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It's Kind of a Funny Story Book Summary

by Ned Vizzini

It's Kind of a Funny Story

Ned Vizzini


It’s Kind of a Funny Story is a young adult novel that delves into the experiences of Craig Gilner, a high-achieving teenager struggling with depression and anxiety. Feeling overwhelmed by academic pressures and the expectations of those around him, Craig checks himself into a psychiatric hospital. Through his interactions with fellow patients and the hospital staff, he embarks on a journey of self-discovery, confronting his mental health challenges and learning to navigate the complexities of adolescence.

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Author & Writing Background

Ned Vizzini was an American author known for his young adult novels exploring themes of mental health and adolescence. He drew inspiration from his own experiences with depression and hospitalization, which lent authenticity and depth to his writing. Vizzini’s writing style is characterized by its honesty, humor, and relatable portrayal of teenage struggles. Sadly, he passed away in 2013.

Key Takeaways

Mental Health Struggles

The book sheds light on the challenges of depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation among teenagers, portraying the internal battles and emotional turmoil experienced by Craig.

Importance of Seeking Help

Craig’s decision to seek help at a psychiatric hospital emphasizes the importance of reaching out for support when facing mental health difficulties. The story encourages open conversations about mental health and reduces the stigma associated with seeking professional help.

Finding Connection and Support

Through his interactions with fellow patients like Bobby and Noelle, Craig discovers the power of connection and support in navigating his challenges. The book highlights the importance of friendship and empathy in the healing process.

Self-Discovery and Acceptance

Craig’s journey in the hospital leads him to confront his insecurities and self-doubt. He gradually learns to accept himself for who he is and develops a greater understanding of his own identity.

Coping Mechanisms and Resilience

The book explores various coping mechanisms, such as art therapy and mindfulness, that help Craig manage his anxiety and depression. It showcases the importance of developing healthy coping strategies to build resilience.

The story delves into the academic and social pressures faced by teenagers, highlighting the impact these expectations can have on mental health and well-being.

Humor and Hope

Despite dealing with serious topics, the book maintains a sense of humor and hope. Craig’s witty observations and the supportive relationships he forms provide moments of lightheartedness and optimism.

Importance of Family and Friends

The story emphasizes the role of family and friends in providing love and support during difficult times. Craig’s relationships with his parents and his friend Aaron offer him stability and encouragement.

FAQ about It’s Kind of a Funny Story

Is ‘It’s Kind of a Funny Story’ based on a true story?

The book is partially inspired by the author’s own experiences with depression and hospitalization, but it is a work of fiction.

What age group is this book appropriate for?

The book is generally recommended for teenagers and young adults, as it deals with mature themes related to mental health.

Is there a movie adaptation of the book?

Yes, a film adaptation of ‘It’s Kind of a Funny Story’ was released in 2010, starring Keir Gilchrist, Zach Galifianakis, and Emma Roberts.

What are some other books by Ned Vizzini?

Ned Vizzini is also the author of ‘Be More Chill’, ‘The Other Normals’, and ‘House of Secrets’ (co-authored with Chris Columbus).

It’s Kind of a Funny Story Quotes

  • “It’s so hard to talk when you want to kill yourself. That’s above and beyond everything else, and it’s not a mental complaint – it’s a physical thing, like it’s physically hard to open your mouth and make the words come out.”
  • “You can’t just sit there and put everybody’s lives ahead of yours and think that counts as love. You just can’t. You have to do things.”
  • “Sometimes we just have to hurt before we can heal.”