Books · Mental Health

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

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It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini
Publication Date: May 2007
Buy: Here
My Rating: ✹✹✹✹✹

Goodreads Description:

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. ” 

“Things to do today:
1) Breathe in.
2) Breathe out.” 

My Thoughts: 

Side note: As some of you may already know, I like reading books about depression. They are super relatable for me and I love to hear other peoples experiences, even if they are fictional. So last year at some point, I was searching for books that were about depression and I came across this book. I read up on it and it sounded like my cup of tea. Then I read about the author and it made me sad. Ned Vizzini suffered from severe depression himself and actually spent time some time in a psychiatric ward. When he was 32 he unfortunately committed suicide. This is such a terrible shame to know that he lost his battle with his illness, and I felt like I needed to read this book even more because no one else will ever be able to write about depression better than someone who went through it themselves. However, it stayed on my to be read shelf on Goodreads for a long time. Last week I finally went out and bought the book.

I didn’t put this book down until I finished it. I enjoyed it a lot. Despite the difficult books this tackles, it is possibly one of the most lovely and lighthearted books I have ever read. The tone was clever and humorous and very real. The topic of depression and mental illness was treated carefully. These people were messed up, but never seemed inhuman. All of them were very real. While the plot wasn’t suspenseful, it was gripping and had me flipping the pages without hesitation.

Ned Vizzini had a real knack for opening a persons eyes with this book on people’s behaviour, there outlook of things that although appear to be ‘normal’ are actually chaotic in their world, their mood changes, what makes them have a good day, what are their obstacles and how they get through them. 

I connected with Craig and his ordeal with depression more than I thought I would, but I also believe that a lot of other people will be able too as well, in some aspects. Whilst reading this book I felt an immensely helpful sense of relief to read about Craig’s time in a mental ward and realise that it wasn’t just me who felt that, and that somebody understood. I mean, of course I know people who have gone through it as well, but for the most part, the way Craig dealt with his issues (or non-issues) was so similar to mine that I was staggered to realise that just as in the end he understood that problems are only as big as we make them to be, so did I. 

I genuinely believe that everyone should read this book, it is super important. I highly recommend this book, it is a well deserved 5 stars! Rest in peace Mr Vizinni. I hope he knew just how much his books can help people. 

About The Author: 

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Ned Vizzini grew up primarily in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn in New York City. Ned Vizzini was an American writer. He was the author of four books for young adults including It’s Kind of a Funny Story. Vizzini suffered from depression, spending time in a psychiatric ward in his early 20s, and authoring several works about the illness. 

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