5 Reasons Why You MUST Read "Made You Up"

Author: Francesca Zappia
Series: N/A
Genre: YA Contemporary
Page Length:  448 Pages
Publication Date: May 5th, 2015
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Source: eARC via Edelweiss (Thanks Harper!)
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.
A book that totally caught me by surprise, I knew I had to read Made You Up after all the praising reviews started rolling in. So why should you read this book?

1. Made You Up portrays mental illness in a different light. So often in books, mental illness is displayed in a crazy and violent person who ends up killing people or partaking in nefarious acts. Most people who have mental illnesses such as paranoid schizophrenia live relatively normal lives and aren't the evil people they're portrayed as in some novels. Made You Up is an honest portrayal of a paranoid schizophrenic's everyday life that brings both emotion and knowledge to readers.

2. We never know what's real. We feel firsthand how difficult it must be for Alex to distinguish between what's real and what is made up in her mind. This allows us to see Alex's colorful life filled with funny and sometimes scary visions of things that aren't really there. Some crazy revelations happen, and it's an emotional ride.

3. The cast is charming. The characters in this book have such diverse personalities. They aren't your typical YA characters. Each has his/her own quirks and mannerisms. Alex is likable and easy to relate to. Miles is complex and harder to grasp at first, but eventually you see the best in him. The secondary characters don't have as much of a role, yet they still shine through.

4. There's a mystery! Amid conspiracies, freaky accidents, spooky histories, and crazy discoveries, this book will keep you guessing until the end. I love how this book meshes such diverse ideas together. This is not merely a book about love or mental illness or a strange mystery, it's a story of life that blends it all together.

5. Made You Up has John Green's seal of approval. Contemporary King approves! Enough said. Even though I'm not a much a fan of his...

A sincere portrayal of schizophrenia with a complex and endearing cast, this book is definitely one that's heartfelt and eye-opening and should be on your to-read list.
Rachel is a teenaged unapologetic fangirl and perfectionist.

She loves reading for the escape it gives from reality and enjoys crying over books, swooning over characters, and laughing out loud over funny lines. She is a semi-recovering Netflix addict and a middle child of three.

You can find her on Twitter @yaperfectionist & Goodreads.


  1. I'm not much a fan of John Green either but nonetheless the cover has gone as far as intriguing me and making me want to know more. Great points and I'm starting to love books about mental illnesses.

  2. I started this book last year but ended up putting it on hold for another book I wanted to read (totally forgot what it was lol). That being said, I'm really excited to pick this book up again soon since I really like the writing style, and now I'm much more excited to continue reading it because of your review. <3

  3. I actually read this book when it came out and I loved it so much, it was a 5 stars read for me.
    Some scenes, and one particular where that relevation came, you know what I mean I think), stuck in my mind even today.
    I approve your post! ;)

  4. I loved this book too! This book had such a shocking ending. I'm also not a big fan of John Green.
    Vivien @ Pages of Wonderland

  5. I am so glad you read this and loved it! I absolutely loved the portrayal of mental illness in the book and the ending was crazy shocking. I knew Alex was unreliable as a narrator, but still, I was not prepared for one of the twists. Crazy!

  6. I've heard such good things about this book and I always think it's great when a book represents mental illness honestly and accurately. Wonderful review!

  7. You've convinced me, especially because I love a good mystery. I definitely want to check this out at some point. Thanks for the review!

  8. I completely agree Rachel! This was such a great book, and I loved how it portrayed mental illness in such a realistic and honest way. And the fact that we never knew what was real or not kept me guessing the entire way through. Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous review! ♥

  9. mental-illness + unreliable narrator + mystery = must pick this up right now. This books has been on my tbr for months!! I really should read this!!

    czai @ the Blacksheep Project

  10. I loved this book so so so so so so much. Seriously, the first line about red lobsters got me hooked. Completely <3

    I'm so glad you enjoyed this Rachel :)

  11. I really must read this book! I love unreliable narrators with mysteries, because it makes them so much more interesting, and I love trying to work out what's happening. The way mental illness is portrayed sounds very important, and it's obvious from your review that the author has done their research. My sister owns this book too, so hopefully I'll be able to pick it up soon! Lovely review ♥

    Denise | The Bibliolater

  12. I read this one when it was released and I head over heels loved it like crazy! I thought it was a brilliant portrayal of mental illness because her mental illness wasn't the plot itself, but something that affected the plot. Just how mental illness doesn't become someone's life, but just affects it. I can't wait to read more from this author.


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