Reality, it turns out, is often not what you perceive it to be—sometimes, there really is someone out to get you.
SYNOPSIS: 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.
About the Book
Made You Up by Francesca Zippia
Format Hardcover, 428 pages
Publisher Greenwillow Books (May 19th 2015)
Read May 24 – May 52, 2017
You know when you read a book and are so blown away and constantly find yourself thinking while reading, “Nobody could write this book the way she did and nail it like this?” Well, that’s what happened here as I completely devoured Made You Up. Man, talk about a killer voice and remarkable storytelling!
Made You Up follows Alex, a schizophrenic, as she navigates her way through a new school in her senior year of high school and forms an unlikely friendship with the outcast at the new school, among other things. I absolutely loved Alex’s journey and how beautifully crafted this story, these characters and their relationships were. This was amazing.
Alex is complex. Everyone in her home life and school life is complex and compelling in their own ways. The relationship dynamics, seeing them bloom or remain strained, seeing how people react when they don’t have the truth or capacity to understand or care beyond their own world was quite something to see.
Yes, there is a budding romance but I love, love, love how much of a slow burn it is, how vulnerable Alex and Miles are, and how well that’s shown on the page. It’s not something to be ashamed of. This vulnerable portrayal was so refreshing and lovely to see, especially since it wasn’t rushed. And the two are not exactly your typical lovebirds in the sense that this isn’t a summer romance beach read. This romance is something that non-romantics like me will love. Seeing this relationship build felt like watching an artist create a clay sculpture and it was marvelous.
As far as the mental illness aspect goes, I can’t speak on the accuracy of the schizophrenia representation since I’m not schizophrenic but I was fascinated by what I read and appreciated the time that was taken to really illustrate the daily struggle. I guess you could call Alex an unreliable narrator and if that’s something that you like reading, you’ll enjoy this book. Dare I add that the war in Alex’s mind between truth and illusion had me thinking about a lot of the things that Elliot says in Mr. Robot. Anyway, I could relate to Alex’s anxiety to a degree and thought that this was represented wonderfully.
Overall, Made You Up is absolutely outstanding. It’s strange and tense, mysterious and funny, heart stopping and heart breaking. I really enjoyed the writing and the tone though it did take me a minute to really get into it but once I got a handle on everything, I settled in and really enjoyed the pacing and the absolutely exquisite storytelling. Plainly put, if Made You Up is on your list of books to read, get to it.