Thursday, January 16, 2014
It's Kind of a Funny Story, by Ned Vizzini, 444 pages
First of all, it's not really funny- it's about suicide, depression, and mental health- but the parts that are funny are because they're so realistic. Remember being a kid and not understanding the nuances between "making out" and "hooking up,"the stupid things kids do at high school parties, or the intense pressure that comes as early as middle school? (That is all there and is sometimes funny, brings back awkward memories.) But more importantly, the story is about a teenager, Craig, who plans to kill himself, and then decides that he wants to live. It's about coming to terms with depression- there's no pill that will make it go away, but rather it will always stay with Craig, and he will have to manage it in order to survive. The book is painfully honest and real, but the ending is incredibly sad when you know that the author recently committed suicide (Dec 2013). I felt all of the emotions reading this- while the critic in me wanted to pick apart writing style or hate some of Craig's friends, that eventually all falls away when you realize that this book, itself, was a way for Vizzini to help manage what ultimately turned out to be a losing battle with depression.