I read It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini years ago but the story has always stuck with me, I think it was something I could really relate to. It's about a guy who is at the top of his class at his public school. He is a pretty competitive person (at least academically) and he desperately wants to get into this very elite prep school, probably more for the challenge of getting accepted than actually going.
Well he makes it into the school, but unlike his public school this one is filled with geniuses. This is when he begins to think that perhaps he isn't all that smart, isn't all that special (like his mom is always telling him). He starts to get B's ("what a horribly mediocre grade"he thinks "not great but not terrible"). He starts to become depressed, the only thing he has ever been is "the best." But what do you do when there are others better than you? He decides there really isn't any point to living if he can't be the best and considers suicide. Realizing he is having suicidal thoughts, and being the level headed guy he is, he calls 911 and the operator instructs him to go to the nearest ER and have himself committed, which he does.
Because of some crazy bureaucracy he gets admitted to the adult mental health wing of the hospital for 10 days. There he meets some interesting residents and one amazing girl, and starts to realize that maybe school isn't the end all be all, perhaps there is more to life.
I really loved this book and in a shallow and almost completely unrelated way I could empathize with him. I went to a rather small elementary school and although I wasn't an intellectual giant in 6th grade, I was a physically one! At over five feet, five inches I could tower over anyone in my class (and my mother). I was the queen of the school, there were teacher's shorter than me!!! And then it was time to move to middle school and low and behold, people taller than me! I wasn't sure what to do, I was always the one picked first for basketball, I was the only student who could reach things on the top shelf, and suddenly I was no longer needed. There were dozens of other students who could do the same! (and some towered over me who must have been taking some crazy illegal growth hormones!) And although I didn't contemplate suicide over my height it was a pretty rough time to realize that I wasn't that special, or at least it wasn't my height that made me special. So if you are feeling a little low or are looking for a new way to look at life I would highly recommend It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini.
P.S. If you decide to read the book check out the note at the very end, last page. It will shock you!