After 15 year old Craig Gilner gets into the best high school in Manhattan, he realizes that he is an average student who receives average grades. He struggles to keep up with his work load, and slowly sinks into a depression, eventually causing him to have suicidal thoughts. After calling the suicide helpline, Craig checks himself into a psychiatric hospital, where he meets other patients with their own problems, such as a girl who has cut her own face and a man who seems to have a limited vocabulary. With the help of his new friends, Craig is able to locate the source of his problems, find a hobby that helps with his depression and decide what he is going to do when he leaves the hospital.
This book is similar to some of the others I have read recently, such as ‘The Perks of Being A Wallflower’ and ‘Grow Up.’ However, although ‘Grow Up’ also dealt with teen depression, It’s kind of a funny story takes this problem a step further, with a teenager actually contemplating suicide, and checking himself into a mental hospital as a result. I thought the plot was interesting, and as the author had actually spent some time in a psychiatric hospital himself, it is possible that Craig has similar experiences. The book focuses on the fact that just because you are going through a hard time in your life, you should not end your life because of it, and you should never be embarrassed to get help. I think the book sends out a strong positive message to teenagers who could be in a similar situation as Craig, and the author captures the struggles of a typical teenager perfectly.