Monday, May 16

It's Kind of a Funny Story

It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini follows fifteen year old Craig's depression. He studies rigorously to be accepted in Brooklyn's Executive Pre-Professional High School, and once he gets in, begins to drown under the school's academic pressures. His stress causes him to smoke pot, struggle with an eating disorder and suicidal thoughts. On one particular night, Craig toys with the idea of killing himself, but instead checks himself into a psychiatric hospital. There, he meets a variety of wacky characters, along with Noelle, a young girl that cut her face with scissors to deal with her past filled with sexual abuse. Does Craig recover? You will have to read it to find out.

Reading this synopsis, one might think that this book would be tragically depressing. It was actually quite funny. Vizzini paints a quirky portrait of the various patients and Craig's narrative reveals a realistic portrayal of a sensitive teen trying to find his way. It is a great coming of age story that is honest, and told from a male's point of view, which is rare. It also provides insight into mental disorders and problems, showing that all people are just people- their personal struggles aside. Craig's explanation of "Tentacles" (things that stress him out) and "Anchors" (things that make him happy) is such a brilliant way to symbolize his way of thinking that all readers can relate to. Also, I enjoyed reading about Craig's love for maps and his discovery of his own artistic talents. I found the beginning of the book a bit slow, but once Craig was admitted, it progressed and became something that I could not put down. It had a bit of a John Green's Looking For Alaska vibe to it. The last page was...beautiful. I'm not going to post it here because it would ruin it, but it truly made the book even more amazing.

Also, It's Kind of a Funny Story was recently made into a movie. I liked it and it stayed pretty true to the text. Trailer here.

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