Kerry Naylor

Schizo is a novel by Nic Sheff.

Julie Bauer, Student Contributor

Schizo is a book written by Nic Sheff with strong themes of teen mental illness, grief over the loss of a loved one, and hope.

Miles Cole is a junior in high school. He lives in San Francisco with his sister and parents. The events of the story are centered around an event two years prior to the start of the story when Miles’ brother, Teddy, is kidnapped from the beach. Miles blames himself for this because he left his brother to go to the bathroom and ended up not coming back for two hours because he had his first schizophrenic “attack.” The police believe that he drowned, but Miles is determined to find Teddy and bring him back.


Miles himself is a sensitive and angsty, but overall endearing, protagonist. His struggles with schizophrenia seem real – Nic Sheff did a lot of research on schizophrenia and has struggled with some mental illnesses of his own. This is one of Schizo’s good points.

Another thing to like about this novel is the relationship Miles has with his family. In a lot of popular YA novels, the protagonist’s parents are either dead or not a big part of the story. In this novel, however, Miles has a very close relationship with his family. Another refreshing thing about Schizo is its length. Tired of YA books and series that drag on and on? Read Schizo – it’s a short and sweet read.

No book is without its bad points, though. As a fair warning, the protag uses a lot of profanity. This may be a turn-off to some. Moreover, some of the plot twists in Schizo are a little cliché, and maybe even predictable if you are a fan of teen mental illness novels.

Overall, however, I recommend Schizo to anyone who is in high school, especially if you are coping with mental illness yourself or are interested in the subject.