My Kyrosmagica Review of It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini



Goodreads Synopsis:

Ambitious New York City teenager Craig Gilner is determined to succeed at life – which means getting into the right high school to get into the right job. But once Craig aces his way into Manhattan’s Executive Pre-Professional High School, the pressure becomes unbearable. He stops eating and sleeping until, one night, he nearly kills himself.

Craig’s suicidal episode gets him checked into a mental hospital, where his new neighbors include a transsexual sex addict, a girl who has scarred her own face with scissors, and the self-elected President Armelio. There, Craig is finally able to confront the sources of his anxiety.

Ned Vizzini, who himself spent time in a psychiatric hospital, has created a remarkably moving tale about the sometimes unexpected road to happiness.

Author Biography:

Vizzini grew up primarily in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn in New York City. He attended Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan, graduating in 1999. While still a teenager, he began to write articles for the New York Press, an alternative newspaper.

After he wrote an essay that got published by the New York Times Magazine, several of his essays about his young adult life ended up being combined into his first book, Teen Angst? Naaah…. Vizzini attended Hunter College, also located in Manhattan. Ned Vizzini lived in New York City. Vizzini’s characters and situations are said be based upon his time spent at Stuyvesant.

Sadly Ned Vizzini Died December 19, 2013.

My review:

I wasn’t sure about beginning It’s Kind Of A Funny Story particularly in light of Ned Vizzini’s suicide aged 32. It seems to me that comics, writers, poets, and creative individuals have a dark side to them which is often masked by a humorous persona. Obviously  the unexpected suicide of Robin Williams, on 11th August, instantly comes to mind, the funny relatable guy, that had us all in stitches. In light of this I wondered how I would respond to reading Ned Vizzini’s novel about a young, teenage boy on the brink of suicide. The title suggested that it would be a light-hearted read. Well only a person who had experienced depression first hand could have written a book that tackled the subject so well, managing to make it a true reflection on the awful tragedy of depression and mental illness, and the stigma that comes hand in hand. There were times when the sheer humanity of life made me laugh, particularly when Craig makes the decision to check himself into hospital and found himself admitted to an adult mental health ward. Ned Vizzini achieves this by making his characters so believable, and engaging. To begin with Craig is freaked out but it doesn’t take long for all his “Cycling,” his relentless thoughts, and his “Tentacles,” his pressures to fall away. The hospital routine is oddly therapeutic. He begins to relax, eat, make friends, starts to understands girls, and grows up. There is hope, and hope is a powerful word.  Sadly, even though there is this  glimmer of hope there is also a sense of Craig’s vulnerability, he could slip back , the depression is and always will be a part of him. Though, if he holds on to his “Anchors,” those things that keeps him steady, he might just be ok.

I loved the idea of Craig’s “Cycling,” “Tentacles” and his “Anchor,” you will have to read the book to find out what his Anchor  is. I don’t want to spoil it for you. But his “Anchor” is just so Craig. We all need an “Anchor!”

So, a wonderful book. The characters are great. The dialogue is spot on. Can’t really find anything to say but positive, positive. Everyone should read it. Every parent, so they don’t push their child into doing something that isn’t right for them.  Help, encourage and guide them but don’t pressurise them into doing something that is alien to them. If only every person suffering from anxiety, depression, and mental illness could find their “Anchors” the things that keep them happy, and hold on to them for dear life maybe then they will never have to slip away as Ned Vizzini did. That is the sad truth. So much talent wasted. This is my tribute to Ned Vizzini, sadly,  I only discovered his writing now.

My Rating:

A Whopping, Deserved 5 Stars.
Highly Recommended to Young Adult, Contemporary, Mental Health, Humour, Psychology, and Coming of Age Readers.
If you are experiencing mental health issues I’d thoroughly recommend this site:
Have you read It’s Kind of A Funny Story? Do comment I’d love to hear from you.
Bye for now,
Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx
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Writer’s resources, Twitter Hashtags and Memes


I thought it would be useful to have a list of resources which would come in helpful especially for people like me who are new to writing, and blogging. So with that in mind here are some bits and pieces I would like to share with you, along with details of blogs who host weekly memes.

