I have seen the movie countless times and have always loved it, so I was very excited to finally get a chance to read the book! Like most adaptations, the movie doesn't even compare to the book. Somehow it doesn't capture the same insight, wit and wry humor. At least, not in the same way. (Honestly, I could quote this entire book...)
Stories told by the troubled or depressed have always greatly interested me. Books like The Bell Jar, Prozac Nation, and now Girl, Interrupted. I love delving into psyches and learning what it is that makes someone feel a certain way. Why are they so depressed? What triggers it? How did it happen? Is there really anything "wrong" with them, after all?
I have to admit, the reason that I love these books is that, in a way, I can so easily relate to the dark, unhappy side of these girls (honestly, can't we all?). I've found that my own thoughts aren't that different. I tend to be rather introverted, shy and observant of all that surrounds me. I used to feel that I was always on the outside looking in, on the peripheral, where everything is blurry. I've had really low self-esteem and suicidal thoughts in the past (don't worry, that was long ago!). Though, like Susanna, it was half-hearted:
"And I could have done what I did do, which was go onto the street and faint. Fifty aspirin is a lot of aspirin, but going onto the street and fainting is like putting the gun back in the drawer."
All in all, the book is a memoir told from the point of view of a girl who has been committed to a mental hospital. A girl who was put there after only a twenty-minute observation. A girl who has a sobering view of everyone in the place, yet she can still understand and almost relate. A girl who clearly doesn't belong there. Or does she?
The book begs the questions: Where is the line? How close am I to slipping into that parallel universe? Who has the right to decide what it is that makes a person crazy?
Was Susanna ill? Or was she just a girl, interrupted?
It's such a fine line.