It’s Kind of a Funny Story- Ned Vizzini
It’s Kind of a Funny Story
Although the title suggests its a comedic book it is about a boy called Craig Gilner and his battle with depression. Craig begins to become depressed the day after he gets into Executive Pre-Professional High School in Manhattan with a perfect 800 out of 800.
However, as Craig begins his high school career at the school he quickly falls under the pressure of the work and his best friend Aaron’s parties where they smoke pot and get drunk doesn’t help him and soon enough, Craig stops eating and sleeping and one night nearly kills himself. Which gets him checked into the Six North, a mental hospital where he befriends a variety of people from a transsexual sex addict to a girl who scarred her face with scissors.
Craig checks himself into the hospital on a Saturday night and over the course of five days he begins to feel much better about himself and eventually he gets the ‘Shift’ something he has been waiting for for two years. The Shift is Craig’s way of resetting himself, starting new and as soon as he feels more comfortable in his mind Craig gets this, as well as a girlfriend who like him has troubles of her own.
It’s Kind Of A Funny Story is a book about depression which isn’t at all depressing. Vizzini ends the story with nearly a page and a half of things that Craig can now do with his life now that he feels more comfortable in his mind. This book made me think about everything I can do with my life, and over the year a lot of the books I have read have always had a similar theme, but all of them have helped me in some way shape or form. Each one has helped me understand my depression but no book has helped me as much as Vizzini’s did.
I find the only sad point of this book is that a few days after I began reading it, Vizzini committed suicide.
This book will always be on my bookshelf for the extra-ordinary way Vizzini wrote. The character Craig spoke to me, it was like he was in the room and talking to me or I was with him in the mental hospital. I related so much with Craig and can safely say that this book is a must on everyone’s ‘To Read’ list.
Thirteen Reasons Why- Jay Asher
Thirteen Reasons Why
Thirteen Reasons Why is about a girl called Hannah Baker who committed suicide and left behind the reasons for committing suicide on thirteen cassette tapes. We join the story when one of the people on the tapes, Clay Jensen, comes home and finds the package of cassette tapes.
When he begins to listen to the tapes he increasingly becomes more worried over what his reason was for the suicide of Hannah Baker. Occasionally in the book Clay pauses the tapes and we get his views and reaction to what he hears and where he goes. Which connects us furthermore to Hannah’s story and Clay’s story.
I read this book in one night, I couldn’t put it down, I wanted to know every reason for why this girl felt like she had to die and each reason is as compelling as the next.
From someone who made up rumours, to a teacher that didn’t help her enough.
All these reasons, 13, Baker’s dozen led to her death. Although the subject is about suicide it is a thoroughly great read and more people should read this. Through this book Asher teaches the reader that sometimes just a tiny action can lead to someone committing suicide.
My Mad Fat Diary- Rae Earl
My Mad Fat Diary
My Mad Fat Diary, previously published as My Mad Fat Teenage Diary, is an autobiography about Rae Earl in the year 1989. Rae is a fat, boy-mad 17 year old girl. At the start of this year ”My Mad Fat Diary” was broadcast on E4 with a third series due to air soon. I didn’t find interest in the television show but the book gripped me. It gripped me hard.
I found myself really relating to Rae and her thoughts, although sometimes I had to remind myself that this is written in 1989 and not now especially when she talked about cassettes and tapes.
As you read through each diary entry you feel a mix of emotions throughout it. My Mad Fat Diary is certainly something a lot of teenagers today can relate to. And not just the feelings of never going to get married, but also of harming yourself, over-eating to compensate for loneliness and boredom.
Rae Earl helped me feel that I was not alone in my life and that my depression wasn’t something that I was alone in, because countless other teenagers have felt and still do the same way I feel, reading this opened my eyes and it is again, another book you just have to read.
It’s non-fiction but it is the BEST non-fiction book I have read in a long time.
Wonder- R.J. Palacio
Wonder is beautifully written story about a young boy called August who has a facial disfigurement. The book is told from several points of view and each viewpoint is just as amazing as the next.
August is only ten years old yet he has never been to school due to his disfigurement and his parents wanting to protect him from the harsh words of children. Many times during this book someone’s actions are hurtful and simply rude towards August at one point I cried at the harsh words his ‘friend’ says about August. It is one of those books, again like ”Thirteen Reasons Why” that you just have to keep reading and reading until you finish. It is an amazing book and has the power to change minds and move hearts. Wonder is a book that everyone should go out and read. It feels like it should be a child’s book but when you realize what it is about you realize it should be read by someone of any age.
Palacio delivers the subject of facial disfigurement and how it is received through children’s eyes in a way that it makes you re-evaluate your views on looks and personalities.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower- Stephen Chbosky
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
The Perks Of Being A Wallflower, much like ”My Mad Fat Diary” is written in a different format to a normal book. This book is written in style of a letter to an anonymous ‘friend’, ‘love always Charlie’.
The main character Charlie is a freshman and is a wallflower, he is trying to live his life and trying to run from it, again very relatable to many teenagers in this day and age.
Written in the year 1991/1992, Charlie writes about his first year of school where his older sister goes and where his older brother went. Charlie is shy and struggles to make friends until one night when he befriends Patrick and his step-sister Sam, who Charlie falls for.
Charlie writes about how he has bad days, which at first I thought that it was an ordinary bad day, like the kind most of us get, to me a bad could be your friends ditching you or ignoring you, but to Charlie, it’s about his subconscious trying to break free and help him understand what his Aunt did to him all those years ago.
The Perks Of Being A Wallflower is a tale of friendship, life, sex, family and love. But most of all, it is a coming of age story. This book is easily readable in just a few hours.
The Worst Girlfriend in the World- Sarra Manning
The Worst Girlfriend In The World
The Worst Girlfriend In The World starts off with the main characters- Franny Barker (or Franny B as she is known) and her best friend Alice (AKA The Worst Girlfriend In The World) giving a challenge to two boys whose eyes are on Alice. Alice is the friend that most of us have, the flirty one who seems to attract boys by the dozen but not want any of them for more than an hour, whereas Franny is always left with the guys who don’t win Alice or aren’t up to Alice’s expectations. Not that Franny minds- her eyes are set on one boy in particular- Louis Allen, lead singer for Thee Desperadoes.
As the girls begin to settle into their new routine of school- Alice studying AS levels and Franny a fashion course at their local college- the age old worry of friends ditching you for other friends starts to appear in Alice and soon 16 years of friendship becomes fractured- especially one night when Alice decides to go after Louis and suddenly these best friends are bitter enemies- set out to win Louis’ heart.
But as the girls discover there’s more to life than just one friend and a wannabe rock-god manchild.
And as Franny learns, your crush may not always be the one you fall in love with.