Published: May 19th 2015 by Greenwillow Books
Pages: 448 Pages (Hardcover)
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. (goodreads.com)
“Dear Asshole: Thank you for keeping your word and believing me. It was more than I expected. Also, I'm sorry you were inconvenienced by my gluing your locker shut at the beginning of this year. However, I am not sorry that I did it, because it was a lot of fun. Love, Alex.”
Made You Up was my most anticipated book of 2015. I fell in love with the cover and fell even more with the blurb which made me truly hope that I would end up liking it. Even more so after I had interviewed the author, Francesca Zappia, and realized the book comes out on my 21st birthday.
After reading it I can honestly say it was one of my favorite reads of 2015 so far, maybe even my favorite. Made You Up was honest, captivating, extraordinary and weird in the best way possible. I've read many books but none were quite like this one.
I loved the plotline and the characters which Francesca has created. I loved Alex's voice and just how truly unreliable she was. While reading certain scenes I found myself questioning her description of the scenery and the people because you could just never be entirely sure if it is really there. I was very happy to see that her mental illness, paranoid schizophrenia, really was a big part of her and the story, that it wasn't just something that was mentioned a couple times and soon forgotten, but something that was ever present. We got to see Alex try and deal with the things that were going on in a very realistic way and I loved her fascination for lobsters. Free the lobsters!
Francesca's writing style was brilliant and on point. She managed to capture the atmosphere and mood of certain scenes perfectly which allows you to imagine it easily. I enjoyed the different bits of history that were simply part of what all the characters knew and were passionate about, which on the other hand made me feel like I know nothing, probably because it's been 4 years since I've last taken history in school.
“The only thing missing was Miles. But he was probably circling
somewhere, destroying villages and hoarding gold in his mountain lair.”
Miles Richter, the love interest in Made You Up, was fantastic. I love the fact that his nationality, German, played an actual role in this story, that it was mentioned and used in certain ways. And, thank you so much Francesca, the bits of dialogue that were in German were actually correct German which is always great to see in novels written by American authors.
Seeing Alex and Miles interact was great because they were just so vastly different. On one hand we have Alex who cannot believe the fact that she may have found the boy she believed she had made you years ago, and on the other side we have Miles who was unable to deal with inter human relations in every way possible and it was brilliant. I love seeing characters with such prominent flaws and personalities which they keep up over the entirety of the book and not just drop at some point.
“Believing something existed and then finding out it didn't was
like reaching the top of the stairs and thinking there was one more step.”
One of the big reveals in Made You Up, which of course I will not spoil, has truly made me cry because it turned out that something I took for granted and real, just like Alex did, turned out to be not real at all and it was just heartbreaking to see Alex realize it and just read her thoughts and emotions. I love how real and honest it felt.
“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.
But that never stopped me from wishing I lived in theirs.”
All in all Made You Up is an extraordinary read definitely worth a shot, especially if you are into books which deal with mental illnesses and/or are just completely different for your average YA contemporary novels. I had a great time reading it and simply loved the way the story unfolded, slowly and beautifully. The ending fits perfectly, the characters are unique and different. I highly recommend this book.
I give Made You Up by Francesca Zappia 5 out of 5 Stars.