Published by Greenwillow Books on May 19th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Reality, it turns out, is often not what you perceive it to be—sometimes, there really is someone out to get you. Made You Up tells the story of Alex, a high school senior unable to tell the difference between real life and delusion. This is a compelling and provoking literary debut that will appeal to fans of Wes Anderson, Silver Linings Playbook and Liar.
Alex fights a daily battle to figure out the difference between reality and delusion. Armed with a take-no-prisoners attitude, her camera, a Magic 8-Ball, and her only ally (her little sister), Alex wages a war against her schizophrenia, determined to stay sane long enough to get into college. She’s pretty optimistic about her chances until classes begin, and she runs into Miles. Didn't she imagine him? Before she knows it, Alex is making friends, going to parties, falling in love, and experiencing all the usual rites of passage for teenagers. But Alex is used to being crazy. She’s not prepared for normal.
Funny, provoking, and ultimately moving, this debut novel featuring the quintessential unreliable narrator will have readers turning the pages and trying to figure out what is real and what is made up.
If I could give this book ten hearts, I would. Guys, I don’t think you comprehend how much I loved this book. I read this book at around 10 P.M last night, and finished it around 12:30 A.M with such a face of shock. Francesca Zappia has surprised me once again. If you remember, last year, I said that Eliza and Her Monsters (Francesca’s other novel) was probably my favorite book of 2017 and I still stick by to that opinion. Not to dive in too deeply, but when I write I never write anything personal. I’ve only written one personal thing in my entire life and that was a letter to Francesca just so you have an idea of how her writing had impacted me. You would think that after I read Eliza and Her Monsters, I would immediately purchase her other book. But here’s the thing, I never knew she had another book. And when I did find out, I forgot. It wasn’t until a week or two again when I was looking at Eliza and Her Monsters that I remembered Made You Up and I am so thankful that I did. No doubt in my mind that Made You Up is my favorite book of 2018 so far (and of all time), and Francesca definitely has made her way to my favorite authors list as well.
Now I was going to make this review spoiler-free like I do with all my other posts but I just can’t. I’ll warn the people who haven’t read Made You Up yet when you should stop reading this post, but for now you are safe.
Alex is one of the main reasons I loved this book so much. I don’t know how Francesca does it, but her characters impact me so much more than any other characters I have read about. Alex is a teenager girl going to a new school in her senior year and she has schizophrenia. Now before reading this book, I didn’t know much about schizophrenia, borderline nothing. But even a person who knows nothing can tell how much Francesca worked and researched schizophrenia to make it real. And she did. She made it so incredibly real. Alex is such a lovable characters. In fact, almost all the characters are lovable. Miles is a real guy. He doesn’t seem fictional to me. He seems like somebody I can actually meet and fall in love with, which is something that is very rare in YA novels.
This book isn’t only a contemporary novel though, it also has some horror and mystery lacing it. Not entirely, but there are definitely factors of it throughout the book. And just like Eliza and Her Monsters, Francesca’s writing stile is so insanely beautiful. I’ve taken a few moments here and there to reflect on the words she wrote. Now, I spent practically the whole night thinking about the book and I don’t know what else to say without spoiling it for all of you who haven’t read it yet. So if you haven’t read it, I suggest you stop reading this post now. Like now. And then after you’re done, you can come back and read the rest. Bye bye.
Okay, let us commence with Alex and her photography. The second that camera was shown, I was immediately distrustful of the parents. Just like Miles said, why in the living hell can’t they tell her what is real and what isn’t. Isn’t that what a parent should do? Charlie, for instance. That scene broke my heart over and over again. Finding out that Charlie wasn’t real and that she died when she was just four years old was a stab in the gut to me, because just like Alex, I thought she was real, she felt so real. And then there is the Eight Ball and all the other stuff, I just felt for her. Not in a pitying sort of way, I hate it when people pity me. Of course, I don’t fully understand what was inside her head and what she was feeling but it just felt like I understood her enough to be friends with her and talk to her. The whole mystery with Scarlet creeped me out to my inner core, it was insane. Much like I did with Eliza.
The principal, that disgusting sleezebag. I’m glad that the book wasn’t only about Alex’s schizophrenia and there was that added mystery to it. It was also insanely funny. These characters are so humorous, I can’t count how many times they made me laugh.
You know what I loved? The game that that the club made with Miles. It was those little moments between all the characters that really made me fall in love with the characters. I had no idea who the hell these historical figures were though. I loved when Alex kissed Miles for the first time. And her telling him that she knew he was Blue Eyes. And when they visited his Mom. I loved it all.