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Thursday, September 6, 2012

It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini

For Craig Gilner, getting accepted into the prestigious Executive Pre-Professional High School in Manhattan isn't what he hoped it would be. Instead, it's too much. It doesn't take too long for Craig to realize that he is far from the best--in fact, he is mediocre. This realization crushes not only his ego; soon, he can't sleep. He can't eat. He is, it turns out, depressed. 

A late-night decision to commit suicide results in a call to the nearest suicide hotline--and, eventually, at the hospital down the block, where Craig checks himself into the psychiatric ward. When it turns out that the teen's floor is closed for renovations, he's put on the floor with the adults, where the true adventure begins. 

This is the first novel of Ned Vizzini's that I've read, and I enjoyed the ride. The voice is great and memorable, although sometimes childish--but the best part has to be the collection of strange and eclectic characters thrown into the mix. From Craig himself to Noelle, a girl who cut her own face with scissors, to the other patients in the psychiatric ward; I honestly don't think the characters could have been better. 

Development was pretty thorough; there were no loops or holes, and the novel was definitely well-written. There was a good balance of comedy and irony and depression, although maybe, when thinking of the novel's topic, it was lacking a serious undertone that stories like this, I feel, have the need for. The main thing I disliked was the flow of the story, and the romance was somewhat awkward and unfinished-feeling. I had brief flashbacks of Suicide Notes and Paper Towns, so pick up Funny Story if you're a fan of either of those. 

Unfortunately, the book I picked up before this one was The Perks of Being A Wallflower, so of course Funny Story was a bit of a let-down after that one. The ending wasn't my favorite, some aspects were a bit lacking, but overall Vizzini delivers.

Grade: B

To buy this book . . .
From Barnes & Noble

Don't forget to stop by later this month for my interview with Ned Vizzini himself! 


1 comment:

Lisa Schensted said...

I was worried about this one given the heavy subject matter, but it sounds like the author finds a delicate balance. Good to know!


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