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A Funny Story

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In this day and society, depression has proven to show up as a monstrous, life-altering factor in this generation of young teenagers. In fact, roughly twenty percent of the entire world's adolescents will experience clinical depression before reaching adulthood. As many as eight percent of teenagers are likely to suffer from depression a year, compared to the likes of five percent of the entire population. And yet, these statistics continue to shock parents, adults and other fellow teenagers around the world. What most people fail to comprehend is that depression is real. It isn't just a mass number of hormone-crazed teenagers overreacting over little problems. Depression is a monster that eats away inside people that is all too very real. It's a very serious and sensitive topic to handle, but no one other than our very own author Ned Vizzini's It's Kind Of A Funny Story's lovable wise-crack character Craig Gilner knows better to take readers through an animated, ingenious story of being in the shoes of a pressured, withered-down teenager experiencing life in a psychiatric hospital firsthand.

A fifteen-year-old adolescent by the name of Craig Gilner is your average painfully awkward and sexually frustrated teenage boy. Right off the bat, he informs us of his use of marijuana, hints of a severe eating disorder, slight insomnia, and probing suicidal thoughts. The kid seems to have a content life, residing in an upper-class Manhattan neighborhood right smack dab in the best city on earth, New York City. He had just recently been accepted into the distinguished and renowned Executive Pre-Professional High School, which he slaved away unfathomable hours of studying and loss of all social contact to finally gain recognition and entry. Then there's his best friend, Aaron. He's everything Craig envies he could achieve to be and more. With Aaron's charismatic, easy-going personality, acceptance letter into Executive Pre-Professional even though the boy hardly even lifted a finger to try, and not to mention his irresistible Jewish-Chinese girlfriend Nia, it's hard not to blame the kid to be envious. Speaking of Nia, she also happens to be the girl Craig's had a crush on for years, and now that Aaron's got her wrapped around his finger, it's driven Craig close to the brink of his grip on reality. With all the stress, pressure and anxiety piling up, it all soon turns out to be a case of our good old friend depression.

Amounting at an immense four hundred forty-four pages, It's Kind Of A Funny Story is structured in quite an interesting fashion which I haven't seemed to come upon in any book previous to it. At first glance, the cover of the novel seems to just be a rad-looking head with various maps drawn inside of it, giving off the initial impression to be there just to catch the reader's eye. But as you read on later in the story, you can slowly begin to fathom how each street and building on the cover in fact represents a new part in the story as Craig experiences and learns more as a person. Five cool points to you, Vizzini. The novel is constructed entirely in first person from Craig's point of view, and you soon find yourself becoming one with the character as he lures you in with his witty charm and eloquence.

There are definitely three primary plot twists in the story that take Craig's life in the turn for the better as likely as the worse. The opening definite scene in this book takes place when Craig is a restless, head-beaded-with-sweat mess in his unmade bed in the dead of night. It was as quick and steadfast as the switch of a light when Craig



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