May 19, 2015
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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.Some books have good characters. Some books have a good premise. Some books have good writing. Then there are those few, special books that are about something fantastic, with brilliant characters and amazing writing; Made You Up is one of those.
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.
There is just so much good about Made You Up that I don't know if I can find the words - even the design of the book (illustrations, etc) is great.
Alex knows that she cannot always tell the difference between what's reality and what's a hallucination. Determined to get through her senior year, to handle life and to go on to college, she's come up with ways of coping. They're not foolproof but she thinks it will work.
Until she meets the boy she's pretty sure she imagined . . .
I absolutely loved Alex. She is endearing, she's smart, she's funny and not afraid to stand up for herself. Sure, she might be insane but she knows it. I liked how her schizophrenia and her paranoia were handled. There were the things that, as a reader, you were sure were delusions and there were things Alex, using logic, were sure were delusions. But then there were the things that were not so certain - for the character or as a reader.
The mix of Alex's character, her schizophrenia, life at high school, her friends, their own troubles and some pretty wacky events or possibilities came together for a really fantastic book.
There are some surprises in Made You Up that I really did not see coming and some of them were big. Alex, her character, how she sees (sometimes literally) the world and what happens to her and her friends will give you a lot to think about.
Made You Up is definitely one of my favorite books of the year, probably favorites of all time. I loved Alex, I loved Miles, I loved Charlie, I loved weird East Shoal High School and I really, really loved Francesca Zappia's writing.
If I could give this six out of five stars, I would.
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Other Books You Might Also Enjoy: The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things by Ann Aguirre and Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman
received from publisher, for honest review