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It's Kind of a Funny Story
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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 13, 2016
For what I was looking for it was a very great book. Beautifully written Ned Vizzini captures the mind of depression so well. It should have a trigger warning though which I am not sure if it does or not but for those who are clinically depressed and not currently seeking help this is not for you. Other than that read on! For what it's worth the book was in great condition and came on time.
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on June 24, 2015
full review posted on http://myriadinklings.wordpress.com
Honestly, this is one of the books that have been sitting on my shelf for almost a year now. I picked this book as part of my new TBR jar, and I’m glad this was the first read from that. This was an eye-opener for me. I can’t recall ever reading a book before with heavy subjects such as depression or suicide. I would honestly definitely recommend this book to anyone who is comfortable enough with those subjects. If you are worrying about the sadness of this book, it’s not. Vizzini has this way of staying true to the story’s message, yet making it still readable and not heavy. I feel like Craig’s journey is very inspirational, and I found this read overall to be very enjoyable.
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on November 18, 2014
I was asked to help sponsor a book club for the high school JROTC group. They needed one or two adults to attend their meetings as chaperones. The other mom and I help move the conversations, but it's up to the kids to run the meetings and pick the books. This was the first book they picked.

So far, we only have 5 girls and a female teacher that have joined our little group, but we're hoping more kids (male and female) will start to get interested and come to our next meeting. I really wish we would have had more for this book as I believe it is a book EVERY high school student should read. Unfortunately, it would be almost impossible to convince any school board to approve this book due to the subject matter. It is my belief that it could save much heartache and even save a life. The kids in the book club agreed.

I very much enjoyed the writing style of this book. And once I realized how young Ned Vizzini must have been when he wrote this book, I was blown away.

It's extremely hard to not post spoilers here, so I'm going to keep this short. I'm just going to reiterate how much the girls in our book club enjoyed this book, the writing style, and (most of) the characters.

Caution: very sensitive subject matter (suicide, depression, drug use) so, although I think it should be read by all teens, if you are a parent you may want to read it first to make sure it's something your child can handle.
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on February 21, 2014
I found this book by searching for psychological fiction. This is loosely based on a real life story and that made me want to read it even more. I was lent a digital copy and ended up buying it to support the author because I loved it.

Book is about a teenager who is struggling with daily life events. Craig can describe what he is feeling and thinking, but does not know why or how to control it. These actions and feelings start to effect everything and become too overwhelming that he ends up wanting to commit suicide. Craig unknowingly admits himself into a mental facility and after realizing and adjusting, things unfold that affect the way he sees himself, his problems, his friends and his life life. Craig meets new people in this hospital and discovers so much more about life and its ins and outs.

I enjoyed this book because it is realistic. As a person who has spent time in a facility, I could connect with this book and I found it addicting. There are so many different people out there with different backstories and problems. Everyone deals with their problems in different ways with different outcomes. Overall, great story.
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on October 2, 2014
Wasn't really thrilled with this book. The characters weren't really given a lot of purpose. A lot of filler with their stories instead of building the main character more. It's definitely a coming of age story but Vizzini's focus on that is through the other patients instead of more through his own thought process. Not on my recommendation list, but over all not a bad book. The story line had great potential but i caught myself skipping through a lot of the filler mainly because it couldn't keep my attention. Certain chapters were so intriguing that I couldn't put it down. It just lacked the consistency to keep me intrigued from page one to the last.
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on June 6, 2017
Great read for those struggling with depression or wishing to gain insight on the thoughts of those who do suffer from depression. Of course, not every individual's experiences are the same, but this book really helped me feel less alone in my fight.
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on October 14, 2013
Its Kind of a Funny Story is one of those stories, which you either love and glorify forever and rave on and on about, or you hate it. In many respects it is a very relatable book, as the main character, a boy named Craig Gilner, a high schooler from Brooklyn who is severely depressed. Craig’s depression hits an all time high when he ultimately decides to commit suicide. After deciding not to, he checks himself into the nearest hospital and is admitted into the psych ward, Six North. The story follows Craig’s experience through Six North and the five days he is there and how he changes as well as his relationships with the many other people who co-inhabit the facility.
The author, Ned Vizzini, creates a sense of realism in the story that only first hand experience can elucidate. He started writing this novel after his own discharge from a psychiatric facility. At times, the writing and story were a bit messy and convoluted. However, the narrative was so compelling, that at times I found myself visualizing parts of the story and occasionally having them penetrate my thoughts.
As the story progresses, you find yourself becoming very attached to the characters and rooting them on and even boo-ing some of the characters you did not like out loud. Overall, I would recommend this book as it was very well written and quite an intriguing take on mental illness.
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on January 16, 2016
What a book. Sigh. I loved this book. It tackles depression, suicidal tendencies, and mental health issues in a really realistic way. I was left feeling uneasy for the main character. He got better, but the undertone was, at least for me, that he was better "for now." I loved his self awareness and the bit with the maps was really unique and added to the story. Ned Vizzini was a very skilled writer. This book is funny yet sad, uplifting yet depressing. A really great read and will add to a reader's empathy of what those with depression go through.
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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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