Made You Up by Francesca Zappia
Release date: May 19th 2015
Purchased from Amazon
Rating : 3.5/4 stars ( leaning more towards 4!)
What is it about?
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
What did I think?
Wow. That was my reaction after I finished this book & honestly, I am still trying to figure out exactly how I feel. I felt a lot while reading this and I won’t lie to you, this isn’t a simple read. It’s so complex, dealing with a mental disease like Schizophrenia, and it will tug at all those heartstrings. So, just stick with me as I try to explain to you exactly how I felt about this book & why I gave it such an iffy ranking.
I genuinely liked Alex, the main character, maybe it was because she’s someone that I’ve never read about before/ never seen before in YA. She has been dealt a serious number in life, but she was funny and she was real. There were so many times she said things throughout the novel that I was just like, “that’s great”and would laugh out loud. But, the thing about laughing out loud with this book is that afterwards I just felt sad for her. She makes a joke about the hallucinations that she sees, but it just really made me feels something for her. I felt how desperate she was whenever she couldn’t distinguish between the real & the fake. The writer just did such an amazing job at highlighting the difficulties that people with Schizophrenia deal with every day. I really truly felt that I had a better grasp on what this mental illness was and I just wanted to jump in the book & hug Alex so hard. That’s what makes this book so heavy, her life is not easy at all and I just wanted everything to be okay for her. I also had a love/hate relationship with her parents. There was a part of me that kept saying, “she just needs you to show her whats real & for you to be supportive!!” but then another part saw inside Alex’s brain & knew that she was struggling and I understood their reactions & understood why there wasn’t a clear answer for how to deal with things. That didn’t stop me from disliking them, just a little bit.
I don’t want anyone to get t he impression that this book is heavy the entire time. It is mainly comical, as the relationship between Miles & Alex is complex & also a hilarious. The pranks that they pull on each other had me cracking up and also wishing that I had the guts to pull off something like that.Their relationship isn’t instalove and I think that a lot of people would appreciate that. In fact, they actually really really hate each other and at some points I truly believed they were going to rip each other apart. Let me just tell you, Alex is not a girl to mess around with. If she doesn’t like you or your attitude, well she’s not afraid to stick up for herself. I think that I need to add that to another reason why I enjoyed this book. Even though Alex deals with something really serious, she doesn’t take the bullying and she comes right back at people who try to give her shit. She sticks up for herself and for others, honestly I really admired her for that.
Why did I not give it such a awesome ranking? Well, it’s really hard to explain because some of the things that I loved also are tied up with the things that took away from the book. The hallucinations were so well done, but at the same time I was very confused about a lot of things in the book. There were times where I thought that everything was real, only because she did such a good job at making them real, but then it was just so far out there that I kept saying “is this really a thing?” So I kept having to go back and figure out what had just happened. Also, I loved the relationship between Alex & Miles, but at the same time Miles as a character confused me. I just didn’t get where we were going with him. He does such a 180 degree turn from how he’s described in the beginning of the book that I kept wondering how I was supposed to feel about him. (Which could have been the authors way of having us feel how Alex usually feels–confused & unsure about what is real). Also the school had me questioning what was happening in the book, I’ve just never even heard of a public school that acts the way this one does & no one questions it. I don’t want to say too much about the conflict in the story, but also that had me saying what the heck?? The story itself was amazing with Alex’s journey, that I felt the second conflict was almost unneeded and took away a lot from the story.
I could go on and on about this book, but the simple fact of it is that I had so many mixed emotions. It’s such a beautiful book, it really is, but there were just so many things that left me feeling one way and then another *which sometimes a GREAT thing in a book, just means amazing writing!!* but in this one I just found myself unsure how to feel. I would say pick this up. Its deff a book that needs to read & loved, and you should form your own opinion on it. I would even recommend it to my own friends, I still really really enjoyed reading it just cause I felt this protectiveness of Alex. Also, the dialogue in it is pretty damn funny & witty. I wouldn’t go into this book thinking you’re going to be depressed the entire time that you read it. It’s truly a one of a kind read & I want you all to give it a try!
Hopefully you were all able to follow my thoughts! 🙂
If you’ve read it, what did you think??? Also, that ending….ugh my heart. Did you like the way it ended??