Starting of with Mxlexia: the magazine for women who write I subscribe to this and find it an invaluable resource for advice, information and interesting articles.

I found this particular on-line Mslexia resource very helpful : Workshop#2 Composing a pitch letter.

Pauline Harris: I just came across Pauline recently via Netgalley, I will be reviewing her novel Puppet soon.  Anyway her website is – where you can find advice on developing a platform, twitter, what its really like to be an author particularly from the perspective of a younger person. Pauline is 18.


Twitter Hastags.

15 twitter hastags that every writer should know about.

40 twitter hastags for writers

More!!! 40 twitter hastags for writers

More unusual hastags I’ve come across:

#aryaclub I found this via The #aryaclub  “is a young adult book club whose members include Daphne, Stacey, Caitlin, Jim, Asti, Debbie, Caroline, Faye, Charlotte and Julianne. We meet once a month to talk about YA books (and occasionally children’s and adult fiction!), eat copious amounts of food and try not to freak out the only boy…! ”

#MSWL: Manuscript Wish Lists from Agents. I Found this via

#IWSG. Insecure writers support group – first Wednesday of each month Twitter hastag

#8Sunday Weekend Writing Warriors share an 8-sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday.

#BookadayUK via

#RBRT Rosies Book Review Team  – below are some useful information about reviewing  Also

#30authors. Hosted by the Book Wheel. 30 Authors in 30 Days is a first of its kind event aimed at connecting readers, bloggers, and authors. Hosted by The Book Wheel, this month-long event takes place during September and features 30 authors discussing their favorite recent reads on 30 different blogs

#SOTuesday Shout out Tuesday. ” Tuesday so often gets left out of things on Twitter and in real life. Music Monday  Hump Day. Follow Friday. Hungover Saturday. Hungover Sunday. And never forget about Throwback Thursday. Never forget.”

Weekly Memes:

Teaser Tuesdays meme I discovered via It is hosted by MizB of Should be Reading. Who has the following weekly memes: Musing Mondays, Teaser Tuesdays, WWW Wednesdays, (three questions – what reading what finishing what reading next)  Friday Finds, and My favourite find Saturdays.

Top Ten Tuesday “Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!”  Broke and the Bookish.

One liner Wednesday Linda Gill.

” The rules  are as follows:

1. Make it one sentence.

2. Make it either funny or inspirational.

Have fun! ”

“Waiting On” Wednesday Found via Waiting on Wednesday #39 Weekly meme hosted by Jill on Breaking the Spine. releases that you just can’t wait to  read.

Celebrate the small things. Friday don’t take things for granted – – – Found via / Hosted by  Co-hosts:

SOCS Streams of consciousness Saturday posts SOCS. This one I found via Host is

The Sunday post: ” It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.”

Inspiring places blog hop #inspiringspaces bloghop.

Sharing The Bloggy Love

@fantasyfaction. Lots of interesting Writing articles

Romancing September – Rosie –

The bookshelf Tag – Answer questions about books than tag 5 other bloggers to do the same.

Stacking the shelves via confessions of a book geek – tynga’a reviews.  “We are all book lovers and the need to share our enthusiasm is sometimes overwhelming. Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!”

And lots of resources on Sherrey Meyer’s site:

Jane’s Writing Advice Archive



Tips on book covers – The Glasshouse

List of small press publishers

The womentoring project

There are still a few publishers accepting unsolicited manuscripts. Lou Treleaven has compiled a very useful list:

No doubt I haven’t mentioned everyone! Too numerous to include but I will be adding to this list in future posts. Hope it proves a helpful resource to fellow writers and bloggers.

