Analysis from a bored failed vegetarian:
A light read that hits heavy when it feels like it. Youthful dialog sometimes takes you out of the moment, but a quick pace keeps your attention. Even though this is marketed as Young Adult, the story was very relatable. At times the story pulls up when the darkest of corners are explored, leaving a polished and smooth finish. Everything somehow continuously comes up aces for the protagonist, when I would have preferred a poorly shuffled, incomplete, scuffed up deck of cards.
Analysis from a serotonin syndrome survivor:
With the onslaught of the teenage tales of woe that seem to be the norm these days, a jaded reader might write this book off as another in a long list of melancholy stories, but the theme of the book is ageless. As an adult reader far removed from the teen drama target audience this book seems to speak on behalf of, I found myself still taken in by this story and life of the characters. Ned Vizzini spends a good deal of time developing his characters and leaving each one with a unique mark on the depressive tale. There is dark humor and wit in his writing that I greatly appreciate, which can make up for the few tedious situations you find the main character cycling through. All in all, it was a clever take on, and a deeper look into the mental anguish both anxiety and depression bring that most readers can relate to in some degree. The only real disappointment in the story for me was found in the pretty package it was wrapped up in within the final pages. Life, which was reflected so accurately during much of the book, seems to be replaced by fantasy in the closing chapter when the stars align and everything comes up smelling like roses.