Monday, June 01, 2015

[Blog Tour] Review + Giveaway: Made You Up by Francesca Zappia

Book Description:

Hardcover, 448 pages
Published May 19th 2015 by Greenwillow Books

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.

Reviewer's Copy: ARC

Source: Harper Collins(Thank you!)

My Thoughts:

Alexandra Ridgemont was an admirable character. Despite being schizophrenic, she was eager to get through senior year as normally as possible. She was cautious, observant and brave, in such a way that was right and just. She cared about other people, she supported her friends aka club mates in any way she could. I liked encountering such a strong and problematic heroine in Made You Up. She was flawed, and I like that about her - she seemed more realistic this way.

Miles' physical appearance reminded Alex of her first “hallucination” when a blue-eyed boy helped her free lobsters when she was a child. I perceived Miles as a slightly scary and unpredictable character. He triggered warning signs in my head, and always had me on the lookout for anything suspicious. But Miles was also attractive in his own way, a genius and a gentleman sometimes. Miles shed his stiff outer shell and showed his soft side later on in the story, only then I was able to understand his complexity. I loved how Zappia made her characters complex. She did not set things in simple black and white, there were a lot of grey areas, which would be explored, and I liked that.

Schizophrenia was a constant presence in the book: it affected the story in such a way that the reader would not easily distinguish what was real and what was not. I was attentive to all the details throughout the story, in an effort to spot what was part of the story and what was part of Alex’ hallucination. This trying-to-figure-out-what-is-real-and-what-is-not routing was something that I look forward to in psychological novels. It goes beyond the typical storytelling and adds a layer of unwanted additions on top of the story. It was the reader’s responsibility to get lost in the story and find his/her way out to the other side, to understand the main character and the plot as a whole.

Made You Up was enchanting to me. The story had a holistic aspect, as it explored various elements of the book; it tackled psychological problems, family dynamics, friendship and budding romance, and the line between reality and hallucination. But what I really loved was Alex and Miles' interaction and banter. The back and forth zapping of energy and tension between them, as they learned more about one another, was refreshing. They were unlike other YA couples that I have encountered so far. Alex was a paranoid girl who kept overthinking and over-analyzing Miles' words and actions while Miles was a genius who didn't let anything slip away. But then he was also not as sensitive and not as perceptive of others' feelings.

Made You Up is a heart-racing, suspenseful psychological concoction, with an ample dose of crazy, budding romance, pranks and, surprises and revelations. I highly recommend this to readers of psychological novels and contemporary romance. If you want something a little crazy with a dash of love, this is the book for you.


5 Cupids = Eternal book love.
I will never, ever, ever forget this book. I highly recommend this!

About the Author:

Francesca is a YA writer represented by Louise Fury. Her debut novel, MADE YOU UP, is out now from Greenwillow/ HarperCollins.

Follow Francesca: Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Facebook | DeviantArt

Francesca also draws! Check out her art - Miles and Alex from Made You Up!

Credit to Francesca Zappia | Source

Credit to Francesca Zappia | Source

There's a giveaway for an ARC of MADE YOU UP! One lucky Philippine resident will win this one.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I'm glad to hear Made You Up did not disappoint. I love grey areas, especially in character development and the fact that this turned out be a real-or-not-real novel just made me more excited to pick this one up! All the Bright Places's Theodore Finch is the only character I've ever read about that's schizophrenic so there's that. (The Heroes of Olympus series doesn't really count.)

    1. I love books with a bit of crazy! I think this might be the third book that I read with a schizophrenic people. :) It's much more interesting. Thanks for dropping by!

  2. I wonder whether there are instances when the reader can clearly see through a hallucination and Alexandra cannot. I haven't read any schizophrenic book yet so it'd be a thrill to check this one out. Joined the contest. Thanks for the chance. :)

    1. Sometimes I could! But then Alex always carries a camera to take pictures. This is what she does to help her distinguish what is real and what is not. Goodluck!

  3. High, girl!
    Wouldn’t ya love an endless eternity of aplomBombs
    falling on thy indelible, magnificent, vigilant cranium?
    An XtraXcitinXpose with no
    with an IQ much higher than K2,
    and an extraordinarily, sawcy, rowdy victory??
    Here’s what the prolific GODy sed:
    (what could be MOE exciting than the 3-Stooges??)

    “Faith, hope, and love,
    the greatest of these is love -
    jumpy into faith...
    and you'll see with love”
    Doesn’t matter if you don’t believe
    (what I write);
    God believes in you.
    God. Blessa. Youse -Fr. Sarducci, ol SNL
    Meet me Upstairs, girl, where the Son never goes down…

  4. What a fantastically amazing read! This story of a schizophrenic girl struggling with reality is not one to be missed.