It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini
Release Date: 1st May 2007
Source/Reading Time: Library in 6 days
Themes: Humor, Mental Illness, Romance, Art, Friendship
Review: It's Kind of a Funny Story is lead by a male protagonist taking us along the ride while he makes his way in and out of a psych ward, I finally picked this book up at the library due to the looming movie starring Lauren Graham after adding and removing it from my wish-list many times.
Craig is one of the few who has figured out how to have a loyal band of friends while also getting great marks at school so when he aces the entrance exam for a top level school he crashes and burns under the pressure wondering what he will do with his future. Luckily, he has a supportive family who send him to all the best shrinks and do what they can to help but that doesn't stop him from making a call to the suicide hotline and getting himself admitted to a psych ward in the middle of the night.
At Six North he meets a group of the most interesting sorts of characters, those who have tried and then failed with life hoping to get back on the wagon in the coming future. Craig is so well liked by the other patients that his recovery is helped along by many different people including a girl with self inflicted wounds to her face, a cross-dresser, an egyptian who never leaves his room and a guy whose only goal in life is to find a good opponent for his card games, just to mention a few. Craig finds himself at home in art class where he spends his time reminiscing his childhood with a brand new hobby to keep him grounded which you will find correlates with the cover art on the book.
What I learnt most of from this book is why YA is so female-dominated, I just wasn't as comfortable being inside a male mind as I usually would be in a novel of this sort. Often having to question the antics of the lead and cringe at the conversations he had with his buddies which all seemed realistic but not something I'd like to think about.
When finishing the book, I was quite impressed by the authors details on the back cover. He actually spent time in an adult psych ward himself and wrote the book a few days after getting out, I guess he suffered from some of the pressures similar to the main charactesr having had a piece printed in the NYT's at fifteen and his first novel published at nineteen.