Ambitious teen Craig Gilner is determined to succeed at life - which means getting into the right high school to get into the right college to get the right job. He accomplishes step one by getting into Manhattan's extremely selective Executive Pre-Professional High School. And that's when things start to get crazy. At Craig's new school, the pressure is unbearable. There, he's just average, and maybe not even that. He sees his once-perfect future crumbling away. Craig 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 a recovering garbage-head named Bobby who needs his help. There, isolated from the crushing stresses of school and friends, 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.
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