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My Kyrosmagica Review of Anne Frank’s Diary


Goodreads Synopsis:

Anne Frank’s diaries have always been among the most moving and eloquent documents of the Holocaust. This new edition restores diary entries omitted from the original edition, revealing a new depth to Anne’s dreams, irritations, hardships, and passions. Anne emerges as more real, more human, and more vital than ever. If you’ve never read this remarkable autobiography, do so. If you have read it, you owe it to yourself to read it again.

Annelies Marie “Anne” Frank was a German-born Jewish girl from the city of Frankfurt, who wrote a diary while in hiding with her family and four friends in Amsterdam during the German occupation of the Netherlands in World War II.

She lived in Amsterdam with her parents and sister. During the Holocaust, Anne and her family hid in the attic of her father’s office to escape the Nazis. It was during that time period that she had recorded her life in her diary.

My review:

My first impressions of the diary. It surprised me. Anne Frank’s strength of personality, humour, and compassion, are deeply engrained into her moving words in The Diary of A Young Girl. In many ways she is a typical teenager discovering who she is. I was saddened by her poor relationship with her mother.  She experiences so many emotions and irritations, magnified in intensity due to the close nature, and length of time spent together hiding in the Annexe in Amsterdam.  These petty quarrels become even more evident as time progresses. It is hard to imagine how it would be possible to have even fleeting moments of happiness after being shut away from the world for such a long period of time, under such difficult  and dangerous circumstances, but Anne manages to do this and so much more besides. The enforced captivity of the Annexe allows her time to reflect on her shortcomings and she becomes more and more aware of her own faults and self limitations. Locked away in this alien environment, she grows up and her diary grows and blossoms with her.

There is a mounting sense of her frustrations, her fears for the future, guilt at hiding away, and above all else her deep passion for life. Her love of nature, writing and books comes across so vividly. In photographs Anne looks fragile, yet I think this young lady was anything but, from her words alone I get a sense of her strength of character. I was amused by her developing relationship with Peter, who is several years older than her. In effect she bypasses her older sister Margo and manages to steal Peter’s affections right from under Margo’s nose. Feisty indeed! Sadly Anne died just before the liberation, as did all of the other Annexe hideaways apart from Otto, her father. Her diary is so poignant because of the terrible, inevitable outcome. In light of this I found some of the passages in the diary very difficult to read, yet I kept on returning to  her diary as I sensed that I would be doing Anne’s memory a terrible disservice if I didn’t read it all. I found the final few words of the diary very sad indeed, her words became lighter, little glimmers of hope that sadly did not match the reality of her final days.

I shed some tears, wept for this promising teenager whose life was cut short in such a cruel way, robbed of her chance to live a full and enriching life. I can’t help but feel that Anne Frank would have had such a promising future if she had lived. I have no doubt that she would have become a writer. Moreover, some of the passages in the diary reminded me of my teenage self. I too kept a diary, but my diary was free to roam whereas Anne’s was constrained by her circumstances. I was so lucky, so blessed. In my diary I wrote about so many things that poor Anne never had the opportunity to see or experience. My father worked abroad and I kept a diary of our travels visiting him in diverse regions of the world, the Caribbean British Virgin Islands, Fiji, and Papua New Guinea, are a few that spring to mind.  I don’t know what became of my diary, (I was the same age as Anne),  it may be up in my parents’ house in Edinburgh. I hope one day I will find it. I feel so careless to have lost it. My teenage diary was a feeble affair in comparison to Anne’s. It makes me wonder whether we write best when we are challenged, when life isn’t easy. Do we need to experience suffering to write? It is an interesting question. I sense that we do to some extent, but not in the way that Anne did. Nobody should have to suffer like that.

