Thursday, May 07, 2015

Review: Made You Up by Francesca Zappia

From Goodreads: 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. 

My Rating: 3.5 hearts 

Thoughts on the Novel: Francesca Zappia’s Made You Up is probably one of the most interestingly written stories I’ve ever read. It begins with Alex, the protagonist, describing freeing some lobsters from their tank at a store with the help of a blue-eyed boy she meets … only to find out that this event is a hallucination. Years after being diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic though, Alex once again meets this boy. Thus begins the reader’s dilemma: How much of what Alex narrates can we believe?

I really liked Alex’s voice. Despite constantly trying to discern what’s real and what’s not, Alex still remained upbeat and did her best to move forward to live a normal life. She was just fantastically written!

The romance also didn’t seem like your typical romance. Miles was often unlikeable – it sounds like he’s on the autism spectrum – but he and Alex worked as friends, and later, as a couple. I liked seeing them struggle to overcome the symptoms of their individual disorders so that they could care for someone, and then really appreciated that falling in love didn’t cure them of their problems.

I think my only issue with Made You Up was that it ended up having a small paranormal element because what I thought was a hallucination turned out to be something real - or at least, otherworldly. Otherwise, I loved how this book blurred the line between imagination and reality. 

Made You Up will be released on May 19, 2015 by Greenwillow Books. 

Comments About the Cover: The cover is a little weird, but I also think it’s very unique and eye-catching.

In exchange for an honest review, this book was received from the publisher (HarperCollins) for free via Edelweiss.  


  1. I've seen this one around, but I had no idea what it was about. I love the sound of Alex and can't wait to meet her. I'm a bit bummed that there is a supernatural angle to the story, but hopefully it'll work for me.

  2. This sounds really interesting! I love how you didn't know when to believe the narrator and I'm curious to see how the paranormal element will be added in. I agree, the cover is a little weird (in a good way!) and it definitely caught my eye. Thanks for the awesome review! :)

  3. I also really liked Alex's voice. I'm reading this one now and I'm about 70% through it and I'm really wondering about the paranormal element-there really is something going on? Not sure how I feel about that, I think the book would have been better without it.

  4. Sounds pretty interesting, I don't think I have read about hallucinations before.

  5. Made You Up is easily one of my favorite contemporary that I have ever read. Francesca is a talented writer who created a thought provoking story about a young girl who refuses to let her mental disorder get in the way of her dreams.

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