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.
Wow, I have had the best luck picking out FANTASTIC books recently. There has not been one book in the new year that I haven’t absolutely adored. Its Kind of a Funny Story is a poignant, powerful, and humorous story that will not disappoint you.
Its Kind of a Funny Story follows Craig Gilner, an intelligent teenage boy under immense pressure. Craig attends an extremely prestigious highschool in New York that has put so much pressure on him that one day he contemplates suicide. However, in a spir of a moment decision, he checks himself into a mental hospital instead. I found Craig’s story extremely relatable. Not because I have ever experienced depression, but rather, because as a person in 3 AP classes I could relate to his stress about school. Schools ask more and more out of their students, and Craig’s story proves how dangerous this is. Vizzini emphasizes that kids need not spend every waking hour stressed out because this leads teenagers on a destructive path.
Its Kind of a Funny Story is indeed a funny story. Craig’s witty comments often left me with a smirk on my face. Yet, underneath this novel’s humorous surface lies a profound layer brimming with insightful themes and messages. This novel not only gives insight on the sentiments and emotions that contribute to depression, but also proves that depression does not defy a person. People can rise above depression- a truth Ned Vizzini recognizes in his novel.
When researching about this book online, I discovered that Ned Vizzini actually suffered from depression. Ned Vizzini spent some time in a psychiatric ward, an experience that he drew inspiration from to craft Graig’s story. Tragically, Ned Vizzini committed suicide, a fact I discovered when looking at a review for this novel on Goodreads. Although I can’t speak of Vizini’s other works, Its Kind of a Funny Story is a humorous, yet very insightful take on depression. If you have yet to read the novel, I highly suggest picking it up, it truly is a funny story, but the humor does not take away from the meaning of the novel.