author : nic sheff
pages : [hardcover] 272
favorite characters : janey, miles
The fascinating, shocking, and ultimately quite hopeful story of one teen’s downward spiral into mental illness by the bestselling author of Tweak.
Miles is the ultimate unreliable narrator—a teen recovering from a schizophrenic breakdown who believes he is getting better . . . when in reality he is growing worse.
Driven to the point of obsession to find his missing younger brother, Teddy, and wrapped up in a romance that may or may not be the real thing, Miles is forever chasing shadows. As Miles feels his world closing around him, he struggles to keep it open, but what you think you know about his world is actually a blur of gray, and the sharp focus of reality proves startling.
Written by the New York Times bestselling author of Tweak, Schizo is the fascinating, and ultimately quite hopeful, story of one teen’s downward spiral into mental illness as he chases the clues to a missing brother. Perfect for fans of Thirteen Reasons Why, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and It’s Kind of a Funny Story.
A good, quick read that speaks deeply about mental illness and how today’s teens deal with it but not one of my favorites.
Maybe I would have enjoyed this book far more if I hadn’t just read Made You Up by Francesca Zappia—another YA novel about schizophrenia that I LOVED. Obviously every person who suffers from mental illness is different and I’m glad that there are more characters in YA now who live with these diseases, but these two books shared so many similarities that it was hard for me not to find big plot points in Schizo more predictable than I might have if I hadn’t read similar books so close to one another.
Miles is an interesting character. He knows that he suffers from schizophrenia but blames himself for terrible things that happen during his outbreaks and has himself now on a self-destructive path because of the guilt he harbors. This fluctuates throughout the novel as like everyone Miles has his ups and downs, though because of his illness his tend to be more extreme and dangerous to himself and others. I also maybe judged him a little because he seems to chain smoke cigarettes and, y’know, today you see a lot less people doing that kind of thing because we kind of know the consequences of that.
Even so, I didn’t really feel connected to him, perhaps because the writing style for this didn’t really work for me. Almost every chapter ended with Miles’ thoughts spiraling in on themselves and the way they were crafted, repetitively, was a fascinating insight into his thoughts but also not very interesting to read over and over again.
Overall I think that there are many who will enjoy this book and it’s something important to have in the YA genre when there aren’t many books that seriously deal with mental illness as a main portion of the book. While I did like the other book that I read more, I think I would have liked Schizo even better if I’d spaced these reads further apart.