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made you upWhat: Made You Up by Francesca Zappia

Who: Greenwillow Books

When: May 19th 2015

How: A copy of this novel was provided by Harper Collins Australia for review.

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.


This novel. THIS NOVEL. Is a complete mindfuck, I warn you. And I don’t say that lightly because: a) I don’t particularly like dropping the f-bomb in reviews for publishers, and b) it is completely and absolutely 100% true.

TO BE HONEST, Made You Up is quite very different from what I expected. I thought that Alex would be going to wild parties and just generally have a good old fun and wild time and not be able to actually tell if she was having these wild times at all. If you thought or think that by looking at the blurb, my friend you are undoubtedly wrong. Yes, Alex goes to a party, and there are some fun times, and definitely some wild times but this girl ain’t living no double life and she’s not imagining that she’s an incredibly popular girl living the high life, either.

She’s a girl who sees things sometimes and doesn’t know if they’re real. Like a phoenix flying above her bike, or creepy security guards on top of her new school, or a python dangling from the ceiling.

I spent the entire novel freaking out and questioning everything. I mean the book is called MADE YOU UP so I knew something horribly sad was going to go down, and I spent the entire x number of pages going: oh no, not Miles. Please not Miles. Not precious, darling, adorable, sweet, imperfectly perfect Miles. NO. N O. And then – HAHA, no. I’m not going to spoil anything. You can read this book all for yourself because it is 100% worth it.

Made You Up is 100% worth it because you’re right there with Alex as she struggles to discern what is real and what is not. You’re right there as she slowly falls for Miles. You’re right there as everything crashes down on her. And you’re right there when she’s so very, very brave.

There is a bit of a paranormal twist to this novel, I must say. Which was kind of cool and unexpected, but there you have it. I think it made Made You Up all the more wonderful a novel to read.

Alex is a completely lovable character, in my humble opinion. She’s a wonderful amalgamation of different things, which made her very human to read about, and not very fictional. She’s sassy as heck and doesn’t take shit from anyone. But she’s also very scared and very vulnerable. There were times when I wanted to kick ass and take names with her, and there were also times I wanted to sit idly by and tell her that she was not alone. Alex really made me feel, and I think that’s one of the best things a novel can ever give you.

I have to just briefly mention that the way Miles and Tucker (good god, I think that’s his name forgive me if I am incorrect) handle finding out about Alex’s schizophrenia is just beautiful and YES. Yes, that is how friends should react. Just yes. So much love.

All in all, I’m very glad that Made You Up is out there in the world because it’s an amazing and diverse story that really opens your eyes and lets you step outside of what you know and dive deep into something you don’t (well, in my case).

© 2015, Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity. All rights reserved.

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Posted on: May 20, 2015 • By: Chiara

16 Responses to Review: Made You Up by Francesca Zappia

  1. I SO NEED TO READ THISSSS. It’s my birthday soon so I’m going to practically beg for it LOL. There’s not much else I want to say except that I neeeeed this book, haha.

  2. I’ve been hearing such good things about this one and after your review, I’m even more intrigued! I’ve never read a book about schizophrenia so that’ll be interesting, plus I’m always after a good, diverse read. Must hunt down a copy!

  3. Mitchii G. says:

    It’s nice to read book that deals about mental illness, especially schizophrenia. How the person with it deals everyday life that’s what I really appreciate about it. It’s a bit confusing but understandable because of the theme. :D

  4. Annette says:

    So now I want to read this novel just so I know how to react when someone tells me they have schizophrenia, because I’m not sure what the perfect words would be, but I feel like I should learn what they are. Alex sounds like an amazing main character – and I love books that make me feel… I’m not sure I can handle a “mindfuck novel” with a “paranormal twist” though. My brain can only handle so much. I’ll have to think about this one, save it up for a day when I’m well rested and prepared to deal with the trauma! Great review honey.

    • Chiara says:

      There aren’t specific words that her friends use, but they are just so accepting and nonjudgemental, that it was so lovely.

      To be honest, it’s no as confusing as it could have been, and it’s 100% worth the read. I hope you get around to it one day, Annette!

      Thank you :D


    I want to read this book right now, in fact. I love what you said at the end about stories that allow us to step out of what we know and dive into stuff that we don’t know about which is why I am so giddy now.

    This book sounds kind of creepy, twisted? Ahhhhh. Adding this to my TBR list right nowwwwww.

  6. Shelly says:

    Yay, I’m so happy you liked this one too! It’s amazing!

  7. Romi says:

    You did it. Of course you did. Chiara, I can predict that I’ll want to read every book you adore. You just sell them so darn well! From the moment you mentioned what Alex sees as part of her schizophrenia I was sold. Because it’s confusing and beautiful and the way you felt about this character being maybe made up and maybe real is making ME anxious to find out the answers, ALL OF THE ANSWERS. So yup. I’m there. On goodreads. Waiting to find a copy somewhere. Amazing review. xx

    • Chiara says:

      Awh, yay! That makes me so happy, Romi :D

      I really hope you can find a copy to read because this book is amazing on all kinds of levels, and we must flail about it!

      Thank you, lovely ^.^

      Also, I got your email :D I just take a ridiculous time to answer, but I will sometime this week, I promise <

  8. This book sounds so good. I’m just hesitant to read it because I really shy away from books that deal with problems real-life people I know had/have. Still, I might brave it, especially if this is carefully and respectfully well-done. As well as just beautiful in general. That cover, too, is begging me to read it. I might just…

    • Chiara says:

      It IS good, Mallory! :D

      Ah, I can understand that. All I can say is that I think the author confronted the issue really well.

      And yes, that cover is simply gorgeous, and I love it.

      I hope you like it if you ever do get around to reading it :)

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