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It's Kind of a Funny Story
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on January 17, 2017
This book was amazing. It started out a bit like a normal kids life. It told the story of Craig and how he coped with life dealing with his parents, school sister, and his friends. But the surprise was the journey of him silently struggling with his depression and anxiety. It also showed the darker side to someone secretly suffering from these mental illnesses. It really opens the readers eyes to what it really is like to be inside of a person eyes and life who suffers from this. It also gives the insight of how it is to go through treatement when you turn to help from a hospital when you want to kill yourself.

I enjoyed this book because I myself suffered for many years with depression. I hid it from everyone even if they knew about it I tried to hide it and how I truly hurt. Reading that an author could depict that into a book to kind of show light on how it is to deal with this. And the options that there is to get help but also know that no matter what in the end there can be help for you. This is a must read for anyone no matter who you are! Whether you are dealing with these issues or know someone who is. Or are just wanting to read a good book! This is perfect!
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on February 22, 2015
I gave this book four stars because I felt like it helped me to better understand people that I care about who have struggled with severe depression or anxiety. Craig's story of setting ambitious goals and expecting to find happiness and satisfaction when he achieves them is easily relatable. That behavior is certainly not limited to teenagers, or to those that become clinically depressed.

Craig has his own language to describe his depression. He refers to the conflicting obligations that are overwhelming and depressing him as 'tentacles', while the things that help him to empty his brain (his goal) are called 'anchors'.

I would like to think that someone who may be contemplating suicide would read it, follow in Craig's footsteps, and get help for themselves. If this book even increases that chance at all, it is valuable for that alone.

Why I did not give 5 stars? I didn't really love the book the way some people did, from a pure enjoyment of the story standpoint. I had no trouble putting it down. I'm glad I read it, but don't feel like I'm likely to read it again. This is rare for me because I am always desperate for something to read.
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on August 8, 2013
I was looking for a new book to read after I finished The Help. Under the recommended section, this book was highly rated. It was a very interesting read! I haven't seen the movie, but I've heard a lot of good things about it.

The book is about a teenager named Craig, who studies day and night to get into the top school in town! Once he passes the exam and gets in... he is quickly overwhelmed with everything! Once he realizes, he cannot keep up with the pressure he has set for himself... he considers suicide. On a low one night, he calls the suicide hotline and checks himself into the local hospital. There, he finds himself in a completely different world away from his friends and all the pressure he has set for himself.

As his time in the hospital progresses, he begins to re-find himself and begins to explore his own skills! He soon begins to relax and begins drawing. He finds that he is really good at drawing brain maps! He begins to make connections and realize that sometimes... the anxiety of the world... is really the pressure we put on ourselves. He learns how to deal with his anxiety and figures what changes he needs to make!

