Sunday, September 21, 2014

Review: It's Kind of a Funny Story

It's Kind of a Funny StoryIt's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ned Vizzini's fictional YA account of a week in the local psych ward is one of those books that is aimed at the pleasure centers of my brain. 1. The main character, Craig Gilner, suffers from a mental illness (depression--especially the strong sense of inadequacy regardless of how much he achieves.) 2. Vizzini's style is brilliant and unique. He breaks certain "rules" that I normally can't stand, but dammit, when it comes to this book, I don't care. 3. Strong voice. 4. It ends when it's time to end. No prolonged emotional sappy stuff just to make it seem like you're reading something "really substantial." 5. Vizzini has a great sense of humor.

Also, the characters have staying power. For the first time in years, I have moments when I want to channel Jimmy and say "It'll come to ya!" instead of something more appropriate like, "How are you doing?" Oh, and another frequent flyer in the psych ward, Armelio, always answers the phone "Joe's Pub." I've been tempted to do that, but it's a fantasy best left to characters in a book.

Before any die-hard fans of Vizzini's book jump on me about this, yes, I know. Ned Vizzini said in an interview that the story is "85%" true. Take this however you like, but it's not a good book because of how true it is. It's a good book because the feelings are real.

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