224 pages; published April 2013
Cameron has schizophreniform disorder – which is why he loses touch with reality and hears voices in his head. This particular disorder could be short term only, but no one knows, least of all Cameron as he fights against the medication and the doctoring and the parental hovering that is meant to help, but only makes him more inclined to get to know his voices better.
You look at the cover of this book and you look at the title, Cameron and the Girls, and you get the idea that it’s going to be a story about a guy named Cameron who likes two girls or had two girls that like him. And you’d be right … in a way. But for Cameron, deciding between two girls is more complicated that it sounds. One of the girls is a person in his school who suffers from depression and can be kind of weird to be around. The other girl lives in Cameron’s head. She’s perfect in every way, but she’s just one of the voices he hears because he has a mental condition – schizophreniform disorder.
The complicated thing is Cameron knows he has a mental illness, but he likes some of the voices in his head – especially The Girl who understand him so perfectly and loves him so much. He kind of wants to stay in touch with the voices. Also, he hates being zoned out on medication. So he stops taking it. Which upsets all the adults, but feels right to him. He can manage on his own. Can’t he?
Edward Averett puts the readers in a tough spot. He really pulls us into Cameron’s world and his feeling that he should be left to talk to his voices if he wants to. At the same time, it’s impossible not to understand why Cameron’s parents, sister, doctors, and teachers can’t just let him “be.”