Publisher: Greenwillow Books
My Rating: 3.5/5
Synopsis: 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.
“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 out of your reach, even when everything is working against you.”
Ohhhh, I definitely liked this book. This book manages to put you back into a high school setting (with drama, of course) and has you aww’ing and laughing sometimes and it makes you feel. Going into this novel, I wasn’t sure how Zappia was going to tackle the serious and dense disease known as paranoid schizophrenia. I was nervous, just because I’d never put myself into a situation where I read a book dealing with mental illness, but I was surprised and it was done well! There are some serious scenes where, if you weren’t the main character, Alex, I still don’t think you would understand her feelings entirely. I completely appreciate what Zappia has done with this book and wraps it up well enough and as far as I know it is a stand alone, but I could definitely see a sequel!
Okay, so in the beginning I was so confused as to how or WHY Francesca was writing the relationship between Alex & Miles the way she was but it makes sense. Their relationship was crafted well and I really enjoyed them together and ugh, the feels. (insert heart eyes emoji) Miles was such a unique character, and I’ve never read about someone like him before so it was refreshing and although he aggravated me sometimes, there’s a reason and you can’t help but love him. He wasn’t the ‘boy that everyone loves to hate because he’s a douche’ – no – he’s more than a ‘douche’ title, which is given to him by Alex. Both Alex and Miles were extremely interesting to read about and you sort of love to hate them. (More Miles, though. Alex is fantastic.) Also, I really enjoyed the writing style of Made You Up. So anyways, there must be a few things I didn’t enjoy too much, yes? Alright, so this book is 400+ pages (which was longer than I expected) and there was a sub-plot going on that I found NO reason for. Honestly, I don’t know why it was expanded on and although I could MAYBE see why it was weaved into the story, I by no means think it was essential for the story to progress. There is drama, which is called for and I didn’t mind it, but some things were either briefed over in the novel or expanded too much. I would have really enjoyed to see more of Miles and the secondary characters because they were awesome and Alex loved them and loved being around them! (AND UGH, CHARLIE, CHARLIE!!!!!!!!!)
So overall, plot was alright, not too bad, kind of on the meh side, but not outstanding. But the characters and writing were fantastic! I definitely recommend this for anyone looking for a contemporary that’s different, because that is what this is.