It’s Kind of a Funny Story Book Review


Maeve Conway

“…This is an important book,” New York Times got it right using this quote to describe the crucial novel, It’s Kind of a Funny Story.

It’s Kind of a Funny Story is a comical twist on an unfortunate story of a depressed boy dealing with passing the toughest high school in New York, girls, and living in a psychiatric hospital for a few days. I would give this book 4 out of 5 stars due to the tremendous impact it has on anyone who reads it.

This telling story does not need to be embellished because of its relevance and reliability. Many teens today go through the same, or similar situations as the main character, Craig Gilner. It starts off with 14 year old Craig as a freshman in high school dealing with friends who do drugs, and having a crush on his best friend’s girlfriend. He is also going to the most prestigious high school in New York. On top of all that, he is struggling with depression. Everyday is a battle between keeping down his meals, and trying not to end his own life. It comes to the point that he puts a plan in place to take his own life, but stops himself, and then checks into the hospital down the street. There, he goes into psychiatric care for five days, and along the way he struggles to find what he refers to as “The Shift.”

This book can relate to anyone, especially people suffering through a tough period in their own life. I have found in other novels, depression is glorified and made into a beautiful illness. In this book, it really gives the raw truth of depression. It is not shown as a beautiful thing, it shows the horrible clarity of depression. One of the main messages of the novel is to discourage taking your own life, though this is done in an indirect and subtle way. This book also does a nice job of not making the story too morbid, with funny characters who live in the hospital with him, who brighten up his stay there.

Overall, this book is a great, quick read that will leave one feeling helped in any way they needed to be helped. The only reason for not receiving 5 out of 5 stars, is for its slightly slower pace in the middle of the story. This novel is a highly recommended read.