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Publisher's Summary

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 Eight 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?

©2015 Francesca Zappia (P)2017 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Debut novelist Zappia presents readers with a wholly unreliable narrator, [but] the characters all seem authentic, thanks to Zappia's careful attention to detail." ( Booklist)

What listeners say about Made You Up

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Captivating

The audio on this book was amazing the character voice were really well done and the story captures u in

2 people found this helpful

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My favorite book

I love the narrorator. Thanks to her voice and the story and the emotion it has become my favorite book. I encourage giving it a try!

2 people found this helpful

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Amazing

This is one of the best audiobooks I've heard in a while. The main character's illness hit close to home, and by the end, I was ugly crying.
#mentalillness #tearjerker #mustread #sweepstakes #tagsgiving

1 person found this helpful

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A DISGRACE TO AUTHORS AND MENTAL HEALTH EVERYWHERE

This alleged "author," a loosely used term in this case, has the AUDACITY to portray a devastating mental illness as some cute-ass quirky thing. Like this little middle school girl walks around with a camera and is like "oh man there weren't squirrels in the picture I took so they aren't real." Bitch, schizophrenics NEVER know that they have schizophrenia or it wouldn't be so hard to deal with...? Also it's predominantly in males and develops around early 20s- like did you even look up what schizophrenia was before you wrote this? LOL I have schizophrenics in my family and they have tried to MURDER my whole family. Schizophrenia isn't cute. This is a disgrace to literature and to mental health. Do the world a favor and NEVER write again. I mean, I guess you're okay with being an "author" who only writes trash to be cute to make money- way to go, congrats, I'm sure yo parents are so proud that you disgraced schizophrenics everywhere. Sigh.

1 person found this helpful

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amazing

I loved this book! I struggle with SP which is in not nearly as bad as schizophrenia because I only see things when I'm sleeping or waking up but often after an episode I will go through the day wondering things like what is really real? I love Miles character and how amazingly understanding and cool he was. This book is wonderful I highly recommend it.

1 person found this helpful

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My new favorite book

I could not put it down and finished it in 2 days! The narration was beautiful, the characters detailed and unbelievably relatable. This is not the kind of story I usually read but I absolutely loved every minute of it. I don't remember the last time a book made me feel so many things so deeply.

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Engaging, somewhat inaccurate

The main premise of this book is dear to my heart- a high school girl who struggles with schizophrenia and is unable to tell reality from hallucinations. I struggled with mental health issues quite severely when I was around her age, and though I’ve never suffered from the severe and chronic psychosis that is the hallmark of schizophrenia, I have experienced hallucinations and delusions. Oftentimes I question what is real. So I could deeply understand what Alex was going through throughout this book. That being said, schizophrenia isn’t portrayed completely accurately here. The main focus is on Alex’s hallucinations, which are incredibly vivid, last for up to years, and include entire people who talk to her. From my understanding (unlike as is portrayed in A Beautiful Mind and other films about schizophrenia), schizophrenics usually don’t see entire people- particularly not over long periods of time. Even schizophrenics with very vivid visual hallucinations (which is somewhat rare) only see things like visual distortions. The majority of schizophrenics have auditory hallucinations. The book only scarcely refers to Alex’s delusions, another core component of schizophrenia that I think was primarily glossed over. And there’s no mention of catatonia, negative, cognitive, or disorganized symptoms, all common components of schizophrenia that many laypeople don’t know about. I don’t know how much research the author did for this book, but I get the sense it wasn’t that much. I feel like the author was more focused on the story than the mental illness portrayal, which was fine with me, because at least she portrayed a schizophrenic as a sympathetic character and not a violent monster like most films/books do. I could also deeply emphasize with Miles, a character that Alex swears she hallucinated. Miles is a genius who is also suggested to be autistic, and though I’m no genius, I am also gifted and autistic, so I could relate to a lot of his personality traits. As for the quality of the writing, I zipped through this audiobook in no time- it was that well-written and engaging. I thought this book was very well-put together, though it suffered some predictability (particularly in Alex and Miles’ interactions) as well as many events and people that seemed just too dramatic and outlandish to occur in a high school. There was also a plot twist- of which I was guessing throughout most of the book, as I was aware there was a twist but I didn’t know what it was- that I thought was relatively well-done (as an avid fan of psychological thrillers and horrors, mostly in film form, I am quite familiar with plot twists, and I’ve come to a conclusion- there’s either the good plot twist, where it makes sense and there are little hints at it throughout the story, or bad plot twists, which make no sense and were never foreshadowed, or were foreshadowed but blatantly so. This was a good plot twist.) I did guess the twist, but only right before it was revealed. Some of the characters felt one-sided, but the main characters were well-developed. Ultimately I would recommend this book for teenagers and up.

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Story was okay, narrator was eh

the story was a little too out there for me. there were too many unlikely things that made this story unrealistic, even for an unreliable narrative. the woman who narrated this sounded like she should be doing kid children's books, not reading for an 18 year old.

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One of my favorties

Made You Up is one of my favorite YA contemporary books ever. I read this when it was first released and I loved it. I recently bought the audio version of this, and just finished listening to it. I found that my love for this book was still there, so I thought it was the perfect time to review it!

This book follows Alex, a teenage girl with schizophrenia. Her paranoia and schizophrenia makes her question everything and everyone. She takes pictures every time she sees something a little out there so she can look back on it to make sure what she was was actually there. She is unreliable, kind of judgmental, and flawed, but fierce, and I loved her.

Another character we meet is Miles, the King of Pranks. He isn’t like the usual characters you meet in contemporary books, I think. He’s a smartass, offbeat, and extremely driven. He’s got a frosty exterior, but above all he’s lonely and heartbroken.

What I really appreciate about this story is the fact that there’s no insta-love. In fact, Alex and Miles don’t even like each other when they first meet. The way they progressed from nemesis to friends to eventually more was very natural. Also, Alex isn’t “magically cured” here. Making friends and falling in love doesn’t cure Alex from her schizophrenia.

While this isn’t as fast-paced or action packed as a fantasy novel, this is one of the most exciting contemporary books I’ve ever read. There were twists and reveals that kept you on your toes and moved the story along great.

I love these flawed characters with all my heart, and I’m glad this book still manages to make me smile and cry all these years later.

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Pretty good listen

Overall, I’d say this was worth the listen. There were some parts of the storyline that were kinda weird/confusing, but other parts had me still invested in the story. As some other reviews had mentioned, it’s not a completely accurate portrayal of schizophrenia, so I would definitely recommend to keep that in mind while listening. But yeah, overall it wasn’t bad!