Published by Greenwillow Books on May 19th 2015
Also by this author: Eliza and Her Monsters
Buy on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, The Book Depository
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.
This book is so incredible and beautifully written. Zappia seriously impressed me with her ability to create these lovely and realistic characters. The main character Alex suffers from paranoia and schizophrenia so she never knows what’s real and what isn’t. She takes pictures of the things around her so she can figure out whether or not she’s hallucinating. The writing couldn’t have been any better, the way the story slowly but surely progresses was unique and well done. If you haven’t read this book yet, you should definitely have it on your TBR list. I know that some people aren’t big on books that feature any type of mental illness out of fear it might be too depressing or for a different reason, but I’m telling you, you should at least give it a shot. I’m pretty certain that you won’t regret it!
Alex is an unreliable narrator and I absolutely loved that. Yes, it took a little bit to get used to the fact that you’re never 100% sure if what Alex sees is really there, but I thought that made it all the more exciting to discover. This book is far from predictable, though I did see a few things coming. However, I was still surprised by some of the things and it was much more suspenseful than I was expecting. Both Alex and Miles aren’t lovable in the beginning. Miles will surely rub you the wrong way in the beginning, you don’t know why he’s being so cold towards everyone, including Alex. Midway through though, we learn more about his story and at that point, you’ll fall in love with him. I liked that there was no case of insta-love here, this was a very very slow building romance and that’s exactly how I like it!
I’m a sucker for flawed characters and this is exactly what we find in “Made You Up.” I felt like the dialogue between Miles and Alex was so hilarious and relatable. They are both witty teens, but it never felt like TOO much to me. Even the supporting characters like one of Alex’s first friends from school, Tucker and even the less significant characters from school were all very well rounded and complex. This was a highly gorgeous book that’s bound to stay with me for a long time. It’s been awhile since I’ve been this touched by a book like I was with this intense story. I highly recommend it to anyone who loves reading unique YA contemporary books.