Review: Schizo by Nic Sheff

schizoTitle: Schizo
Author: Nic Sheff
Standalone novel
Published: September 30th, 2014 by Philomel
Genres: Young Adult, Mental Illness, Mental Health, Contemporary
Rating: 4/5 stars

You can click on the cover to go to its Goodreads page.

Synopsis: 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. 

Review

I haven’t read many books about mental illness which is a shame because it’s a really important topic; something that isn’t talked about enough. When I read the synopsis of Schizo I was immediately intrigued, the plot sounds very intense.

I was really surprised by the length of this book: it is quite a short novel. I don’t mean that it is a short story, but since many novels are easily over 300 pages, this is quite short in comparison. And I think that’s a good thing. Schizo is exactly as long as it should be; otherwise the book would have dragged on in certain parts. The reason I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars has something to do with the plot, namely that I kind of already guessed the big twist at the end so I wasn’t that surprised by it. But the “plot twist” is not the most important part of this novel, which is why I didn’t really mind the fact that I already guessed it.

The story line was very engrossing and addictive. I wanted to know what would happen to Miles and most of all, to Teddy. Reading through the perspective of a teenager with schizophrenia was really unique and it affected the story line as well. Because you don’t know what is real, and what is a part of his disease. It captivated me and made sure I almost finished this book in 1 sitting.

Of course, I can’t forget to talk about the main character, Miles. He is a teenager in high school struggling with schizophrenia. While reading through his perspective, you can really learn a lot about his character. Miles is a very loving and sweet guy which you can see in the way he treats his parents, little sister and two best friends. What is most remarkable about him though, is the guilt he carries with him for “ruining” his family. He would do anything to make it right, in his opinion. What I also loved about reading through his perspective, is that he knows he has a disease. He knows he has schizophrenia, and although he takes his medication he is still afraid to have another episode.

There are a few side characters that you grow to love as well. There’s Jane, his little sister, who adores Miles. Together, they are working on a comic book that Jane has created. Then you have Jackie and Preston, his two best friends from high school. I especially liked Jackie, she was a very concerned and good friend to Miles. And of course, there are his parents. Miles’ dad seems loving and soft while his mom is portrayed more as a woman who is suffering from grief a lot.

I can’t tell you too much about the characters or the storyline because that will spoil the book for you but know that I really enjoyed reading it. In my opinion, the author wrote this story very well; it was a unique insight into the mind of a teenager who is suffering from a mental illness.

As a last note, after I finished the epilogue I read “about the author”. I will quote a part of the author’s biography from Goodreads: “… Sheff dropped out of college to seek treatment, at which time he was also diagnosed with bipolar disorder.” So the author of this book lives with a mental illness himself and he mentioned his books are a way to show people that your life isn’t over just because you have a mental illness. That is really inspiring, I think it’s amazing he’s reaching more young adults with this message and this book.

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3 thoughts on “Review: Schizo by Nic Sheff

  1. Great review. I have been considering this book for a while now and you have definitely convinced me that it’s something I want to read. I like the fact it’s quite short, so many of the books I have been reading lately have been well over 400 pages and I’m kind of sick of long books.

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    • Thank you! I’ve been reading books that are either quite heavy to read or quite long as well and I agree, a short book is sometimes necessary. I hope you will like Schizo too! If you do end up reading it, feel free to let me know what you thought of it, I would love to know.

      Like

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