Ned Vizzini began writing for The New York Press at the age of fifteen. At nineteen, he had his first book published, Teen Angst? Naaah?. Ned is also the author of Be More Chill, the first young adult novel ever chosen as a Today Show Book Club pick, as well as one of Entertainment Weekly's Top Ten Books for 2004. Ned lives in Brooklyn, New York.
It's so hard to talk when you want to kill yourself" is the attention-grabbing first line of Vizzini's (Be More Chill) highly readable and ultimately upbeat novel. Though Craig was elated when he passed the entry exam for Manhattan's highly competitive Executive Pre-Professional High School, during his first year there he grows increasingly overwhelmed. Matters aren't helped by his new habit of smoking pot and then tormenting himself by hanging out with his best friend, Aaron, and Aaron's girlfriend, Nia, on whom Craig has a longstanding crush. Unable to eat and seriously considering suicide, Craig checks himself into a psychiatric hospital. There, Craig finds his true calling as a visual artist, begins a promising romantic relationship with another patient, helps yet another patient get a place in an adult home, and arranges a thoughtful treat for his reclusive Egyptian roommate-all in a mere five days, a timeframe that readers struggling with their own issues may find somewhat daunting. Still, few would begrudge Craig his exhilarating recovery. The author clearly has not lost his knack for conveying the textures of teenage life. Ages 13-up. (Apr.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Gr 9 Up-When Craig Gilner is accepted into New York City's elite Executive Pre-Professional High School, he believes his life is starting on the right path. After school begins, Craig finds that his life is spiraling out of control from the pressures, and he begins to contemplate suicide. Rather than actually jump off of the Brooklyn Bridge, Craig checks himself into the local hospital. In the five days he spends in psychiatric care, Craig connects with some of the other patients and learns who his true friends are, how to re-center himself, and that the only expectations he truly needs to meet are his own. With a cast of interesting characters and a very forthright teen perspective, Vizzini has penned a poignant and sometimes humorous tale (Miramax, 2006) about navigating adolescence. Narrator Robert Fass matches Craig's desolate moods and factual nature very well. Due to some upfront discussion of recreational drug use and sexual activities, this title is most suitable for more mature teens.-Jessica Miller, West Springfield Public Library, MA (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.