It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini

Monday, December 13, 2010

Genre: General Fiction - Young Adult
Synopsis: Craig Gilner is a gifted 15-year-old boy who works hard to get into a fiercely competitive high school, then crumbles under the intense academic pressure. Blindsided by his inability to excel and terrified by thoughts of suicide, Craig checks into a psychiatric hospital where he finally gets the help he needs.

Rating: 5 stars

Review: I wasn't even thinking of reading this one, but the cover intrigued me so I picked it up. I can't even tell you how happy I am that I did. It's Kind of a Funny Story is probably one of my favorites this year. Everything about it, I simply loved.

The biggest strength this novel has is the main character himself, Craig. His story and the way it is old is not overly formulaic. It's actually incredibly simple; he gets in a psychiatric hospital, and he feels like, for lack of a better expression, "his life is shit" and has gone down the drain. No hope. No faith. Nothing. And as a reader, I felt all that. He is honest, genuine, and real, sometimes horribly so. I felt like I was reading a close friend's journal. His voice is so familiar and distinct, you just can't help but empathize and feel for him. He actually kind of reminds me of Oskar from Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. Craig is also as genuinely lovable and likable as him.

I also loved the fact that the author is able to handle such a difficult issue with skill, wit, and sensitivity all at the same time. It doesn't seem like that would be possible, but he did a great job at it. Simply put, it is just such a great read. Highly recommended to older teens, mature YA readers, and adults as well. This deserves 5 stars and nothing less.

* There is a recent movie adaptation of this but have not yet watched it. I heard it was good, and I might rent it when I get the chance.


  1. Sounds like a worthwhile read. I would never have picked it up based on the cover (I need a different kind of eye appeal). Thanks!

  2. Lovely review. I loved this one too, but sadly I didn't really like the movie adaptation. They sort of took it to a comedic route, which is okay but not what I expected.