how not doing his homework will lead him to not going to a Good College, and after that, a Good Job. After, he stops eating. He stops living. And the worst thing is-he has to rely on peeing to get him through the day. (Okay, maybe it's not the worst thing-but peeing, really? Cracked me up.) Everything but stopping eating and after are things I've experienced. Check, check, and check. School is just so HARD sometimes. But reading this book cheered me up. A lot. 

Craig is a kind of character I've never met before. He's uncommonly irreverent, nerdy but 'chill' and definitely has a lot of voice for a guy. You get to explore the teenage world with him, and every page I'm like-that''s what happens when you're fifteen??????!!!!!#@! 

This book moved fast, split into parts and chapters. There are so many elements to the story-Craig's brain maps, the shrinks, two potential girlfriends, a crazy guy who calls himself President Armelio, a suicidal attempt, and a psychiatric ward, (oh, excuse me, hospital.) This book has everything in it, but most importantly, it has great pacing and excellent storytelling, and overall, it's helped me learn more about the effects of depression and what it really is. 

Except for the peeing thing. 

I still don't get that.


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