It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini: Book Review

It's Kind of a Funny Story
Book title/ Author: It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini
Publisher/ Year: April 3rd 2007 Disney Hyperion
 Genre: YA Contemporary 
 Series: No
 Pages: 444
 Rating: 5 stars out of 5


*This review may contain spoilers!*


Synopsis

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 college to get 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 neighbours 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. 

My review

I think this is the only time that I have actually watched the film adaptation of something before reading the book (although I did not know it was first a book until afterwards). Doing that actually put some pressure on the book, as I thoroughly enjoyed the film. Before starting the book I braced myself for the strong emotions I might feel while reading this, due to the topic of the book, but I didn't need to at all. This book certainly doesn't shy away from the sensitive topic of depression, yet Vizzini manages to not make it depressing. Perhaps it's because Craig doesn't have all the symptoms a stereotypical "depressed teen" shows, and the fact that he knows what he needs to do to get better, not just being in his own little world surrounded by his thoughts.

I admire Craig, because he had the courage to admit himself into hospital before it went too far, and for still staying strong throughout the whole journey, especially when things weren't easy with Nia and Aaron. This book isn't a sob - story kind, but it helps you come to terms with how a lot of people these days live their lives. It is brutally honest in all aspects and I am glad Vizzini put this book out in the public.

I had wanted to read this book for quite a while, and after hearing about the author's tragic suicide on the 19th December, I was sure to ask for it for Christmas, in honour of him. I read this book in 4 chunks, reading about 100 pages each time. The only way I would stop would be to get back to my life, because his words suck you in and consume you. Right from the get - go you understand Craig and you become a part of him, you feel his happiness, his anger, and every emotion in between.

For most  of 2013 I had been in a horrible reading slump and this gem of a book has seemed to knock me out of it. I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone, because even if you end up disliking it (which will be pretty hard), I think you should give it a go!

Izzy

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