I love the art in this book, and the story is really cool as well. I'd use this to introduce the idea of making inferences, among other things. Very c...moreI love the art in this book, and the story is really cool as well. I'd use this to introduce the idea of making inferences, among other things. Very cool book.(less)
I didn’t know anything about Your Own, Sylvia until I decided to have my upcoming sophomores reading Printz novels as their summer homework. I bought...moreI didn’t know anything about Your Own, Sylvia until I decided to have my upcoming sophomores reading Printz novels as their summer homework. I bought quite a few of the winners and honor books so my students could borrow them over the summer, so of course I’ve been reading them as well. I’m so, so happy I bought Stephanie Hemphill’s novel.
I haven’t read all of The Bell Jar (I read portions in college), but after reading Your Own, Sylvia I’ll be reading it for sure. I know the story of Sylvia Plath, but Stephanie Hemphill made me feel like I knew Sylvia Plath personally. At times I felt like I was struggling and suffering and rejoicing right along with her. The verse is stunning. Many of the sections of Your Own, Sylvia are written to mimic different poems written by Plath. Another thing I love about this novel is the footnotes which add more information about Plath and her life. The author added an additional twist by writing this book from varying perspectives. Some sections are supposed to be from Sylvia’s mother’s point of view, or a roommates’, or even her husband’s point of view. The reader is given a full-circle view of who Sylvia Plath was. It’s a beautiful portrait of her life and I couldn’t get enough of it. It even brought me to tears. It receives my highest recommendation.(less)
Honest. Funny. Inspirational. It’s Kind of a Funny Story is all of that and more. I’ve been eyeing this book for a few years now. I started a book clu...moreHonest. Funny. Inspirational. It’s Kind of a Funny Story is all of that and more. I’ve been eyeing this book for a few years now. I started a book club with some of my former students and we chose this as our first read. I’m happy to report that all of us loved it!
I started reading this thinking of it as mere fiction, but as I continued into the story, I started to question my original thought. Ned Vizzini included thoughts and details that felt extremely personal. But it wasn’t until I finished reading the book that I saw the last page where it’s explained that Ned spent time in a psychiatric hospital. To top it off, it says that he wrote this in less than a month after leaving the hospital! That’s absolutely incredible and explains why the story is so honest. It must have been a wonderful cathartic experience for him to write this, but also scary to have his emotions right out there.
Craig and all of the patients in 6 North are unique and entertaining. Craig struggles with depression and intense anxiety like many teenagers and adults. I found it interesting that while Craig was staying in 6 North, it seemed like he was helping the other patients more than he was getting help. But the support Craig shows for his peers proves to him that he can cope and make friends. Noelle, Craig’s love interest who displays her pain on the outside through scars, reignites Craig’s passion for art. This becomes Craig’s outlet and his anchor- his coping mechanism. I love that this is written into the story because everyone needs a healthy outlet, whether it be exercise or writing. I’d love to find out if Ned Vizzini discovered a love for art during his hospital stay.
A movie version of It’s Kind of a Funny Story has recently been released. I did enjoy the movie and recommend going to see it. If you’re hoping for an exact representation of the book, you’ll be disappointed. Small but important details were changed. The movie pretty much followed the basic story line and that’s it. Extra scenes were added to the story, and they were entertaining, but the movie ended up being enjoyable as a separate entity from the book. Nonetheless, hopefully people who haven’t read the book will want to do so once they see the movie!
I definitely give this five stars. If you haven’t read it yet, move It’s Kind of a Funny Story to the top of your TBR list.