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Ned Vizzini | Official Site | Past & Present
Hornbook 4-1-06

Ned Vizzini It's Kind of a Funny Story 445 pp. Hyperion/Miramax. /06 ISBN 0-7868-5196-1 $16.95
Vizzini's first YA novel, Be More Chill (rev. 9/04), was a comic description of a teen's struggle with peer pressure; this second novel portrays a fifteen-year-old's struggle with depression. Despite the serious topic, Vizzini again manages to be quite funny: narrator Craig may have lost his footing, but he hasn't lost his sense of humor. This novel also turns out to be about the pressures students face -- by the end of his stay in a psychiatric hospital, Craig realizes that the stress of trying to be successful and perfect is what has pushed him over the edge. It's refreshing to have a protagonist who is clinically depressed yet loved by his family and untouched by huge trauma; but therein lies Craig's biggest roadblock -- without an obvious scarring experience on which to blame his emotional state, guilt exacerbates his depression. While the setup that lands Craig on an adult rather than a teen ward seems artificial, the presence of older (sometimes crazier, sometimes wiser) characters is worth it, and the bulk of this novel (which is based in part on Vizzini's own experience) remains believable. Craig's overwhelmingly positive hospital experience will hearten readers moved by his honest description of his inner despair. J.M.B.
© Ned Vizzini 2000-2007
Favorite Parts note: due to a major malfunction on my part, all of the images associated with favorite parts have been set to hardcover be more chills, hopefully it'll be fixed soon
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Jordan of AL says: Oh my gosh, Mr. Vizzini, I finished the book It's Kind of a Funny story in school today while we were watching a movie. I don't know what the movie was because I was reading, and thank goodness I was reading, because I finished this book and fell completely in love with it. The way that the character Craig Gilner is portrayed changed my perspective on so many things, and I enjoyed that it was from a guy's point of view. This book was touching and made me appreciate daily things alot more, seeing that I am way better off than I could be. Thank you so much for the messages you gave me in this book; it's truly a work of art. :]
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Kacie of -- Choose One -- says: Be More Chill was FANTASTIC. I picked it up from my library on Friday after school and finished reading it Saturday before breakfast. I thought it was a very accurate account of high school, i mean minus the squip. My favorite part was just picturing Keanu Reeves' voice in my head giving me advice because I can only ever picture him in "Bill and Ted's Most Excellent Adventure" where he sounds like a complete baffoon.

april. of CA says: I have finished this story about 4 minutes ago. I shall tell you this, Mr. Vizzini. You have portrayed youth in such an inspiring way, I wish I could re-do it. At the end of this story, you'd expect a downfall, a collapse. Finally a suicide, if you will. But, this character is altogether happy. He has found his paradise...everything is his anchor. Tentacles will no longer live inside him. He's become aware of life, not hiding from it. Congrats to you for finally giving happiness to a story that would usually have you feeling sorry for a character. Craig is no emo child.
april.'s myspace

Ola of IL says: I just finished Be More Chill and I swear it's one of the best books I ever. I'm totally gonna recommend it to all my friends. My favorite part of is when Jenna is talking about the sexual exploits of this Elizabeth girl for like, the trillionth time, and Jeremy tells her to shut up because they all know "Elizabeth" is like Jenna's Spider-Slut alterego or something. That really made me laugh out loud. It was about TIME Jeremy told that bitch off.

Rachel of FL says: My grandma bought me this book for my birthday and I thought it was absolutely fantastic. I saved it till school started (8-14-06) and i read it all week the first week of school. Instead of paying attention in class i read ur book instead. Sad I know but it was so good i couldn't put it down. Your book has my friends grasping for it but I don't know what i would do if i lost it. This book was great! oh yeah, favorite part. hmm thats a toughie. It would have to be the part wherehe goes to the party and takes ecstacy and the spuip speaks spanish to him. that is absolutely hilarious. anyway great novels IKOAFS was great to. we read that one in my class last year for an asignment and that was my favorite assignment all year! ~*~Rachel
Rachel's myspace

Jack of CA says: my favorite part of BE MORE CHILL is when he stops in the middle of the play and tells Christine about his affection towards her. I was so pissed cuz it was so stupid for him to listen to the squip and think that Christine would some how fall in love with him.

Brandon of CA says: i have two favorite parts in the book but heres one of them. When jeremy first gets the squip and the squip is teaching him about proper posture. and then jeremy says to the squip "i feel gay" and the squip says "the gayer it feels the better".
Brandon's myspace

Jonathan of AR says: I just finished reading your latest one, that was hilarious, favorite part: near the end where Craig was making out with Noelle and he says " it really does feel like a cheek" between that and some of the beginning: wonderful . And Be More Chill, gotta love the parties and when he first gets the pill, and let me see, Teen Angst? Naaah... I loved the prom part, the parts of it when you talk about your family and stuff.

Alexis of VA says: I was in the Barnes and Noble in Richmond, Virginia the day you came to sign books. However, I was there about four hours too early. There was a massive display of your work and I picked this book up and bought it. It looked like an interesting, funny book of things that had actually happened to you. I did want to read it in four hours and come back and ask you all kinds of questions, but that didn't work out too well. I love the book so far. I'm only about a third of the way done but it has made me laugh out loud more than a few times. I'm going to look forward to finishing it but at the same time, not. This book has me reading it every free time I have and I love your writing style. So this is a thank you and a praise all in one. Come back to the Richmond area soon if you can. Keep on truckin' too.
Alexis's blog
Alexis's myspace

Rowell of RI says: My favorite part of Be More Chill, is when Mr. Reyes speaks in his falsetto voice "Maaaaaa!", when I try to imagine it, I can't help laughing. This is my favorite book. No Doubt. Im going to try Jimmy Heere's squip moves on some of the ladies.. :) "Maaaa!"
Rowell's myspace

Violet of NY says: my favorite part of the book was... oh, let's see... THE WHOLE THING, aka my LIFE! I live in Park Slope, took the Stuy Test, attend Pure Energy Martial Arts (Tessa Gordon's still there), and have done numerous other things that you describe in Teen Angst?Naah...
Never have i identified more with a boook than with this one. I read books for escape, but it's like escaping right back into... you guessed it, My Life!

Kathleen of United Kingdom says: I didnt have a favorite part of this book, it was all amazing, i know that I am going to read this book over and over.
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Matthew of New Zealand says: My favourite aspect of both Be More Chill and Teen Angst? Naaah is that the parents (particularly the dads) are portrayed as decent people who are even funny and understanding, rather than as the hysterical losers/ screw up parents that are so ubiquitous in books aimed at young adults.

Janine of CA says: I would say my favourite part would be the whole Aunt Linda
conversation. I mean, I can totally relate. My family acts the same
way. And its the plot revealer... where he's just really honest (...and kinda harsh) about how he sees himself. It's the point where the book
really takes a surrealist turn.

That's my two cents... and more.

Robin of CA says: i liked the part when he was about to get laid but he messes up with the nipple ring and ruins it.

Want to send in your favorite part?