I’m a fan of It’s Kind of a Funny Story, by Ned Vizzini. It’s not very recent, but I’ll fill you in since it’s been made into a movie. Even better, the movie looks like it might actually be good, though I’m not making any promises.
The book follows a teenage boy, Craig, who almost commits suicide but then realizes that’s a really bad idea. So instead he checks himself into the psych ward at a hospital, which is totally a better idea. Hilarity ensues. The moral of the story is that…um…look, hanging out with crazy people is awesome, okay? I do it like every day. Paradoxically, acting crazy and hanging out with my crazy friends is what keeps me sane. Maybe that’s the moral of the story. Anyway, you might have already read this book because it makes for good assigned reading, and schools love proving to you how cool they are by assigning books that mention pot and use curse words. (What your English teacher hopes your reaction will be after reading such books: “He said, ‘fuck’! Tee hee! Now I love school!”)
My biggest problem with adults writing books for teenagers is that they always write about what they think teenagers think about. Ned Vizzini isn’t one of those morons. He hits the nail on the head. In a world where depression and anxiety disorders are becoming increasingly common, it’s nice to see someone representing it accurately. It even has a happy ending. And the title says it all – it really is a funny story.
~ Rebecca Leviton