by Lizzie Racklin
Coming from an experienced perspective, Ned Vizzini captures 15-year-old Craig's struggles with mental health in a funny and realistic tone. After some stressful and traumatic experiences, Craig checks himself into the psychiatric ward of a hospital, where he is made to stay in the adult wing. As he spends a few days there, he addresses the problems in his life and tries to change his situation while interacting with interesting characters and waiting for a "shift" in his mind.
Vizzini manages to make Craig's intense situation relatively lighthearted and universally relatable. As this is one of my favorite books, I would recommend it to most teenagers and adults. Even those who don't directly connect to Craig's story will relate to certain sentiments that the book conveys. Vizzini wrote this book shortly after spending time in a psychiatric hospital and harnesses his experience to tell an important story. This book tells Craig's story not of sadness and trauma, but of finding his individual path to recovery while keeping a sense of humor.