[533]: Made You Up by Francesca Zappia


GOODREADS SUMMARY | Greenwillow Books | May 19th, 2015 | Hardcover, 448 pp. | Young Adult Fiction | Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

Reality is a scary master. That’s why some people resort to drugs because it’s easier to ignore its demands sometimes. But for some, reality is a different beast altogether. It becomes unreliable, frightening and deceiving. Such is the life of those suffering from schizophrenia.

Made You Up was a light-hearted, kind-hearted story about a teen suffering from ย this disorder. ย Her story is a bit of a ride. Because of Zappia’s compelling/very convincing writing, the reader will feel as if they are losing their minds along with her. Some would have a difficult time discerning what was real and what was a product of her “chemically-imbalanced” mind. Things, places, people become somewhat capricious. One particular person in her life left me with goosebumps once it was revealed they were not real at all. For a second, I thought I was reading a ghost story. And even after all that, she still keeps seeing this person.

You would never find a more unreliable narrator than Alex. Not because it’s a character flaw, but because it’s the nature of her disease. I don’t think I’ve read a book in YA tackling paranoid schizophrenia, but Zappia’s account is a great introduction, I thought. Alex describes every thing she sees and feels that the readers would know exactly what it’s like to go through life thinking she’s in constant peril. But she’s learning; she wants to live independently.

So she’s careful. She does everything to make sure that no one would ever know why she is the way she is (she sniffs her food for poison; she looks everywhere for bad guys lurking in the dark corners and alleys). She’s forever suspicious of people. And by taking pictures of things she thought to be a temporary product of her overactive imagination, she was able to detect what was real and what was not – on most good days, that is. I love the way Francesca created Alex. She’s so real; her disease is real. And yet somehow, there’s this whimsical persona that I just can’t help but love.

This book is an instant favourite of mine. ALL TIME favourite. You will cry. You will laugh. You will go, “holy shiiiite”. Basically, this book will put you through an entire list of feelings. But you will love this book. It was different, candid, heartbreaking, but hopeful. Very hopeful in a non-sappy way. You will adore the characters; you will smile at the sweetness ย of the romance between two characters who are so awkwardly perfect for each other. They are everything. This book is everything.


  • I really do need to push my copy of this one up the reading pile. Because it sounds like an amazing representation of the condition and so realistic, like you get lost in her head with her and really know how it feels yourself. You really have to give it to the author for that…

  • I remember posting this on one of my waiting on Wednesday posts. and you just made me more excited for this book!

  • I’ve only heard raves for this! I love the unreliable narrator tool, but I might love it even more when it’s set up like it is here. And I love the idea of this being light-hearted, despite the heaviness of the subject. Clearly, I have to scoot this up the TBR and read it very, very soon. ๐Ÿ™‚ Great review, Joy!

  • I’m not usually one for an unreliable narrator but this sounds like a story I could make an exception for. I love that the romance was perfect for this flawed character and it makes me even more interest. Wonderful review, Joy! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Ugh, yesss. <3 I'm so thrilled that you loved this book so much Joy ๐Ÿ˜€ Now you have made me curious about it. I shall have to get it, one day ๐Ÿ™‚ The girl sound amazing. And weird. And I love that. Yay for loving the romance too ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you for sharing about it sweet girl. <3

  • Great review Joy! I feel like I got a deeper understanding of what is in store for me when I read this book and I am even more excited now!

  • I NEED to read this one! Didn’t know it dealt with schizophrenia I’d love to see how it’s explored. Plus the cover is totally cute. Awesome review!

  • I need to read this book!! I have been waiting for so long. I am so glad that you loved it too!

  • This sounds so good! Okay, you got me intrigued- I’m adding it, but don’t know when I’m gonna read it because I’ve just finished the heartbreaking All the Bright Places by J. Niven (which also dealt with a disorder) and I need some really happy read now.

  • I’m so tempted to get this one! I’ve heard it surprised many people and I like that. Makes me want to try it! Goosebumps or not, I’m excited ๐Ÿ˜€

  • I am so so so so happy that you loved this so much. THIS MAKES ME SO HAPPY. I’m about to buy myself a finished copy because this has become one of my favorite reads of 2015 ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I have read many a rave review about this book but your one just makes me want to drop everything just to read this. I’m really fascinated about the mental illness and a character about paranoid schizophrenia, it sounds like it made a large impact on you Joy!

