IT’S KIND OF A FUNNY STORY BY NED VIZZINI
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.
It’s Kind of a Funny Story follows the story of fifteen year-old Craig Gilner, a student at a competitive and stress-inducing high school in Manhattan, who becomes depressed from the intensity of work and relationships with his peers during his first year at the academy.
One night, Craig contemplates taking his own life, but eventually decides against it, instead opting to admit himself to a nearby hospital for more help with his depression. He is admitted into the pyschiatric ward, where he is finally able to isolate himself from his stress and learn about his relationships, his art, and most of all, himself.
We look into each other’s eyes as we shake. His are still full of death and horror, but in them I see my face reflected, and inside my tiny eyes inside his, I think I see some hope.
It’s Kind of a Funny Story was an awesome novel – refreshing and unique, with a dark plot yet sarcastic humor embedded into each page, which somehow made the whole thing completely enjoyable to read.
Craig was a complex character who struggled with a mentality that is difficult for many people to understand, yet he was able to explain himself in terms that made each one of his thoughts absolutely coherent and understandable. I loved how he developed throughout the novel, and that he didn’t describe himself as ‘cured’ in the final pages – just able to cope, and wanting to live.
The supporting characters were just as intricate, and added to the story perfectly – I especially loved how diverse and interesting Craig’s friends at the hospital were. He was able to learn something from each one of them, whether a positive or negative lesson, and the interactions were both hilarious and raw.
I loved the premise of the story. I loved the characters and the message and the plot and the writing. It was so intense and unedited, and I found myself looking forward to each chapter. Although downcast at points, I really have no complaints – I loved It’s Kind of a Funny Story, and it’s definitely going on my favorites shelf!