Time goes fast when reading books! This months book was ‘It’s kind of a funny story’ by Ned Vizzini. It’s the last day of February so let’s have ourselves a little review, shall we!?
I told y’all already about my little habit of reading the twenty- seventh page first ( What, you didn’t know? Read all about it here! ). Because of this I will begin by reciting a little part of that page:
And I did that for the next five years – whenever I was in class, I didn’t doodle, I drew maps. Hundreds of them. When I finished, I crumpled them; it was making them that was important. I did cities on the ocean, cities with two rivers meeting in the middle, cities with one big river that bent, cities with bridges crazy interchanges, circles and boulevards. I made cities. That made me happy. That was my Anchor. And until I turned nine and turned to video games, that was what I wanted to be when I grew up: a mapmaker.
The future mapmaker; main character Craig Gilner. He’s got a lot going for him but as some of you know sometimes that doesn’t really matter. In the case of Craig the pressure of school and the thoughts of future life become too much. So much even that he decides he wants to end it all, by throwing himself of Brooklyn Bridge. One day he just figures that night should be the night. He’ll bike toward the bridge and jump. Before he does that though, he looks into a book of his mother ‘how to survive the loss of a love’ and finds a suicide hotline. He calls and the other side of the line tells him to go to a hospital emergency room. One thing leads to another and before Craig fully realizes it, he is submitted, to six north; adult psychiatric.
Inside six north, he meets a lot of different people. Bobby with his Marvin the Martian sweatshirt. Humble, the alpha male. Jennifer, a transgender girl who flirts with all the newcomers. Mister Muqtada, Craigs roommate, who sleeps a lot and has a taste for egyptian music. Noelle, a beautiful girl who cut her face and many more. At first Craig isn’t sure he belongs in the ‘mental ward’ but gradually he finds his voice back, and also his love for drawing. He starts drawing maps again but with a twist. Finally he discovers he doesn’t want to die, he wants to live.
What did I think of the book? I was a bit hesitant to read it at first. A young boy, depression, a mental ward; tough topics. I became more interested when I heard the writer suffered from depression as well and spend some days in adult psychiatric himself. When I heard about Vizinni committing suicide, I just had to read the book. Not because I wanted to honor him by reading it per se, but mostly because an author with a depressed mind couldn’t give me anything other than a real look on depression. And that’s what I got.
Craig is a young boy, no big reasons for being depressed but being it nonetheless. He has figured out that there are certain anchors and tentacles in his life. The anchors being things that make him happy, the tentacles are things that bring him down. He knows what he feels but just can’t figure out why and how to end it. There are more little symbolic things like this in the book and I found them pretty clever because it really puts words to what someone is feeling.
The most touching thing about the book is, in my opinion, the hope. By this I don’t mean the hope that Craig finds nor the hope some people can draw from this book. I mean Vizinni’s hope dripping through the lines. It seems like he’s trying to convince himself more than others. The last sentence of the book is like a promise to himself: ‘ So now live for real, Craig. Live. Live. Live. Live. Live.’. The fact that he wrote this short after he was submitted himself only contributes to this feeling.
My final verdict: It’s indeed a book you should read. Not only because it discusses some tough subjects but also because it’s a pleasant book to read in general. You could read it in one sitting. So if you decide to read it:
( What are these things? Find out here)
Oh and as always, don’t forget to read Sam‘s review!! I enjoyed the book very much, thank you for picking it!