Brain break! Somehow I lucked out with having all three of my finals back to back on the first day of finals week. Unfortunately, that hindered my reading schedule, so here I am taking a much needed brain break to finally post about It’s Kind of a Funny Story!
I’v never saw the movie and I know my sister wanted to read the book, so I picked it up a while ago and finally decided to read it! Here’s the Goodreads 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 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
I have never been to a mental hospital before, or a psychiatric floor or anything of that nature. I have seen a counselor on campus before, and most of the time they said anything, I wanted to roll my eyes at them for not truly understanding what I was saying in that moment. My little sister wants to go to school for psychology and her dream career is to work in a mental hospital with all the crazies – which is why I think she wants to read this book. And I definitely would recommend this book to her – it’s lighthearted and humorous about a tough topic, mental illness.
The story centers around Craig and how he ended up on a psychiatric floor for five days. He meets and befriends weird and incredible people. These people help him see the good in life and that it’s a life worth living. While in the hospital he changes the lives of those around him as well as finding himself.
I loved the characters. They were unique and had their own stories and backgrounds – maybe some were inspired by those Vizzini encountered during his own hospital stay? I could relate a lot to what Craig was going through – not the Brooklyn Bridge/hospital part – but the part of being overly anxious all the time, having anchors and tentacles, and living in a world surrounded by people who know what they want and where they’re going, while you feel as though you have hit your peak. In all reality, I think most of us just go up. Yes, there are a few step backwards here and there, but we don’t reach our peak until death (at old age naturally). Anyone who would think to end their life is going down a dark path, and they need help now. Don’t wait until it’s too late for them.
Craig didn’t wait until it was too late. He did what he needed to do and voluntarily checked himself into the hospital – granted he wanted to get out as soon as he did it, but he still sought outside help. I think Ned Vizzini’s personal battle with mental illness gave him a particular advantage when writing this novel. Vizzini brought this world to life for those of us who don’t know what it’s like to live with a mental illness. He even threw in a little romance for us hopeless romantics.
I enjoyed the book and I hope you will too. Maybe I’ll watch the movie to see how it compares – book is always better of course. Thank you Ned Vizzini for your contribution to young adult novels, I hope everyone gets a chance to read it.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a Physics final to go take! I’ll also be starting Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen tonight and kicking off my #SarahDessenMarathon this month! I’m so excited! Happy reading lovelies and may the curve be in my favor!