Author: Ned Vizzini
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Summary (from Goodreads): Ned Vizzini, the talented young author of Be More Chill (the first YA novel selected as a Today show book club pick), crafts another superb study of angst-ridden adolescence in this story of teen depression. Craig Gilner is a gifted 15-year-old boy who works hard to get into a fiercely competitive high school, then crumbles under the intense academic pressure. Blindsided by his inability to excel and terrified by thoughts of suicide, Craig checks into a psychiatric hospital where he finally gets the help he needs. Vizzini, who himself spent a brief time in psychiatric "stir," invests his novel with great emotional honesty. A graceful, skillful, and witty handling of a sensitive issue, this is an important book we heartily recommend for older teens.
My Summary: Craig used to be your average teenager - hanging out with his friends every weekend, pining after the girl of his dreams, and stressing about school - until The Shift, when his brain turned on him. Now Craig is a mess; he can't eat, can't sleep, can't concentrate on anything without thinking about how he's a complete failure.
Craig is diagnosed as clinically depressed and given meds to take, but even those don't seem to help. Then one night, when Craig thinks he can't take it anymore, he calls the suicide hotline. They tell him to get to the nearest hospital - and that's just what he does.
But he didn't expect to be admitted to the adult psychiatric ward ... and he definitely didn't expect to like it there.
My Thoughts: It's Kind of a Funny Story is probably one of the most honest and frank accounts of teenage-depression that I've ever read. Craig is a real, honest character, and his voice is genuine. There was never a point where it seemed like the book was written by someone who didn't understand the workings of a teenage mind extensively.
The writing style was great - a little hard to get into at first, but once you get into it, it's a breeze. I also like the flashback style utilized in the beginning, and the way the author blends the elements of the past and the present.
Final Thoughts: I recommend this book to older teens (16 and over) for some sexual content and mentions of drugs and drinking.