Welcome to our stop on the Freaks Like Us Blog Tour for Susan Vaught. The tour is hosted by Bloomsbury.
Freaks Like Us
Author: Susan Vaught
Reading Level: YA
Released: September 4th 2012
Review Source: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Available: Amazon • Barnes & Noble • Book Depository
Summary: (from goodreads) 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 is about three teenagers who call themselves "Alphabets." They all have some sort of mental disability. They call themselves Alphabets because that’s how they are labeled. Derrick aka "Drip" has ADHD and ADD. Sunshine, is SM (Selectively Mute) and Jason, aka "Freak" is GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder) and SCZI (Schizophrenic). Susan really exposes what it is like to be inside of a person with Schizophrenia. Jason, the main character, is in a constant battle with the voices in his head. One day, Sunshine doesn’t make it home after their school bus drops them off. Jason, Derrick and Sunshine have been best friends since they were little kids and they have only had each other for support. "Because who really listens to Alphabets, right?" Derrick, Jason and their parents area all in the police station being questions since they were the last people to see Sunshine before she disappeared. But Jason, starts to feel like he is being accused of hurting or even killing Sunshine. There is no way he could hurt his best friend. Right? In the back of Jason's mind he knows that Sunshine told him a secret and it's something he promised he would never tell. The only problem is, he doesn’t know if it really happened or if he just made it up in his head. Now, Jason is hearing the voices more and they are getting louder and soon starts to see things. Jason needs to take his medication that somewhat control these things, but he refuses to take them because he wants to be awake and help with the search for Sunshine. The ending, which I do not want to reveal, really made me cry. I will say that we do find out what really happened to Sunshine.
You can't help but to feel bad for these kids. They would give anything to be normal and not have to take medication every day in order for them to function. It’s a catch 22. If they don’t take their medication, they see and hear things. But if they are medicated, they sleep a lot and aren't as alert. Plus, who wants to be sedated every day for the rest of their lives? There isn't a happy medium and its really sad. Susan Vaught is a psychologist therefore, she has experience with these types of disorders. I am sure it must break her heart to see children every day with these disorders. I strongly recommend reading Freaks Like Us and any other book from Susan Vaught. Her books open us to something most people know very little about, but a lot of families have to deal with in real life.