Craig Gilner is a fifteen year old who suffers from severe depression. It all started after he got into Executive Pre-Professional High School, the most competitive school in all of Manhattan. He thought he could handle the stress, but it soon overcame him, leaving him unable to eat, sleep, and function as a “normal” human being. He went through several different therapists and started taking Zoloft, yet the pressure of school, his friends, and his mental illness left him feeling empty and unable to pull through. One sleepless night, Craig’s personal troubles caused him to consider suicide, so he decided to check himself into the emergency room and soon after the Adult Psychiatric ward. Throughout his journey in the facility, Craig meets many different people, including a potential girlfriend, and realizes that he is not alone in his battle.
I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in psychology and is trying to look deeper into mental illness. In the novel, the disorders go beyond just depression. A girl, Noelle, who cut her face because “the world was asking too much of her,” a man, Muqtada, who is unable to get out of bed because he is exhausted despite the amount of sleep he gets, two best friends, Johnny and Bobby, that are addicts, etc. This book gives a deeper look into what it’s like to come face to face with mental illnesses, even if you can’t physically see the problem.
This book was definitely hard to put down. I thoroughly enjoyed it because I thought there was always something new to expect in Craig’s story. I enjoyed the backstory given and the detail that was put into explaining the thoughts going on in his head. The ending was a very vague yet happy outcome in Craig’s life. It shows that everyone can better themselves if they seek out the help that they need. This book also represents the fact that if you do need help, there is no need to hold shame in that.