Each of us should have a fundamental human right. A right to freedom, the right of every human being to live without fear of being judged or hated for the colour of their skin, their religion, their cultural heritage, or sexual orientation. A diary should be a personal affair,  not read, and discussed by a stranger. But in Anne’s case I am sure that her father Otto did the right thing in making Anne’s words available to all. I feel sure that Anne would be happy to know that her diary is being read, that a little piece of her lives on, albeit an edited version of her true words.  She longed to be a writer and in this she has succeeded. Her words are without doubt a snap shot in time, a representation of all the hopes and fears of all of those who suffered and died in the Holocaust.


DISCLAIMER: “As of 13th September 2017 we are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.”  

My opinions are my own and any reviews on this site have not been swayed or altered in any way by monetary compensation, or by the offer of a free book in exchange for a review. 

Amazon UK Kindle:

Amazon UK Paperback:

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My Kyrosmagica Review of The Archived Victoria Schwab


Goodreads Synopsis:

Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books.

Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures that only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive.

Da first brought Mackenzie Bishop here four years ago, when she was twelve years old, frightened but determined to prove herself. Now Da is dead, and Mac has grown into what she once was, a ruthless Keeper, tasked with stopping often—violent Histories from waking up and getting out. Because of her job, she lies to the people she loves, and she knows fear for what it is: a useful tool for staying alive.

Being a Keeper isn’t just dangerous—it’s a constant reminder of those Mac has lost. Da’s death was hard enough, but now her little brother is gone too. Mac starts to wonder about the boundary between living and dying, sleeping and waking. In the Archive, the dead must never be disturbed. And yet, someone is deliberately altering Histories, erasing essential chapters. Unless Mac can piece together what remains, the Archive itself might crumble and fall.

In this haunting, richly imagined novel, Victoria Schwab reveals the thin lines between past and present, love and pain, trust and deceit, unbearable loss and hard-won redemption.

My review:

Well before I even start my review I would like to say that I just loved the cover art, and the title too!  In Victoria Schwab’s The Archive the library isn’t just a place to store books, no it is so much more than this, it is a mysterious place where people’s dead loved ones are archived away like precious memories. More and more of them are waking up, and it is Mac’s job as a Keeper to make sure that they return to the Archive. As you can imagine this is no easy task, but Mac has been trained well by her grandfather Da who has every faith in her.

This is the second Victoria Schwab novel that I have read, my first being Vicious, so I had high hopes. Like I said, The Archive is a truly fascinating concept and I think Schawb really pulled it off well.  I think every single person would do what they could to keep the memory of their loves ones who have passed away alive.  Mac is just so relatable, and so  human, of course she can’t bear the thought of her dead brother being locked away in a drawer. But is her brother really her brother anymore? Or is he something else entirely?


In the Archived we have a world in which the Histories, the Librarians, The Archive, The Returns,  and the Outer exist alongside a family still coming to terms with the sudden death of Mac’s brother.  We sense the personal and individual responses to  grief in Mac’s relationship with her mother and her father. Along the way Mac meets Owen and Wesley, (super cute guy-liner guy), and these three characters drive the plot forward. Mac’s father seems to do his best to encourage Mac to spend time with Wesley. Not the way most fathers behave!  I found this quite touching and cute.

To begin with I  have to admit that I struggled with some of the details of the novel. I found Da a bit confusing, I started off thinking he was Mac’s father but realised that he was in fact her grandfather. I also thought that Mac sounded more like a boy than a girl. BUT, and this is a big BUT. Victoria Schwab knows how to write, she writes amazing characters that draw you into the story and her dialogue is just spot on. I am so jealous of her dialogue! I really enjoyed the second half of the novel, very mysterious and exciting, with a great plot twist, and Mac is just so fearless in solving the mystery. A big high five for Mac!

So overall my advice would be to read The Archived, not to shelve it, go on read it! Most definitely. I will definitely be picking up the second in the series, The Unbound.

Highly recommended for readers of YA fantasy, paranormal, romance, mystery….

My star rating:


Author’s website – very unusual opening page! See how quickly you can uncrumple the paper.

and her WordPress blog:

Have you read The Archived? Do leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you.

Bye for now,


Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

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