Saturday, October 27, 2012

Review: It's Kind of a Funny Story

It's Kind of a Funny Story
by Ned Vizzini
Book Description:
Like many ambitious New York City teenagers, Craig Gilner sees entry into Manhattan’s Executive Pre-Professional High School as the ticket to his future. Determined to succeed at life—which means getting into the right high school to get into the right college to get the right job—Craig studies night and day to ace the entrance exam, and does. That’s when things start to get crazy.

At his new school, Craig realizes that he isn't brilliant compared to the other kids; he’s just average, and maybe not even that. He soon sees his once-perfect future crumbling away. The stress becomes unbearable and Craig 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, isolated from the crushing pressures of school and friends, Craig is finally able to confront the sources of his anxiety.
I really need to listen to my teen readers at the library more often. The trouble is I usually have such a huge stack of books that I'm dying to read any way that when a teen suggests a book I tell them, "oh yeah, I'd like to read's going on my list" and then it takes ages for me to get to it...
I had three different teens recommend this book to me. I'm so glad I finally picked this one up. It was indeed a great story! Others have said this, but it bears repeating...for a book about a suicidal teenager, this was actually a surprisingly funny book. Vizzini manages to make this book feel achingly "real" precisely because it covers such a huge range of emotions. There are NO one dimensional characters and the plot is utterly realistic. What a well done book.
I highly recommend this one (and I'm going to check out the movie...I want to compare it to the book...)

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