I might say this a lot, but this is one of the best books I’ve read in a while. I had seen previews for the movie (which I never ended up seeing), but didn’t know it was a book until I saw it in Barnes and Noble one day.
It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini is about a teenaged boy, Craig, who suffers from depression. Except he doesn’t really know he suffers from it at first. He blames what he’s feeling on the high pressure of the professional business high school he attends. When he figures it out and tells his parents, after becoming sick at a family meal, they get him started in therapy and he is prescribed medication.
He keeps his depression a secret from his friends until one night, weeks after he stops taking his medication, he decides it’s time for him to finally kill himself. Only he doesn’t. Instead, he called a suicide helpline and goes to the hospital where he signs himself into the psych ward (his term, not mine). From there he spends his days with the other patients and begins to get his life back on track. He finds what he loves to do and finds out who his real friends are.
This is a book I think every teenager and young adult should read. It tells a heart wrenching, but fun story all about the process of growing up with a mental illness that many people may brush off as someone being weak.
What I loved the most about this book, though, is that I could relate to a lot of it. There were a lot of questions and thoughts Craig would have about himself that I’ve thought of many times. It really helps to know that there are other people who’ve been through the same processes you have. What also makes the book feel personal is that Ned Vizzini spent some time in a hospital, like Craig, right before he wrote this book. That fact just draws me into the story more and makes me wonder if these happenings are more than just fiction.