Ned Vizzini’s ‘It’s Kind of a Funny Story’ is packed with quotes that have the power of really sticking with you. To celebrate Ned’s work, I wanted to round up my favourites, so here are my top 10 quotes.

1. “I didn’t want to wake up. I was having a much better time asleep. And that’s really sad. It was almost like a reverse nightmare, like you wake up from a nightmare you’re so relieved. I woke up into a nightmare.”

2. “Life’s not about feeling better, it’s about getting the job done.”

3. “I’m smart, but not enough – just smart enough to have problems.”

4. “I’m done with those; regrets are an excuse for people who have failed.”

5. “Life can’t be cured, it can be managed”

6. “See, when you mess something up, you learn for the next time. It’s when people compliment you that you’re in trouble. That means they expect you to keep it up.”

7. “Things to do today: Breathe in. Breathe out.”

8. “People are so screwed up in this world. I’d rather be with someone screwed up and open about it than somebody perfect and ready to explode.”

9. “I can’t eat and I can’t sleep. I’m not doing well in terms of being a functional human, you know.”

10. “Dreams are only dreams until you wake up and make them real.”

I hope these quotes resonate with you in whatever way you need them to. You can purchase Ned’s book here if you’re yet to read it and my full book review is here.

Sincerely, Sarah x

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This has been on my reading list for a while now and I’m annoyed that I put off this for so long. Quite simply put, whether you have a personal experience of mental illness or not, you really need to read this book! ‘It’s Kind of a Funny Story’ sees Ned Vizzini tackling the difficult themes of teenage depression and anxiety with an authenticity that is rarely prominent in other novels about mental illness.

Vizzini has written a coming of age story following Brooklyn based teenager, Craig Gilner. We follow Craig as he struggles to cope with peer pressure, concerns about his future and mounting expectation at school. As though this isn’t enough for a teenager to bear, Craig also has to deal with a depression that stops him eating and sleeping. When he reaches breaking point and contemplates suicide, he admits himself to Six North, the psychiatric ward at his local hospital.

‘It’s Kind of a Funny Story’ genuinely is a funny story; emotionally I was invested in Craig’s journey from the first few paragraphs, yet at times, I found myself conflicted between laughing at his cynical humour and wanting to cry over the description of his struggle. 

I have written, read and rewritten this post countless times and each time, I’m still not convinced I’m doing this book enough justice… seriously, it’s that good! Vizzini successfully conveys the complexities of not just depression, but self harm, schizophrenia and so many mental illnesses through the characters Craig meets whilst at Six North. The relationships he develops with Noelle and Muqtada in particular, resonated with me on a level I didn’t expect.

Ned Vizzini was very open that his own stay in a psychiatric hospital was inspiration for this book, before taking his own life at the age of 32. I hope there is some solace for his family in knowing how many people will undoubtedly benefit from such a personal and honest story about depression. 

Sincerely,
Sarah