Release Date: May 19th 2015
Genres: Adolescence, Depression & Mental Illness, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Young Adult
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.
Contemporary YA is really impressing me this year! It’s so strange to think that a few years ago I avoided the genre and now I can’t get enough. MADE YOU UP is no exception, I thoroughly enjoyed Zappia’s debut novel.
The strongest aspect of the novel, in my opinion, is in the character of Alex. Although we know going in Alex is going to be an unreliable narrator, I do not think I’ve seen the concept done so well, especially in YA. She is super easy to relate to, feel for, and even understand, despite everything.
Alex’s voice is so fresh and fun, making her feel like a friend rather than a character in a book because once you get inside her mind you too begin to not know what’s real either, leading to being just as shocked as she is when she realizes. You get to really experience her struggle and the feeling of hopelessness during certain events.
Combine Alex and the lovable other main character, Miles, and it’s just-
Alex and Miles are great together, and I’m not sure if I have ever seen a character dynamic quite like theirs. It’s seriously awesome to see how their connection develops and grows and how they compliment each other. Speaking of Miles, there are some other good supporting characters as well, though none of them come close to Alex and Miles.
There were some subplots that were a little odd and could have probably have been left out but I can see why they are there and they don’t take away anything major from the main story.
The writing flowed really well, it is simple and easily readable and there are still great quotes! The writing combined with the characters made for great pacing and this never felt like a 450 page book.
Overall a great read mixed with humor, sadness, happiness and feels – definitely recommended.