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It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini

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Craig Gilner has everything going for him. He has friends, goes to a renowned school, makes all As; but as the pressure to be perfect increases, worry and depression overwhelm Craig. When Craig’s depression turns into suicidal thoughts he decides to get help. Follow Craig in this novel It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini as Craig checks himself into a mental ward to get help. In the ward, Craig meets some of the nicest “crazy” people he has ever met. Craig discovers no one is perfect, and people should find a life that makes them happy, and not worry about pleasing others.

At the beginning of the story, Craig is an average teenager living in New York City. He sets his sights high for himself. He must get into the right high school, to get into the right college, to get the right job, in order to ensure a good life. When he gets into Manhattan’s Executive Pre-Professional High School, he feels like he is on the right track, but soon the work gets to him and he feels more and more distant from his classmates. Trouble with friends Aaron and Nia only adds to his problems. Craig stops eating and spends days doing nothing but sit in bed and worry, all the while feeling more depressed and concerned he is on the wrong track. One night he feels so bad, he plans his own suicide. Luckily he finds help, and checks himself into a mental ward. Over the course of five days, he meets many new people who quickly become his friends and with help he discovers there is more to life then being perfect.

Overall, I enjoyed this book because I felt close to Craig in the way Vizzini describes how Craig feels and thinks. Vizzini uses humor and details to describe every part of Craig’s life, including before and after he enters the hospital. I would compare this book to Life as We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer because they both include major changes in the main characters lives. In the end, Craig and Miranda both learn to appreciate what you have and to love and rely upon your family. This book has a bit of a slow start, but once the story starts to develop, everyone can relate to Craig’s troubles.

I would recommend this book to anyone fourteen and older. I think that any student dealing with the stresses of school, work, or trouble with friends could relate to Craig. The story has an uplifting theme and a happy ending that can encourage anyone who feels down about his or herself. Overall, this book is a great read and can help anyone feel good about his or her life.





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