Craig appears to have it all. He's got a supportive family, a group of close friends and he attends ones of the most prestigious schools in New York. If all goes well, he'll be heading to Wall Street in no time, bringing home a ridiculous amount of money and not having a care in the world.
But, it's not as simple as that.
He has suicidal thoughts - intense ones. He can't eat anything without throwing it back up, he can't sleep and he can't get his mind to stop racing at every opportunity. He traces every wrong decision and every mistake to its worst possible outcome. If he doesn't get a 100% in an exam, he'll convince himself that he will become homeless and die alone.
These overwhelming pressures lead him to a psychiatric ward, and due to hospital refurbishments, the teenage patients are put into the adult ward. He meets people there that he would never of had the chance to before, and they change his perspective entirely. It turns out that a short stay in Six North hospital is just what he needs. Away from the stress of school, he is able to focus on finding the root of his depression.
It's Kind of a Story tackles a lot of serious issues, however, there is humour buried beneath them. I was on the verge of bursting into hysterics and crying on quite a few occasions. The aspects of mental health are presented with authenticity and regardless of whether you suffer with depression, I can guarantee that you'll find certain parts uncomfortably relatable.
I later found out that Ned Vizzini spent some time in a psychiatric ward himself, battling his own demons. Unfortunately, he took his life in 2013. It really upsets me to think that this novel has more than likely helped readers who deal with mental illness but it failed to help the author.
A truly beautiful book - one that will stay with me for a long time.