Made You Up by Francesca Zappia ||


Reality, it turns out, is often not what you perceive it to be—sometimes, there really is someone out to get you. Made You Up tells the story of Alex, a high school senior unable to tell the difference between real life and delusion. This is a compelling and provoking literary debut that will appeal to fans of Wes Anderson, Silver Linings Playbook, and Liar.

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.

Funny, provoking, and ultimately moving, this debut novel featuring the quintessential unreliable narrator will have readers turning the pages and trying to figure out what is real and what is made up. (Synopsis taken from Goodreads)

This was a book I checked out solely based on the cover. So I really didn’t know what it was about until after I started it. It turns out it’s about schizophrenia, which the main character, Alex, has.

And Alex is such a fascinating person, not just because of her schizophrenia, but because she knows that some of the things she sees aren’t actually there, so you spend the entire book wondering if this person or that person or this event or that event actually truly happened, or if it was just Alex’s brain making it up and making her think that it actually happened. Because of this, in parts, it read almost like a fantasy story. And she’s sassy and sarcastic and troubled and you just fall in love with her. Also? She takes pictures to help her discern reality from one of her hallucinations.

As well as schizophrenia, Alex also has paranoia; something you don’t see that often in YA books. She’s terrified of being poisoned and of Nazis, and she does a perimeter check everywhere she goes.

And the other characters- Tucker and Miles. Don’t worry, it wasn’t a love triangle; Alex’s relationship with Tucker was completely platonic. And Tucker himself is this super sweet, cool, if slightly anti-social, person. But it’s Miles that really stood out. He’s skinny, super-genus kid who’s really unempathetic AND SO COMPLEX. He is not “just” the love interest like what too often seems to happen.

And, yes, it’s totally easy to guess that one of the people in Alex’s life was made up. BUT IT TOTALLY WASN’T WHO I EXPECTED. Huge plot twist there, and I remember just blinking at the book for a couple of seconds because I COULD NOT BELIEVE IT JUST DID THAT. Although, once you think about it, it really does make sense.

So, basically, this is a lighthearted, quirky story that utterly enjoyable with pretty awesome characters. I wholeheartedly recommend it.


Good morning, blogglings! I am coming to you from the land of sleep deprivation and also new books, which is cool. Or would be cool if I wasn’t so dang tired.

I need caffeine. A good lot of it, too.

But! How was your guy’s week? Have you read Made You Up? Did you like or dislike it? If you haven’t read it, are you planning too? Have you read any other books about schizophrenia? I’ve been meaning to read Challenger Deep for a while…is that one good?

Happy Saturday,





14 thoughts on “Made You Up by Francesca Zappia ||

  1. I am so glad you liked this as much as I did! I completely agree with everything you’ve said – it was definitely a breath of fresh air into the contemporary genre, and the writing and characters were just spot-on. Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous review! ❤


    1. It was lighthearted, but I didn’t feel like it was mocking of the illness like I felt like Finding Audrey was. I like that: it deals with something serious, but it’s not hard to read, like My Heart and Other Black Holes was


  2. this was by far one of my favourite books I read in 2015. SUCH a good read. I didn’t see Alex’s imagined friend coming at all, and it kinda really broke my heart. Said character was cute and precious and probably my favourite character after Miles (I’m a sucker for well-written friendships like they had in books…and I’m being very vague because spoilers… 🙂 ) I too picked this book up mostly because of the cover! It’s so beautiful…


    1. I know! I kind of felt like that character died, because they were there, and suddenly, they were gone. AND I FELT SO BAD FOR ALEX. Like, that character was the one person she had said she could tell everything to and it was just so sad…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s