Author: Francesca Zappia
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mental Illness, Mental Health
Publisher: Harper Collins
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.
(Thank you to Harper Collins for sending this book my way in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my thoughts or opinions in any way.)
I had never read a Young Adult book about schizophrenia, or anything fictional about it before. It had always interested me when we learnt about it in school, and I was constantly wanting to know more about it. When I saw that this book was about a girl with schizophrenia, I immediately wanted to pick it up. I hadn’t really heard about any books that dealt with schizophrenia before, so this really intrigued me. I really love that you’re able to experience (in a certain way and to an extent) other people’s lives and their struggles through books, even if you haven’t experienced those things in reality. Of course, I’m not saying that these struggles are good or enjoyable, but they help me, along with other readers who have not experienced such things, to understand and get a glimpse of a different reality, which is one of the reasons why books like this are so important.
Unfortunately, I found the beginning of this book to be a little slow. It didn’t really hook me in right away and I found it a little boring. Thankfully, it picked up after around 100 pages or so and I actually ended up really enjoying it!
I found this book really different to normal contemporaries. Maybe I just expected a cute, fun romance instead, but this book had a certain mysterious kind of aspect to it. I think it’s because you don’t know if you should trust the narrator or at least trust what she is telling the reader, since she struggles to differentiate between what is real and what is not. This is what really hooked me in, trying to work out if what Alex was seeing or telling us was actually happening.
I really loved the relationships Alex made with Miles and the rest of the gang; it felt genuine and their encounters were super fun and enjoyable to read about. I really loved Miles, with his whole brooding, bad boy image (I’m such a sucker for bad boys), and loved the banter between him and Alex.
I will say that I saw a couple of the twists coming, but was hoping I had gotten them wrong. When they came I was still shocked even though I predicted them, but it didn’t ruin the story or make me enjoy it any less.
Overall I found Made You Up to be a very entertaining, enjoyable read. There were parts that were quite heart wrenching and emotional, but overall I really enjoyed it and loved how different and unique it was.
Have you read this book? What were your thoughts?
Until next time,