I saw the movie adaptation of this book a while back and was unimpressed, so I was expecting the book to be similarly disappointing. Luckily, I was wrong. It wasn’t the easiest book to get into at first, though. And I wasn’t that big of a fan of the way the book was set-up in parts–at least with regards to the first few parts of it. There was also some mild slut-shaming in it, but there wasn’t so much that it ruined the book for me.
The main character and his situation were so easy to relate to. Vizzini’s explanations of depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation were so spot on that it was almost scary. I wish that this book or one like it had existed when I was a teenager because I think it definitely would have made things a lot easier.
It is a quirky, funny story, but it also is a really deep story. It’s got some really sad moments, and if you make it through without crying, then you’re doing better than I did. The only reason that it took me 3 days to read this book is that I ended up crying so much while reading it.
This is probably the most realistic work of fiction that I’ve ever seen for what it is like to have a mental illness and what it’s like to have to spend time in a psychiatric unit. It’s really wonderful and worthwhile. I would recommend this to anyone who has a history of mental illness and to friends of people with mental illnesses, because it explains what the mentally ill deal with on a day-to-day basis. Even though it is meant for a young adult audience, the way it’s written makes it feel appropriate for adults as well.