Release Date: September 30th, 2014 from the Penguin Group
Summary from cover:
"Mile's little brother Teddy is missing. The police believe he drowned at the beach-the very same day Miles had his first schizophrenic episode. But Miles knows better-Teddy is alive. Kidnapped. There was even a witness! Fueled by guilt, Miles sets off to rescue Teddy.
There is so much to overcome, though. The endless pills he must take. The girl who steals his heart and plays with it. The black crows that follow him.
As seen through Miles's distorted perception, his world closes around him as he pushed to keep it open. What you think you know about his world is actually a blur of gray, though, and the sharp focus of reality proves startling.
The New York Times bestselling author of Tweak offers a fascinating and ultimately quite hopeful story of one teen's downward spiral into mental illness."
I have always had trouble reading novels that contain addiction, mental illness, etc. Although I have trouble reading these types of subjects, there is something inside me that always draws me to read about them in novels such as Schizo: A Novel. Let me just say, I adored this book despite everything that happened to Miles.
This book was a relatively fast read, and it only took me a few hours to fly through it. The structure of the book isn't really the mainstream sort of layout, but, for a lack of better words, reminds me of a poem? I can't really describe it. Like, it looks like any other book would, but how it reads in my mind has some sort of poetic vibe to it. I actually really enjoyed that aspect. I think that was why it was so easy to read this book in just a few hours.
The story itself was very intense. Instead of just saying, "This is what Schizophrenia does to you and here are the symptoms", I was able to actually see the mental illness through Miles's eye emotionally. There were moments that I felt very uneasy or upset because of what Miles had to go through, and it really touched my heart that I was able to connect with a character so much to the point where I felt what he was feeling. Sheff did an amazing job making Miles a character that I was able to have this connection with despite not having Schizophrenia.
There are just a few things that I would like to point out. The outcome what happens with Teddy is actually very easy to figure out from just reading the first couple of chapters where the main character talks about him. On the other hand, I was really touched on how Scheff wrote Miles's reaction to the ending because it felt real. Have you ever read something and you thought, "Well, I can't see that happening in real life, but it was a nice shot"? This novel didn't have me thinking that way at all, and I'm very thankful for that.
(On an important note, this serves as a trigger warning for anyone suffering from suicidal thoughts, depression, etc. There is a suicide attempt that takes place towards the end of the novel. I felt the need to point that out because I really want to look out for anyone that struggles with these thoughts as much as I can. I hope I do not offend anyone with doing this because I mean no offense whatsoever.)
With all the important things taken care of for this review, I really do believe that this book deserves 5/5 stars. While I have read many novels pertaining to the subject of mental illness, I believe that Sheff was able to tell Miles's story very well. I can see how much effort the author put into Schizo: A Novel and how much time he spent in making the story as believable as possible to have the readers see Schizophrenia through the eyes of another. There was a beautifully done character development as well, and overall, I just really hope this novel earns a lot of praise.