Saturday 21 February 2015

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

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. 

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  1. Oh, this sounds amazing. It's so sad that the author is no longer with us, but at least his legacy can live on and give hope to others in a similar situation.
    Beth x

    1. Exactly. It's a great book. A must read for anyone who has experienced mental health issues either with them or their loved ones. x

  2. Every time I see this book on my shelf I feel so sad to think that Ned Vizzini is no longer with us. His work was exceptional, especially in the sense that he managed to handle such a delicate topic with humour. I remember when I first picked this book up I actually struggled to get into it due to the character dialogue but I'm glad I persevered. Have you seen the movie? I see a lot of people saying that they loved it but I really hated it haha. Might be down to the fact that I loved the book so much!

    1. That's exactly what I thought at first too, but once he eased up on the "likes", it was one of the best YA reads I've picked up in a long time. x


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