Ned Vizzini, Popular Young Adult Author, Dead at 32

By Rahma Ali, ’15

Having read Ned Vizzini’s most famous book, “It’s Kind Of a Story,” later turned into a film in 2010, I felt like I knew a part of him. The book, though fictional, was based on a part of his life when he struggled with depression and spent time in a mental institution in his early 20’s. The author dealt with depression and other issues for much of his life and Vizzini committed suicide in New York City on December 19.

At the beginning of 2013, I wrote an article for the Eddies Echo titled, ‘Top 10  books of 2012’, and of course I added “It’s Kind Of a Funny Story.” I expressed my deep love for the book and his way of writing. I woke up at six in the morning the day after the article was posted to see if it had made the National Edition, a selection of the best student journalism by the American Society of Newspaper Editors. To my surprise, when I scrolled down to the comments section, I discovered that Ned Vizzini himself had commented. I couldn’t believe that he actually read my article and thanked me for writing it and linking it to his press page. I was more than happy, I didn’t even think it was real.

What I love about his writing is the realness, and how well he could speak to his readers through the text. Then again, the subjects he mostly wrote about many are able to relate to.

The following is a reprint of the original review:

It’s Kind Of A Funny Story: His name is Craig Gilner, an average student and son. Craig always dreamed of getting into Manhattan’s most highly regarded school, Pre-Professional High School. He is determined to get in and is going to do anything if that even means studying like crazy, day and night, to master the entrance exam.

After he gets into Pre-Professional Craig starts to feel more and more depressed. The reason may be everyone else is way smarter and competitive and he’s only average and only getting barely passing grades. Everything starts to crumble in front of him and day by day the depression kicks in even more. He has trouble eating and sleeping now. When his parents figure this out they find him a good therapist that he can talk to and got him on medications. But things seem to be getting worse after, when they should have been getting better.

One night, it goes way beyond depression and Craig is considering suicide. But, instead he calls the national suicide hotline and a counselor tells him to get to the nearest hospital. That’s exactly what he does and he was delivered into one of Brooklyn’s finest psychiatric units. He meets so many wonderful people and tries helping them. In this book, Craig learns what he wants to do with his life in the future and, in the end, also learns that things do get better with a little bit of help.

This book is by far one of my favorites and I think Ned Vizzini did an amazing job. All teens should read this book because it will help them understand that they are not alone, there are many people out in this world that are going through the same things. If you are going through very similar problems, like Craig, all you need to do is just make that call. Save your own life.

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