Author: Susan Vaught
Where I got it: From NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review
When Jason Milwaukee's best friend Sunshine vanishes, Jason knows that something is terribly wrong, but solving her disappearance will require pushing through all the voices in his head and then getting the world to listen to him. His schizophrenia is stopping him from remembering the events leading up to her disappearance, and often he discounts his own memories, and his own impressions. But his deep knowledge that he would never hurt his friend, plus the faith of his parents and a few others in the town bring him to the point of solving the mystery. In the end, it's Sunshine's own love for Jason (Freak) that persuades him of his own strength and goodness.By turns brilliantly witty and searingly honest, Susan Vaught's newest novel is a laugh-out-loud, tear-jerking, coming-of-age story.
Freaks Like Us was much less of a mystery than I was hoping for, and much more of an exploration of the lives of “alphabets” – those kids or people who have been diagnosed with acronym issues. In particular, Sunshine, Freak and Drip have been friends since they were little kids. Even though they are each dealing with a different diagnoses, they for an extremely close friendship, and Freak and Drip are devastated and confused when Sunshine disappears.
Freak knows that he would never hurt Sunshine, but he also knows that something bad happened that he knew about, if only he could get past the voices in his head. In order to keep his friend safe, and himself out of trouble, he’s got to convince everyone that he’s more than his diagnosis.
Freaks Like Us was a hard book to read, because stepping into Freak’s mind was… different. And challenging. And it certainly didn’t always make sense, which is what you’d expect when approaching life from the perspective of someone with a mental illness. However, it seemed very well portrayed, and by the end of the book I completely felt for all three of these kids. I’d have preferred a little more mystery and a little less of the self discovery, but all in all, Freaks Like Us was a pretty good read.