Made You Up

Francesca Zappia

Shelfie Score: 46%

Likeminded Reader Score: Login

Publisher: Harper Collins
Pages: 448


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 lit...

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Written Reviews of Made You Up (3)

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Shaunia Marek

The main character Alex has a mental illness, but can stand apart from it. Her illness is a part of her, not the other way around, where she's a part of the illness. The loved the writing style, as it reflected the way I think. Basically, Zappia wrote a sequence of events and wrote the character's reaction to it with a sentence or word. An example being "oh shit". It made me laugh. In fact, I enjoyed Zappia's humor. Overall a great contemporary with well developed characters and plot.

Ann Fernandez

This, my friends, is why I don't like reading books published prior to 2016 about mental illness. I only gave this two stars because it was an easy read to get through.

This book has a lot of problems, and also a bunch of unnecessary shit piled into it instead of shit that actually would've not only mattered, but would've made a difference in how people saw those with schizophrenia and their struggles.

I feel like this book kind of edited schizophrenia so that it would not only work as a cool plot twist but also cause some fun drama that was the definition of unnecessary. I genuinely only spent about half an hour looking up things about schizophrenia and already I feel I know more than the author who wrote a damned 400 page book about a girl with it.

Visual hallucinations are a rarity while, in this novel, every third page has a visual hallucination. There's also the issue of using delusions and hallucinations interchangeably, which is ridiculous. Delusions are beliefs on what you think is happening, and don't involve hearing or seeing things. I should know, since a member of my own family suffered from delusions at one point in time and she was convinced there was a camera in her bathroom. She did not see a camera, but she thought without a doubt in her mind it was there, somewhere.

And based on the little I researched, delusions are much more common than visual hallucinations, yet she seemingly only suffers from them once in the past. Even then, most of the dumb plot twists could have actually worked had it all been delusions in her mind.

The entire mystery sub-plot and abuse sub-plot? Entirely unnecessary, and really only there for the fun of shock value. I mean, most of this book was either unnecessary or completely boring.

Overall, disappointing on multiple fronts, and I can't imagine how someone who knows a lot more about schizophrenia than me would feel while reading this book full of inaccuracies and bending of the real illness in order to have a fun, quirky plot.


The characters are not very interesting, and from reading professionals' explanations, the portrayal of schizophrenia is inaccurate. I was incredibly disappointed by this book, however, I loved Eliza and Her Monsters by Zappia. I would recommend Eliza over this Made You Up every day of the week.


Bookaxe Characteristics for Made You Up

Character and Plot:

Characters in depth

Fast-paced plot

Language and Style:

Straight to the point

Language and style central

New Information:

Pure entertainment

Introduces you to new ideas


Explores the darker side of life
Light-hearted and optimistic


No swearing or violence etc
Frequent swearing and violence etc

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