As most of you know if you follow me on Twitter or IG, Ned Vizzini, author of It’s a Funny Story, passed away 2 days ago on December 19th, 2013. According to medical examiners, Vizzini’s death was ruled a suicide. He jumped off the roof of his parents’ NY home. He was 32 years old. It’s such a tragedy that someone so young is gone so soon.
Ned Vizzini wrote It’s a Funny Story in 2006 about his experience in a mental hospital as a teenager. At a young age, he suffered from anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts. After discharged from the mental hospital, hopes of a full recovery was high. Although the outcome was not what others expected, what us readers should focus on is his accomplishments and success.
It’s a Funny Story — Summary (Goodreads)
Like many ambitious New York City teenagers, Craig Gilner sees entry into Manhattan’s Executive Pre-Professional High School as the ticket to his future. Determined to succeed at life-which means getting into the right high school to get into the right college to get the right job-Craig studies night and day to ace the entrance exam, and does. That’s when things start to get crazy.
At his new school, Craig realizes that he isn’t brilliant compared to the other kids; he’s just average, and maybe not even that. He soon sees his once-perfect future crumbling away. The stress becomes unbearable and Craig stops eating and sleeping-until, one night, he nearly kills himself.
Craig’s suicidal episode gets him checked into a mental hospital, where his new neighbors include a transsexual sex addict, a girl who has scarred her own face with scissors, and the self-elected President Armelio. There, isolated from the crushing pressures of school and friends, Craig is finally able to confront the sources of his anxiety.
I read this book 2 years ago when I was a freshman in high school. As a teenager, we all face struggles. Whether it is our parent’s high expectations of our grades or fear of not accomplishing our dreams, we all agree on the fact that life is not just rainbows and sunshine. It’s a Funny Story taught me a lot about life and overcoming hardships. I love how Craig is able to overcome his anxiety with the support of his family and friends. Depression is not uncurable. There are many ways to get help and recover. My favorite part of the novel was when Craig learns that no matter how hard your life is, it is not over and that there are many teens around the world who had it worse than him. Of course we hear that many times, but in our lowest points, we fail to see that and we end up putting ourselves in a pity party thinking we are doomed because there is no way for our lives to become better. During his stay at the mental hospital, Craig was able to discover himself and his new passion: art.
Overall, I think anyone: girls, guys, and even adults will enjoy It’s a Funny Story and will learn a lot about life in general. I strongly recommend you guys to read it. You guys won’t be disappointed.
If you or a loved one is experiencing depression or suicidal thoughts, call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 .
“I hug her one more time and pull her down to the bed. And in my mind, I rise up from the bed and look down on us, and look down at everybody else in this hospital who might have the good fortune of holding a pretty girl right now, and then at the entire Brooklyn block, and then the neighborhood, and then Brooklyn, and then New York City, and then the whole Tri-State Area, and then this little corner of America- with laser eyes I can see into every house- and then the whole country and the hemisphere and now the whole stupid world, everyone in every bed, couch, futon, chair, hammock, love seat, and tent…….I know that i’m the happiest of all of them.” — Craig (It’s a Funny Story)
Until next time….
Catcha later readers.