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Nic Sheff

Schizo

Nic Sheff Schizo
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Biographical note:

Nic Sheff is a columnist for The Fix and the author of two memoirs about his struggles with addiction, the New York Times-bestselling Tweak: Growing Up on Methamphetamines and We All Fall Down. He also wrote for the hit TV series The Killing. Nic lives in Los Angeles, California. Follow @nic_sheff

Meet Nic Sheff, the bestselling author of Tweak, an unforgettable memoir, who now delivers a gripping debut novel 

As a teenager and young adult I struggled with drug and alcohol addiction, as well as severe mental illness issues—bipolar disorder, depression, psychosis. My first two books were memoirs about my experience battling addiction. For my first novel, I wanted to continue my exploration of psychological issues within the framework of a thriller. When two of my family’s friends, both high-schoolers, were diagnosed with schizophrenia, I began researching the illness. Apparently this disease, which often lies dormant in teens, has been surfacing earlier and earlier in those with a genetic predisposition to the illness after these kids try smoking pot—because our pot is so much stronger than it ever has been. I wanted to examine what happens to someone who experiences the symptoms of schizophrenia while still a teenager, someone trying to balance the hardships of mental illness at such a fragile time of life—the everyday struggles of high school and relationships. Much of the novel is borrowed from my own experience, but it is also a departure. I hope it shows that mental illness is not a death sentence.

Excerpt from book:

1.

It’s starting again.
There’s a sound like an airplane descending loudly in my ear. I can’t quite place it. The sweat is cold down my back. I feel my heart beat faster. My hands shake.
God, I can’t take it.
I can’t.
If it happens again . . .
I hold my breath, waiting.
The sound fades in and out—high-pitched, whining.
Preston and Jackie don’t seem to notice.
They’re on his bed together, which is really just like a futon on the floor, watching this old Billy Wilder movie.
Preston’s arm is around her, and her arm is around him.
They are tangled together . . . intertwined.
Two separate people joined together into someone new and different, but still the same.
Not that I don’t like Jackie. I mean, she’s great. She’s super great. And super nice.
They both are.
That’s why they let me hang out with them.
Cause, believe me, I bring nothing to the table.
I’m totally what you’d call a charity case.
They let me hang out and watch movies and play video games until finally Preston’ll give me a look like, Yo, me’n my girl need to have some sex right now. And so then I’ll leave.
And go home—back to my family’s little three-bedroom house on the avenues, the opposite of Preston’s palatial mansion up here near the Palace of Legion of Honor. The house is like an old Gothic castle, paid for by the network TV show both his parents were on in the nineties. They played a couple on the show—a pair of married lawyers.
They’re retired and they spend most of their time traveling.
Leaving Preston alone with no one but Olivia, the housekeeper.
And Jackie, of course.
Sometimes I like to think that Preston and Jackie are my parents. Except that Preston is such a big pothead. He has basically his own floor in his parents’ house with a grow room set up in the closet.
I used to smoke, too, before it made me go crazy.
But that was more than two years ago.
I’m sixteen now, and it’s been over a year since my last episode
The fascinating, shocking, and ultimately quite hopeful story of one teen’s downward spiral into mental illness by the bestselling author of Tweak.

Miles is the ultimate unreliable narrator—a teen recovering from a schizophrenic breakdown who believes he is getting better . . . when in reality he is growing worse.
 
Driven to the point of obsession to find his missing younger brother, Teddy, and wrapped up in a romance that may or may not be the real thing, Miles is forever chasing shadows. As Miles feels his world closing around him, he struggles to keep it open, but what you think you know about his world is actually a blur of gray, and the sharp focus of reality proves startling.
 
Written by the New York Times bestselling author of Tweak, Schizo is the fascinating, and ultimately quite hopeful, story of one teen's downward spiral into mental illness as he chases the clues to a missing brother. Perfect for fans of Thirteen Reasons Why, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and It’s Kind of a Funny Story.
 
Praise for Tweak:
 
"Difficult to read and impossible to put down." –Chicago Tribune
 


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