I’ve seen It’s Kind Of a Funny Story on several must-read lists, especially those aimed at young adults. I must admit that when I learned of the book’s plot, as well as the author’s unfortunate passing, well, it was with morbid fascination that I finally sat down to read it.
The premise is sadly common. A teenage boy named Craig becomes overwhelmed by the demands of life, particularly his rigorous school, and decides to take his own life. He finds his way into a psychiatric ward, and there he finally meets people with whom he can relate. Though only required to stay for a short while, the fifteen year old recognizes his issues, has an epiphany on how to manage them, and leaves the ward on a happy note.
Of course, this is oversimplifying everything about the book. The important thing to note is that Vizzini truly captures the essence of depression, he creates real characters, he expertly draws out various emotions, and, in the end, he provides hope to both Craig and the reading audience.
This book is sad, it is funny, it is uncomfortable, it is affirming, it is real, it is life. No matter what your age, I highly recommend it.