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Freaks Like Us

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  1,305 ratings  ·  245 reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published September 4th 2012 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
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Average rating 3.82  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,305 ratings  ·  245 reviews

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Sep 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Maybe the easiest way to describe this book would be to say it's a mixture of Gone Girl, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, and Paper Towns.

The book is told in the first person by "Freak" a schizophrenic (SCHIZ) high school senior who is part of the 'alphabets'; kids who ride the short-bus and are in special classes with other kids who have been labeled with a whole host of acronyms.

His best friends are a spastic kid named "Drip" who has fairly severe ADHD and Sunshine who is S
Anna Kļaviņa
Schizophrenia a mental disorder that have such negative perception in society that discussion is raised to change the name. In Japan it has been done and now in it's called integration disorder.

So it's not surprising at all that when selective mute Sunshine (17) disappears that her best friend Jason who has schizophrenia is suspected more than her other best friend Derrick who has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Nurhayati Ramlan

3.5 stars

I'm torn between rating this a 3 stars or 4 stars, there are parts where I lost focus and interest but there are also parts that I genuinely like. So, I'm just going to settle with in-between. heh.
Jun 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
While I had high hopes going into Susan Vaught’s Freaks Like Us, I’m happy to say that it exceeded my expectations. Granted, my first impression wasn’t quite so enthusastic, as the first few chapters did little to sustain the interest that the book’s intriguing cover blurb had inspired. Yet I soon learned that this was a symptom of a learning curve rather than of poor writing. Narrator Jason initially comes across as quite young, and the stream-of-consciousness narrative that signifies his thoug ...more
Oct 14, 2014 rated it liked it
In Susan Vaught’s captivating novel, Freaks Like Us, the reader is taken on a suspenseful adventure through the mind of a schizophrenic teenage boy named Jason. He and his two best friends call themselves alphabets because they all have different letter abbreviations to describe their mental diagnoses. These three show the true meaning of friendship because no matter their struggles, they put one another first and don’t let each other down. However, when Jason’s best friend Sunshine goes missin ...more
Oct 18, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya-fiction
An interesting look at life through the eyes of an active schizophrenic. That also makes it hard to read at times. Definitely for older teens not because of subject matter or language, but because the narrative is challenging.
Feb 12, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Great premise, but the narratives and telling the tale of the alphabet kids in the room just didn't match up to the concepts for their interactions, IMHO. It could have become so much better- 2.5 star to be fair but YA levels or not- the form and pace of telling this particular tale lacked. And not because of the different voices. Cliff hangers at the ends of chapters pale very quickly with me. This also didn't feel like it was a read that actual teenagers could embed within.
Sep 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
Jason Milwaukee, AKA Freak, isn't your average narrator. He's schizophrenic and his observations of the world are interspersed with aural hallucinations. His best friend Sunshine disappeared between getting off the bus and going home, and there's a 24-hour window that's the best chance of finding her. Jason knows her best and thus refuses to take his meds, since they'll make him sleep for eight hours. He's willing to do whatever it takes to find Sunshine. Unfortunately, he might've hurt her. If ...more
Apr 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Full review on Reader's Dialogue:

Let me start with saying that Susan Vaught is a psychologist - and after reading this book, I'd recommend her to anyone I know! She obviously gets people with these illnesses - the descriptions of Sunshine's selective mutism and Drip's ADHD just sound so right, like she gets to the heart of how they think. And that is, of course, overshadowed by the way Freak is written.

Even though the entire story happens over one 24-hou
Jan 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: diverse, ya
I read this for my YA book club, and it's a good example of why book clubs are a great means of nudging us to read outside of our usual box. I highly recommend this mystery told from the point of view of a high school boy with schizophrenia. There were times when I felt trapped in Jason's mind, right along with him.
Joy H.
Added June 23, 2018 (e-book - Published September 4th 2012 by Bloomsbury USA)
Finished reading it on June 25 2018.

GOODREAD MEMBER REVIEW: "Written from the perspective of a teenager who suffers from schizophrenic delusions as he tries to find out what happened to a missing classmate."

I ended up skimming this book to find out how it ends. A lot of it was con
Oct 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Phenomenal. Could not put this book down. To be inside the head of an adolescent again can be a scary thing, but to be inside the mind of an adolescent with a mental illness, in a safe place like a book, creates readers who are understanding and accepting. This book is mystery, realistic fiction, and pulls at my heart strings.

My favorite line in the book—“I never make a difference and I can’t make myself be any different than what I am.” -Jason. “Some people are so strong, they don’t need to ch
Feb 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was my fourth time rereading this book and i loved it no less than the very first time. I have never met anyone who's also read this story and it makes me unbelievably sad. Its worth every second of your time, tears, happiness and heartache. Simply, its one of the best damm books ever writen.
Ben Nourai
Apr 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
The main character in this story is Jason who has schizophrenia. He has a best friend named, Sunshine, who is selectively mute. Jason and Sunshine became great friends during their childhood because they both have a mental disability. They lived through the struggles of having a disability and where there for each other. The kids at school thought they were freaks so they did their best to avoid them. Suddenly one day Sunshine disappeared and no one knew where she went. Jason imagined where Suns ...more
Apr 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Freaks like us is the second book I have read from Susan Vaught. I am truly becoming a fan of her work. There are no vampires, werewolves or mythical creatures in her stories, only real life people in real life situations. She opens our eyes to things that go on every day and no one really knows or thinks about.

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.
Sally Kruger
Jul 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
ARC eBook courtesy of

Release date: 9-4-12

Jason "Freak" Milwaukee and his friends ride the short bus. They call themselves the Alphabets. They've all been diagnosed with conditions like ADD, ADHD, OCD, ODD, or in Freak's case, schizophrenia.

