Made You Up
Author: Francesca Zappia
Publication Date: May 19, 2015
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Genre: YA Contemporary
Page Length: 428 pages
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.
"Let's play twenty questions."
"Okay. But I ask the questions this time."
"If I guess it before five, I'll be really disappointed."
The corners of his lips twisted up in a smile and he said, "Don't insult me."
"Are you alive?"
"Do you live here?"
"Do I know you?"
"Did I make you up?"
Perfect beyond words.
I did not expect to absolutely LOVE this book as much as I did, but in this case, I'm glad my expectations were not lived up to. Made You Up by debut author Francesca Zappia is perfect. Perfect. PERFECT. So unbelievably, amazingly wonderful. I am not joking when I say I recommend this book to everyone.
I fell in love from page one. Some books take pages, chapters, to truly "get in" to, but that's not the case with Made You Up. Zappia holds a true gift with words. Her characters, her storyline, her . . . everything, really, is phenomenal. The conversational tone she is able to keep throughout feels so natural! I was scarily invested in this story because I felt like I was experiencing everything firsthand. That's how amazing this book is. Made You Up made me remember why I fell in love with YA contemporary in the first place. I read the entire book in one sitting.
Alex, our main character, is another glorious, unreliable narrator. I. Loved. Her. Alex is a schizophrenic, and although I've read my share of books dealing with the same mental illness, I've never read one quite like this. Challenger Deep was just downright confusing to read, but Made You Up presents itself in an easily enjoyable format. The tone of "normalcy" aided the overall experience of the reader. Even when Alex is hallucinating, the reader experiences it as reality.
Miles, a secondary character, is just as wonderfully complex, amazing, and likable as Alex. He's German, and intriguing, and an absolute kid genius. He was written incredibly well. I can't say much else besides the fact that he is FICTIONAL GOLD. I loved him as much as I loved Alex.
The storyline is well-weaved and completely original. We don't see a simple "linear progression" with a single thread running throughout. We see multiple storyline "threads" weaving together to create the masterpiece that is Made You Up. There are plot twists. Turns upon turns. Readers experience every emotion as they read along Alex's journey. Zappia has truly created new material here. It's completely original, and completely wonderful.
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.
It's obvious. This book is worth a rating of five out of five and more.
Do yourself a huge favor and read Made You Up. I dare to say it is one of the best books of 2015.