Sort of a teenage version of Girl, Interrupted! Highly recommended for a good read!
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on January 22, 2014
"It's Kind of a Funny Story" is a book that's been on my "To-Read" list for quite some time, however, with the recent passing of author Ned Vizzini, I thought the best way to honor a writer was to make sure the works they left behind are read. Hence, I moved it to the top of my reading list. The story follows a teen-aged protagonist who grows suicidal after his life takes a drastic turn. This results in his stay in a psychiatric ward. Here, he meets a cast of interesting characters and basically "finds himself." What this book does best is showcases what it really means to be depressed--to help shed light on what is too often thought of as a taboo subject despite that we are all bound to experience it in one way or another. While this is an inspirational and educational story presented in an entertaining way, there is also an underyling eerie feeling to it due to knowing Ned Vizzini suffered depression and recently committed suicide. While reading the story, one can't help but to wonder if some of the thoughts presented by the main character were indeed the real thoughts of Vizzini. The line between fiction and reality become blurred. If the knowledge of this makes you uncomfortable, this may not be a good choice for you to read. However, it is my hope that as tragic as Vizzini's end was, hopefully his modern-day masterpiece helps take some of the shame away from seeking mental health services and battling depression. His story and his life may be the tool to help save the life of someone else. R.I.P. Ned Vizzini.
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on March 19, 2013
I found this story refreshing, not because of the subject matter but because of the tone. I felt the author handled the subjects of depression and mental illness- which can easily become mired in their self-created black hole of despair and melodrama- with an honesty and brevity that respected their serious nature while keeping the narration simple and honest. You do feel like you are reading the internal monologue of a young teenage boy. He's dealing with a real condition, but he's still getting giddy excited about kissing a cute girl. If you're looking for a book that dissects mental illness and ruminates on the causes, treatments, and silent struggles, this is not your book. If you're looking for an easy read that is also a reminder that life can be truly overwhelming, and treatment centers are filled with "normal", likable people, give this a try. However, don't be thrown by the title. While it's enjoyable, I would not call the book funny. There are some tough sections, and while they are handled rather lightly, you still feel it.
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on June 26, 2015
Fantastic book. I couldn't put it down. This book makes it feel "okay" for teens (and adult readers) to admit they need help. I found this book realistic to my high school experience in that everything wasn't okay, but I felt like I couldn't show that. The main character is brave enough to seek out help for himself.
I don't want to give the story away, but for anyone who is looking for a realistic teen story about a teenager whose life isn't perfect, or who experiences depression or anxiety, this book will be comforting and reassuring.
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on April 24, 2014
At the end of the day "It's Kind of a Funny Story" didn't teach me anything I didn't already know (or think I knew) about depression, suicide, and "seize the day" type scenarios. Perhaps thinking that there wasn't anything going into reading the novel should have pre-disposed me to not enjoying it - and yet, over the course of two flights across the country, I couldn't put it down.

Much of the entertainment value (which feels inadequate as a descriptor, but the books is equal parts entertaining as it is inspiring) comes from the narrator's stay in hospital. At first glance - and I won't get into any more details - the field is ripe for "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" or the film version of "Girl, Interrupted" esque character interactions, but I felt that "It's Kind of a Funny Story" tempered some light-hearted moments with hard facts. While the message from the characters are nearly all the same their sad realities but the narrator's own dilemma into sharp contrast. Put another way, Vizzini does not over-glamourize the plights of the hospital patients.

The first half of the novel was a little bit difficult to read, not because of any specific content, but because the narrator comes as slightly self-absorbed and unable to see the "good" things he has. That may be the point, and after the second half the narrator's own conclusions echo what the reader probably saw the beginning. I'm reminded slightly of my own teenage years where it was hard to focus on what was really important until - whether it's a conversation, experience, or something else - something just clicks. I can't speak on a personal level about the fights with depression you cannot control, suicide attempts, or being seen at any hospital for anything more than routine procedures but the struggles with trying to adjust to a new academic environment as an adolescent with self-imposed pressures.

There are some other quibbles I have with parts of the book, but the whole is greater than the sum of the novel's parts. I’d recommend this for anyone empathetic to others, even if they may not share the same background as the narrator.
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A younger friend mentioned this book as a touchstone, something very important to her, as a teenager. Unfortunately, it was after the sad news that the author committed suicide in December 2013. He was only 32 years old.

It's Kind of a Funny Story is so well-written, about a 15-year-old boy spending five days in a psych ward; how he feels, what he sees, the people he encounters. It is very innocent and very hopeful: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest - Lite. The young adult version. It is tragic that the author's story ended as it began here, so much promise, talent and accomplishment, a life cut short by Depression.
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on July 16, 2017
I came across this book on accident and thought that it sort of related to me, so I decided to read it. I absolutely loved it. It's a great book for any age, but especially other teenagers in high school and young adults entering college - like myself. It has a great plot. It's realistic, meaningful, and draws you into reality - you really get to see what it's like for someone who goes through anxiety and depression.
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on March 19, 2014
I spent a pretty good portion of the book amazed at how well Vizzini put particular emotions into words. His unabashed account of his mental state when young and depressed struck me as a very important thing for depressed youth to have access to. When their thoughts have them down, this book might not effectively cheer them up, but it will at least let them know someone else has been there.

Which leads me into my issue with the ending. There's nothing honest about it. It risks throwing away it's great majesty of being a book people can relate to. But alas, I guess that's the state of young adult literature.

Overall I can't use the downfalls of the end to fault the book into pure negatives, but it does disappoint me.
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