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.
Made You up by Francesca ZappiaPublished May 19th 2015 by Greenwillow Books
Reviewed on December 15, 2015
This review can also be founds on Goodreads.
Cee: Magic 8 Ball, will Made You Up try to kill me?
Magic 8 Ball: Concentrate and ask again.
Cee: You know? The kind where a book sucks the soul out of you, drop by drop, until you're on the floor rolling around in your own filth because you both love and hate yourself for picking up this book in the first place?
Magic 8 Ball: Reply haze. Try again later.
Cee: Can you at least tell me if I'll like it or not?
Magic 8 Ball: Outlook not so good.
*After Reading* *will contain spoilers*
Cee: Do I think this book is cute?
Magic 8 Ball: My reply is no.
Cee: Do I think this book is angsty?
Magic 8 Ball: My sources say no.
Cee:Do you know why?
Magic 8 Ball: Don't count on it.
Cee: This is one of those times when a WRITER SHOULD WRITE WHAT THEY KNOW. If you plan to read Made You Up, do your research first so you aren't force-fed lies because anyone these days can slap mental illness onto the pages of a romance novel. Made You Up did not give me insight into schizophrenia. It made schizophrenia look like a pretentious illness with a stick up its ass. And believe me, saying this makes me feel like the asshole here. I don't claim to know jack squat about schizophrenia, but it doesn't take a genius to figure out that Alex didn't fit the bill. Let's give credit where credit is due— Francesca Zappia sure knows how to be crafty with mental illness because if I could create my own symptoms and get a kick out of making a book "fun," I probably would. Then I would cross my fingers and hope all of my readers swoon over my quirky and oh-so-intelligent characters. Yayy!
And as if the misrepresentation of mental illness, the boring characters, and the absentminded plot weren't enough to irked me, there was Charlie. I smelled that bullshit from hundreds of pages away and when shit hit the fan, I had to roll my eyes and skimmed the drama. She was a cheap tool to create angst. She really fucking was.
So there you have it. I had high expectations for Made You Up. I wanted it to challenge me on many levels from intellectual to emotional to morally, but the book fell flat and was too predictable and fake for me to give a rat's ass about it. It was like somebody trolled on my nonexistent feels.
In closing, my Magic 8 Ball is smarter than this book. Don't you agree?
Magic 8 Ball: Without a doubt.