Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Release Date: September 4, 2012
When Jason Milwaukee’s best friend, Sunshine, disappears from the face of the earth, the whole town, including Jason, starts searching for her. But the insistent voices in Jason’s head won’t let him get to the heart of the mystery—he’s schizophrenic, and the voices make it hard to know what is real and what is not. As the chase becomes more panicked, Jason’s meds start wearing off, and he is looking more and more guilty. But of what, exactly?
The overall win factor in this book is Jason's (aka Freak) voice and character. Jason is schizophrenic, and quite honestly, this is the very first time I have read from the point of view of a character that has been diagnosed that way. It was interesting is definitely an understatement, because the voice was marvelous and Jason's struggles and "voices" and his visions were so much to deal with that I often felt overwhelmed--just like Jason was. It was really a neat experience. He doesn't only have all these things but I would also say his thought process is very different from ours, or mine at least. He over-thinks somethings and under-thinks some others, leaving some decisions half-made and so much space for tension.
The tension was a constant in this one. Jason's best friend, Sunshine, has disappeared and the novel takes place during the next few hours after she's gone missing. The questioning, the mystery aspect, the amount of suspects, plus a somewhat unreliable narrator make this story stand out from many others. Mixing all these aspects with Jason's special situation was tricky and the author pulled it off brilliantly.
I loved the urgency of it all and the little glimpses and memories that are scattered throughout the book, teasing the reader, and I also enjoyed the outcome. Not too clean and not too messy. The perfect ending for such a confusing story. I did guess a little during some parts about what was really going on, but it's never really predictable. An excellent read for mystery lovers!