Monday, January 15, 2018

Made You Up by Francesca Zappia | Book Review

Reading Group: High School+

Synopses: Reality, it turns out, is often not what you perceive it to be—sometimes, there really is someone out to get you. For fans of Silver Linings Playbook and Liar, this thought-provoking debut tells the story of Alex, a high school senior—and the ultimate unreliable narrator—unable to tell the difference between real life and delusion.

Alex fights a daily battle to figure out what is real and what is not. 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 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. Can she trust herself? Can we trust her?

Cover: To be quite honest I don't really know what the cover of this book has to do with the storyline.  I don't remember a time when Alex is out in the rain.  However, I guess it's supposed to look like a painting which would have to be made by somebody, so that goes with the theme of the story.  But other than the fact that it's a very pretty cover I'm not sure what it has to do with the storyline.  Any thoughts?

My Review: I really enjoyed this book, and I'm glad that I got to start my year reading it because the message in it was simple and important: Everybody has issues in their lives.  Some people have medical issues, some people have family issues, and some people just have personal issues, but nobody has a perfect life.  I think that's an important thing to remember, especially at the beginning of the year when everyone seems to be rethinking how they're going to reinvent themselves and make this year better than last year.  This book was also funny, sweet, and serious.  Alex lives with a disease that makes it difficult for her to know what exactly is real in her life and what her brain merely has made up.  But in all honesty, don't we all have moments where we aren't 100% sure if things in our lives are genuinely ours or if they're just too good to be true?  Of course, a disease like schizophrenia makes that 18 times harder, but to an extent, I think we can all relate to Alex.  And she certainly isn't letting her disease stop her from living her life to the fullest, she just has to depend on the people around her who she knows are real to help her out sometimes.  Which brings me to the saddest part of Alex's story: the fact that her sister wasn't alive and hadn't been for four years.  I fell more in love with Miles at this part of the book though because he calls out her parents and he's totally right.  How could they let their daughter go on believing her sister was alive?  And the whole time they're worried that she's going to have another major episode, but don't think hiding this secret could be a trigger when the truth comes out, which it always does!  This book covers so many topics - Alex has schizophrenia, Mile's has an abusive father, Tucker has very few friends, Celia has repeatedly been molested by her principal who is love with her dead mother, and Alex's parents are liars - but somehow this book is still a sweet story of first love and self-discovery which is why I highly recommend you check it out next time you're at the library or book shopping.

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