I Don’t Know What’s Real Anymore // Made You Up by Francesca Zappia


Real: This is a Fascinating Book

I don’t know nearly as much about schizophrenia as I would like – really, beyond the whole “seeing things that aren’t real,” that’s all I know on the subject. The fact that this book was about a girl struggling with the disease, a battle she’s been dealing with her whole life and not simply recently, definitely made me want to pick up this book. I want to know more about all kinds of mental illnesses, and this is one of those kinds that I feel like everyone knows of, but very few people really know about it. There are other elements to this story of course, but this fascinating look at schizophrenia was the main draw for me, and is what really interested me throughout the whole book.

Not Real: This Book Always Makes Sense

I didn’t always understand what was going on and what was and wasn’t real, but however frustrating that might be to me, I feel like it really just added to the tone of the story – after all it’s literally about a girl who can’t always tell if what she’s seeing and hearing is real or not. This is just one of those books where I can find myself getting frustrated, but it felt genuine, like I should feel frustrated and confused because then I could relate to Alex better.

Real: The Cover is Gorgeous

I know, I know, this is a shallow reason, but the cover really is gorgeous, and the inside matches it. There are sketches for each chapter heading, like Magic 8 Balls and lobsters (they make sense in context, they’re not just random, whimsical art), and the cover’s beauty stretches across the front and the back. So, even if you aren’t such a big fan of this book, you can at least stare at it and love it that way.

Not Real: The Romance is Perfect

I don’t quite know how I feel about the romance, but I think that’s partially because I never really knew what I thought of Miles – which goes back to how the book often messed with my head. It seemed a little cliched at times, and then way too over the top. They had an intriguing relationship, but I don’t know if I always bought it as a romance.

Real: My Concluding Thoughts

This book wasn’t perfect, but I did enjoy it. We need more books about all kind of mental health problems, and those books need to reflect those issues as much as possible. I think this book did a very good job of doing that, and I’d love to reread it at some point and see what I think of it a second time around. I can’t wait to see what Francesca Zappia does next.

MadeYouUpTitle: Made You Up

Position: Standalone

Author: Francesca Zappia

Genre: Contemporary


Rating: 4/5

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.



4 thoughts on “I Don’t Know What’s Real Anymore // Made You Up by Francesca Zappia

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