Ned Vizzini is one of the most over-looked by bloggers, and one of the most awesomely awesome YA authors out there at the moment. Ned spends his time writing real stories and when he is not doing that he is going around the nation talking to teens about his experiences with mental illness and telling them that they are not freaks for feeling this way, that it is okay to call a suicide hot line if they need to, and more than that, no matter if their friends think it is uncool. It is more than okay to get help. In my eyes Ned is a hero. When I met him last year in May at the Teen Author Carnival, I knew I was destined to fall in love with his works. He showed up in a full suit and has a sideways smile and always looks a tad bit uncomfortable even when it’s obvious he is not. I bought Ned’s book which he signed in red sharpie and I brought it home from New York and devoured it. It was a story of a boy who called the suicide hot line but it was Friday so he was sent to the over flow, so he walked to the hospital and checked himself in, and then the teen ward was full so he spend two weeks in the adult world. Those experiences changed Craig’s life forever. This book is loosely based on Ned’s life. If you never buy another book because I said so, then buy this one.
I introduced Ned by saying that I found out he was coming to the area by lurking on his Facebook page. He then talked about all three of his books and answered audience questions. I asked about the book he is writing now, I promised not to Tweet or post about his answer but it is going to be fabulous! He then signed a ton of books for the crowd, I bought Teen Angst, an anthology of short stories by Ned that may be based again on his life but I don’t know that for sure. Then we had the book swap.
I brought The Silver Kiss, Ned brought The Card Turner which I ended up bringing home and Nancy from Ravenous Reader was running so late she forgot her bag and the only book she had in her car was New Moon (HA!) so she took that one back herself.Debbie’s World of Books was in attendance but she didn’t want to touch New Moon either. In her defense she had it in the car because she was doing some artwork with the text for a friend. The teens brought some great books. Uglies which I love, 8th Grade Stinks and more. It was a fabulous night. If you ever get the chance to see Ned live you should. I am going to post a couple of pics but you can click through to Flickr to see the rest.