The thing is, there's a lot about this book that I liked very much. How it's a probably fairly accurate depiction of what depression can be like, but also playfully told, beautifully written, enjoyable. That's a huge thing to do.
But then. Half of the book is crappy romance, and/or Craig demonstrating what a really, really male
male protagonist he is.
And, worse, this oh so sweet story features the worst bit of "casual" transphobia I've read in a long time now. You remember Jennifer/Charles? Now, we don't even learn if they are gender fluid, female or actually (as everybody seems to think) male with a thing for dressing up as a woman. That's because they're nothing more than a prop to tell us how very, very crazy that place is. Disgusting, but ok, hardly surprising. But then there's this really long thing about their adam's apple being hidden by their shirt.
And, surprise surprise, when Craig gets to make out with Noelle he kisses her neck and notices how there is no adam's apple. Yeah? Ok? People notice stuff about people? But no, he goes on to think how that's because she's a real
girl. Ouch! No, not ok.
No, maybe it's incidental and not linked to Jennifer/Charles at all. But remember how in the beginning, Craig is thinking about depression being speech without verbs, only nouns, and in the end he's all about LIVING ALL THESE VERBS? Yeah, maybe not that incidental. Ned Vizzini wrote beautifully even when he wrote intolerable, hateful bullshit.
Or maybe it's ok because HEY, REALISM, but then again it is heavily implied that Craig gets better because he gets a girlfriend. Love can cure everything, love gets the verbs back into your life, whatever. And this is so obviously cliché and not how brains work for most people that a slightly less cissexist than average
protagonist really doesn't seem that far off by comparison.
What a pity, but for me all that really turned It's Kind of a Funny Story from a great book into an annoying waste of time.