Friday, March 11, 2016

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.

^ That pretty much sums up my thoughts on this book. It’s hands-down the most amazingestestestest book I’ve ever read in my entire life (sorry, Hate List, but it’s true). It was just . . . funny, and sad (occasionally COMPLETELY DEVASTATING) , and sweet, and JUSTSUPERSUPERSUPERAMAZING all at the same time. I don’t even know what else to say about it.
Where do I start?
The premise was really interesting. Schizophrenia is a condition that I’ve heard of, but I haven’t really gone out of my way to learn about it. The story’s about a girl who joins the “normal” world after years of experiencing things that are anything but normal--only to find that the life of an ordinary teenager isn’t always so ordinary. Some of the things that occur in this book are hard to believe, but I’m pretty sure that’s kind of the point. I had a hard time distinguishing what was real and what only existed in Alex’s head--I can’t imagine how hard it is for someone who’s more than just a spectator to it.
Zappia’s writing brings a humorous side to a somewhat dark topic. Her characters are complex and lovable (okay, not always, but even the less appealing characters had their reasons). The main character’s voice was both dark and light, both serious and hilarious, and totally and completely real. Mostly hilarious.

While Tucker stepped out back for his break, I commandeered his condiment armies. Gus’s cigarette smoke wafted toward the ceiling, pulled into the vent. The oscillating fan on the wall made the papers on the employee bulletin board flutter.
Halfway through my recreation of the Battle of the Bulge, I shook Finnegan’s Magic 8 Ball to find out if the German saltshaker would be successful in his offense.
Ask again later.
Useless thing. If the Allies had taken that advice, the Axis would have won the war.

I’m feeling like I really want to spoil something, but alas, I will abstain. I’m not even going to put a spoiler alert and then spoil it because if you’re like me, you may or may not ignore the spoiler alert and just read on (but that’s just me).
Anyway, I don’t know what else to say about this book. I guess I can say that . . . I loved it? I want to kiss it and hug it and marry it? Also the cover is super cool?
Yep, that should be about it. If you like books of any kind, or even if you don’t like books--READ THIS BOOK. The parameters for my recommendation: you have to be a living, breathing human (preferably with a heart, just so that this book can rip it out, stomp on it a few times, then put it back in and have a nice, long snuggle with it).
Rating: 9.5 out of 10.
Okay, that’s it, folks. Thanks for reading!
Till next time,
JC <3

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