Made You Up by Francesca Zappia
Release Date: May 19, 2015
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Genres: YA, Contemporary, Romance, Realistic Fiction, Health>Mental Health
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.
I was so pumped to pick up this book the moment I read its synopsis. Also, look at that cover! It looks very tumblr-y with those gorgeous watercolors. Another thing that got me excited was that it features an unreliable narrator who is diagnosed with Schizophrenia . If you didn’t know, I’m a frosh Psych student and I will start college next month. It’s just interesting, you know? I’ve always wanted to know what it feels like to be on their shoes. And given the chance on this book, I was able to experience all the things Alex did.
The story is told in the voice of Alex, who’s been struggling with Schizophrenia since her early childhood. We see things through her eyes, so as readers we should be suspicious, knowing that some parts of the story might be hallucinations. I must say that this book has quite lots of things I didn’t see coming. Reading it was such a challenge for me. Most of the time, I tried to fathom which is real and which is not. I tried to be aware as much as possible but still, some things felt so real that I never once suspected them to be delusions.
I was able to connect with the characters almost immediately. Not only Alex was the unique and complex character, but so was Miles, Charlie, Tucker, the people from the club, and everyone else. They were all fascinating in their own way.
The romance between Alex and Miles was so cute! No, it was not an insta-love, but two characters who fall for each other gradually, in a very realistic way.
Everything on this book is true to life, especially the high school experience(aside from the eerie things that has happened, of course) . There were a lot of struggles especially for Alex but I really salute her for being very optimistic no matter what she’s going through.
The pacing was kinda slower than I usually like and we were introduced to the real plot halfway through the book, but the events were pretty engrossing that you won’t be able to put it down.
Made You Up’s ending was marvelous. Though there was an epilogue, I still want more. I just need to see more of Alex and Miles!
Overall, it was an excellent read. I loved the writing and so is the fact that the mental illness was handled respectfully. I highly recommend this if you’re looking for a unique YA contemporary with an unreliable narrator.
I rated this book 4/5 stars.
Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book:
“Sometimes I think people take reality for granted.”
“My first ever friend was a hallucination: a sparkling entry on my new resume as a crazy person.”
“People say teenagers think they’re immortal, and I agree with that. But I think there’s a difference between thinking you’re immortal and knowing you can survive. Thinking you’re immortal leads to arrogance, thinking you deserve the best. Surviving means having the worst thrown at you and being able to continue on despite that. It means striving for what you want most, even when it seems our of your reach, even when everything is working against you.”
“I didn’t have the luxury of taking reality for granted. And I wouldn’t say I hated people who did, because that’s just about everyone. I didn’t hate them. They didn’t live in my world.”
“In a weird way, it felt like he belonged here. He belonged in the land of phoenixes and witches, the place where things were too fantastic to be real.”
“Intelligence is not measured by how much you know, but by how much you have the capacity to learn.”
“I think you’re an improvement on my imagination,” I said, flipping back through the pages.
“You, too,” he said. “My imagination—well, what little imagination I have—doesn’t quite live up to the real thing.”
“Agreed,” I said. “The real thing is much better.”
“If nothing’s real, then what does it matter?” he said. “You live here. Doesn’t that make it real enough?”
“Was everything made up? Was this whole world inside my head? If I ever woke up from it, would I be inside a padded room somewhere, drooling all over myself?
I know they’re a lot of quotes and it’s not even the half of my favorites but their words really struck me. So please let me live, haha!
Happy Sunday everyone! 🙂