Author: Ned Vizzini
Page Count: 444 pages, Paperback
Find it on Goodreads: It's Kind of a Funny Story
Like many smart, ambitious New York City teenagers, Craig Gilner seeks entry into Manhattans most prestigious school, Executive Pre-Professional High School. With single-minded determination, he works night and day to ace the entrance exam and gets in. That's when everything starts to unravel. Once Craig starts his new school, he realizes hes just one of many brilliant kids, and he isn't even brilliant, hes average. As Craig starts getting so-so grades, he sees his once-perfect future crumbling away. He begins to have trouble eating, sleeping, and thinking. That's when he tells his parents hes depressed. He goes on medication and talks to therapists, but things keep getting worse, until one night Craig feels so low that he seriously considers suicide.But instead, Craig calls a hotline. The counselor tells him to get to the nearest hospital, and before he knows it, hes signed, sealed, and delivered into one of Brooklyn's finest psychiatric units. Craig's new roommate is an Egyptian schoolteacher who refuses to get out of bed. His neighbors include a transsexual sex addict, and a girl who has scarred her own face with scissors.But somehow in this motley crew, Craig finds real friends and kindred spirits who give him strength. This is a remarkably moving and authentic picture of the physicality, the despair, and even the hilarity, of depression.
My Thoughts: The quote on the front of the cover says it all: 'Insightful and utterly authentic... this is an important book.' -The New York Times Book Review
When I first watched the movie that was based on this book, I had no idea it was a book. But the story sounded really interesting so I watched it. I saw the book in the store the next day, picked it up and then it sat on my shelf for a while. But I'm trying to catch up on the books I've got, so I picked it up and I am so glad I did. This book is one that everyone should read. It's real and it's raw and it's just incredible.
Craig is an absolutely delight to read about. I know that sounds maybe a little odd as it's a book about a boy with depression, but just the way his mind works is amazing. I felt like I could understand everything Vizzini was writing and I had this connection with Craig, as a character. Craig is probably one of my favorite characters from a book ever. I understand his mind set and the way he thinks with his Anchors and Cycling and Tentacles. I get it. I think one of the things I loved the most about him was that he was a normal teenage boy. But he also had depression. He thought about girls... a LOT, and he stressed about normal teenage stuff. But the thing that got him was that he thought about that normal teenage stuff too much and it became way too overwhelming, leading to his depression and suicidal thoughts. I mean, I won't get into too much detail, except for the fact that I can totally relate with Craig. Other than Craig, the other characters are also amazing. Even with only 444 pages, I felt as if I bonded with them and loved them so much. I haven't felt this way about a book and it's characters in such a long time. I loved Noelle, and Bobby, and Soloman, and Muqtada, and Ebony, and all the others as well. Each of them will hold a special place in that space in my heart for book characters.
The thing about this book is that I took my time reading it. I didn't want to rush it. I wanted to stay in Craig's head forever. When Nia came to visit him in the psych hospital, it made me almost scream in the middle of English class. When Craig started to draw, I was so happy for him. Every single moment in Vizzini's unbelievable work, I will cherish. Plus, an upside to this book was that the movie was incredible too, and it really didn't matter that I had watched the movie first. They're so different from each other, but both so good. I will be rereading this book for a long time and rewatching the movie for just as long. Craig's story is unlike all the books I've been reading lately and I want more. I'll be looking into more of the author's books, most definitely. Ned Vizzini, you are a brilliant author.
Have an incredible day/night, everyone!