Made You Up, Francesca Zappia
Published May 19th 2015 by Greenwillow Books
Hardcover, 448 pages
Source: e-ARC from Edelweiss
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.
For a girl that does not read a lot of contemporary YA, what I have been reading in 2015 has been phenomenal! Exhibit 1. All the Rage. Exhibit 2. The Walls Around Us. Exhibit 3. Made You Up. This book just went straight to my heart. Alex herself went straight to my heart and shattered it.
Alex is beginning her senior year at a new high school. We don’t learn right away what’s caused her to transfer but we know this is her last chance to prove that she doesn’t need to be hospitalized for her schizophrenia. What a weight to try to live with! While Alex is trying to balance school, work, and her mental health, she is also trying to just be a teen with a family and to maybe make some friends. And yet, Alex carries a camera with her so that she can look at printed photographs to see what changes. Are those armed guards surrounding school real? What about the snake looking at her from the ceiling tiles?
The ups and downs of this book nearly killed me. Alex’s story was emotional and moving, and yet also funny and so sweet. I loved the innocent romance. I loved the rivalry between the smart kids and I loved the friendships between the trouble makers.
The only thing that kept this from being a 5 star read for me was the very, very end. I just didn’t want it to end that way for Alex – and I thought the details could have been gentler. But details aside it was the right ending even if it hurt.
Have you read Made You Up? I need someone to discuss this with! Also, how pretty is that cover?
Thank you Greenwillow Books and Edelweiss for an advance copy in exchange for an honest opinion!