  • Ha! I don’t think I’d notice it that much given that I’m nutty already!

    Kidding aside, I can get into this story. It sounds sweeping and I like the themes. Obviously you got inkhearted/narniad so that’s another great sign!

  • I love when you fall in love with a boy Joy, you’re reviews are always so candid and passionate. I’ve seen nothing but love for this one too, and this is the first book I’ve come across tackling the illness as well. I can imagine that it’s quite complex for authors to tackle, getting that balance right with the protagonist would take care and skill, something a lot of authors would probably fail miserably at really. I’ve got my copy ready to go and just need to find the time to squeeze it in. Fingers crossed this weekend. Incredible review Joy, absolutely loved it <3

  • Oooh, 5 stars? Definitely looking out for this one. Like Maja said, it’s fantastic to see so many more books tackling mental illness, and in a positive way.

  • This is one of my most anticipated releases, and while I do have an ARC of it, I’m purchasing the physical copy to read instead. This is one of those books that could either be a hit or miss, and boy am I thanking the bookish gods that the author got it right! I’m a Psychology major, so I’m very intrigued by the human mind, and this book just seems like it’ll give me a peek into the minds of those who suffer from this disease. Amazing review as usual my dear Joy ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Oh, my goodness, there are more and more books with positive representation of mental illness lately and I’m really loving the trend. My favorite was Carry the Ocean by Heidi Cullinan, but this is one I absolutely have to read too. It sounds truly wonderful.

  • Lauren Becker

    Beautiful review! I REALLY want to read this one. I think books about mental illness are fascinating, yet also really important.


  • Great review like always Joy! Definitely an interesting concept for a book and I like how you enjoyed it ๐Ÿ™‚ Btws, great cover!

    Patrick @ The Bookshelves

  • This sounds fabulous Joy and I have to say, I love the quirky cover! Wonderful review.

  • I read a memoir from a schizophrenic author, it made me appreciate the struggle even more, and help me come to grips with my grandmother’s paranoid schizophrenia. It’s hard on the family sure, but it is even worse for the patient who has to deal with it. I am SO interested in this book. Gonna have to put it on the list of books to read soon. Thanks for sharing, Joy!

  • I really keep hearing the same things about this book. I’ve always been fascinated with mental health or should I say disease. I find the mind to be a fascinating thing. I definitely want to check this one out soon! Fantastic review, totally convincing.

  • I hate that I’m so behind in my reading. I got really bogged down and this is one of the books I skipped over to catch up with June reading. But I do want to read it, and you’ve made me more determined to find the time!
    Jen at YA Romantics

  • Wow! Awesome review! You have me excited to check out this book. I love unreliable narrators and trying to figure out what is reality, etc, so this book seems right up my alley. I am glad it was one of your all-time favorites!

  • Ksenia

    First of all I want to say that I love that you make your own pictures of books, rather than use images. It gave you blog feel of home and personality. I havenโ€™t read this book, though Iโ€™ve seen it around. All time favorite, wowโ€ฆ I need to check it out. Wonderful review, Joy!

  • I haven’t actually read a book before where a character has schizophrenia, and I think I’d like to read one (this book especially, even more so if it’s quite lighthearted) because I’d like to get a perspective on how it feels to deal with something so awful. I don’t really read books that deal with heavy issues as it saddens me to think people in real life actually go through similar things, however, I just might give this a go! Wonderful review! <3

  • Iโ€™m so glad you enjoyed this one! The cover is gorgeous and it sounds absolutely fantastic. Great review and canโ€™t wait to start this one ๐Ÿ˜€ Great review!

  • Ohhh, I wanna cry, go holy shiiit and everything else

  • Christy

    Wow, now I really must read this. Even though I’m avoiding YA, this looks like one I shouldn’t pass up.

  • Wow so many things in this one and I’m glad to see you had so many different feeligs all along your read like that, it’s always so awesome! I’ll have to try that!

  • I cannot WAIT to read Made You Up! I’ve seen so many people loving this book that I think I’ve fallen fro this book before I’ve even picked it up! Thanks so much, Joy ๐Ÿ™‚