[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  this disorder.  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  of the romance between two characters who are so awkwardly perfect for each other. They are everything. This book is everything.


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