The prologue of this book really captured me, so I decided to read something outside of my usual fantasy/science fiction realm. Which I don’t do often, especially not for straight contemporary. I guess an argument could be made that there are elements of fantasy sprinkled throughout this story since our main character has schizophrenia and isn’t capable of separating reality all the time. I don’t know if the author is portraying this particular mental illness authentically, having no experience with it myself, but I did appreciate having the different point of view.
That said, this book did remind me why I don’t generally seek out contemporary. I definitely prefer my rambling day-to-day scenes to include magical creatures or exotic plant life to make it more interesting. I also couldn’t get behind the romance or the parents’ reactions. I spent a large chunk of the book frustrated! But I did finish it, so there was something that held my attention. Just can’t quite identify what that something was.
I would recommend this book to people who like contemporaries, or want to see high school through a much different point of view.
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.