Freak, Drip, and Sunshine have known each other since before elementary school. They are now in high school and have learned to cope through behavior therapy and medication. They put up with a lot in their daily lives, but at least they have each
Berwald ~I Have Moved Accounts~
Sep 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
At first, I didn't know what to read. I actually read this book for an English project in my class. The librarian of my school showed it to me and told me that it doesn't get a lot of attention to kids. So, I decided to pick it out for my project. I began reading and the prologue, I found funny, was written on our main character's, Jason's, Algebra test. Basically, he explains to us that he is Schizophrenic, and he has two main voices and four other ones. He calls them Bastard, Whiner, and No-Na ...more
Jan 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
I always love hearing books from the point-of-view of characters who are not reliable narrators. There is just something quite interesting about trying to decipher Jason's thoughts. Of course this book also made a great example of different mental illnesses and the lack of respect mental illness has which I thought was a wonderful point to slide into the main mystery. People tend to forget the kids who go through school with ADHD or schizophrenia because it does actually happen and it is nice to ...more
May 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
Not bad. Not bad at all. For a book about a schizophrenic guy in 1st person, not bad at all. The first thing you should be aware of before reading Freaks Like Us is that you should know that it is written in first person through the perspective of a person with a mental disorder, so sometimes there are run-on sentences, and the voices in his head and random flashbacks can get a bit annoying. But overall it tells a great story with a unique perspective.
Sep 30, 2018 rated it liked it
"Freaks like us" for me, was an already captivating title that made me want to read. At first it came off as kind of insulting and a little hurtful even in 1st person. As i began to read, the narrator Jason, also known as "Freak" begins to convey a descriptive, in-debt description of his life on a daily basis. I started to think that must be hard, something everyone doesn't understand, but his friends did. Although the name Freak doesn't bother him, it bothers his friend, " Freak doesn't hurt me ...more
May 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Jason Milwaukee has schizophrenia. He calls it his alphabet (SCZI), and he rides the "short bus" to school with other "alphabets" including his two best friends, Drip and Sunshine. The trio walk home after school one day, and that's the last anyone sees of Sunshine.

Jason joins in on the search to find her, but his schizophrenia gets in his way; he hears a constant stream of voices calling him names and saying mean things to him. As the day progresses, Jason starts getting little shards of memory
Oct 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Incredibly Awesome

Right now I’m supposed to already be showered and on my way to the next thing but I HAD to finish reading this book. I can tell it will be one of my favorite books of all time and I’m going to tell people about it. The characters are so real, and Jason is so sympathetic trying as hard as he can to get through the voices in his head to what is real so he can help his friend Sunshine. I’m amazed at the character of Agent Mercer and that’s all I can say without giving anything awa
Feb 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
I just picked this book based on a random library suggestion, and actually ended up being pleasantly surprised at how much I actually enjoyed the read.

The story centers around Jason, a teenage boy with schizophrenia that often just goes by Freak, and his two best friends Sunshine (selective mutism) and Drip (ADD) over a 24 hour period in which Sunshine disappears after getting off the school bus on the way home. Written from Jason's perspective, things can get a little overwhelming with his voic
Aug 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The story covers a brief time span, for the most part. It's a few days in the life of a trio of "alphabets" as they call themselves. Kids with diagnoses like ADHD or OCD. The main character, from whose POV the story is told, Jason, or Freak as he's been nicknamed, has schizophrenia. His best friends, Drip (aka Derrick) and Sunshine, have severe ADHD and an extreme form of social anxiety, respectively. It seems to be a normal day, until somewhere between getting off the "short bus" they all ride ...more
Aug 19, 2019 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jackie  Vitos
Jan 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Freaks Like Us grabs you tight from the beginning and keeps holding on even when you've finished reading the last page. The story is written from the perspective of a schizophrenic teenager. The reader is painted a picture of how his brain works, how the voices in his head sound and act. It felt like I was in Jason's mind. As if I had adopted his illness for the duration of the story. It also gets across a message that isn't fiction. Everyone has a voice and deserves to be heard. Even those suff ...more
Diana Barr
Aug 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Captivating Story

The characters are so real. The main character, Jason, struggles with a real affliction - yet we can see his human shortcomings, his fear, his courage and strength. Jason's love for Sunshine was so heartwarming. Jason's interactions with agent Mercer were a unexpected twist.
It was an intense story that emphasized the assumptions that are a commonly thought about special education students. It was unique to have the main character be a clinical schizophrenic and yet not edit the
Jan 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 27, 2018 rated it liked it
In some ways, this book really is brilliant, but in other ways it leaves a lot to be desired. The author's portrayal of the thought process of the title character is pretty incredible and well done. You really understand how hard it is for him to trust his own mind, and it's heartbreaking watching how others treat him as well. On the other hand, the various "voices" make the story hard to follow, especially in the beginning. I really did enjoy the ending in this. I thought it was well thought ou ...more
Sep 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This thriller was absolutely gripping. It's told from the perspective of a schizophrenic teen whose best friend and possible girlfriend has gone missing. Throughout the story, he has trouble deciphering what's real and what isn't and whether or not he hurt her. There are so many possible suspects and outcomes, and they all seem equally plausible. I had a feeling I knew the outcome, but I really wasn't sure. It was so hard to put this book down. Even though I know the outcome now, I still want to ...more
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astrology sign: Libra

favorite book: Harry Potter (all of them) and His Dark Materials
(all of those, too)

favorite song:I Will Follow You Into The Dark by Death Cab for Cutie

current pet total:12 if you don't count the chickens, peafowl,
turkeys, ducks, geese, pigeons, or guineas.

names of my schools:
Vanderbilt University (MS, Ph.D.)
University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) (B

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“Some people are so strong, they don't need to change [...] They change everyone around them.” 11 likes
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