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Made You Up

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  25,742 ratings  ·  4,070 reviews
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.

Alex fights a daily battle to figure out the difference between reality and delusion. Armed with a take-no-prisoners attitude, her camera, a
Hardcover, 428 pages
Published May 19th 2015 by Greenwillow Books
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Stenedria I have a feeling it's real. Like what Miles says in the book, he has to be real since he is impacting others around him--not just Alex. Others see him…moreI have a feeling it's real. Like what Miles says in the book, he has to be real since he is impacting others around him--not just Alex. Others see him, talk to him, interact with him. All of his actions (his existence in general) is real. I'm really glad the book was written that way instead of a plot twist where he really was made up. (less)
=^._.^= I think she saw herself as the lobster. In the end of the book she mentions that Miles got out of the tank and she didn't, so in a way she is still as…moreI think she saw herself as the lobster. In the end of the book she mentions that Miles got out of the tank and she didn't, so in a way she is still asking for help or waiting for someone to help her. She would always do references to how the lobsters were in the tank like if the reason why they would pile together was because they were cold or just wanted to be there for each other and that's how she felt like when she was with Miles, or something metaphorical like that.(less)
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Oh well, look at that! I created a new shelve just for this book: 0-star.

It disgusts me that an author would use all the symptoms of schizophrenia that seem "glamorous", "sensationalist" or ask for angst with so much as no regard for accuracy. It disgusts me that because of authors like that, people are clapping their hands, thinking this is accurate and sensitive while it is not.

In fact, it's so disgustingly inaccurate that I could use this book any time to give one of my professors or collea
Emily May
Nov 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
“Sometimes I think people take reality for granted.”

I stand by my earlier claim - YA contemporary is where it's at this year. I thought this book was excellent. Compelling, addictive, really weird and excellent. It was such an unusual novel; I can personally say I've never read anything quite like it and it's a great book for discussion. Such an unreliable narrator, constantly blurring the lines between reality and hallucination.

Alex suffers from paranoia and schizophrenia. Her world is full
Aimee ♥ | Aimee, Always
6 Things That You Will Love About Made You Up + A Note to Francesca Zappia

1.) The absolutely charming heroine, Alex . We have another unreliable narrator here, which I absolutely loved. But being unreliable isn't a reason not to connect with her. In fact, it was so incredibly easy for me to love her. Alex was sassy and sarcastic, but also troubled and with a lot of depth. To say that she had a strong personality would be an understatement.

2.) All of the feelings . This book was so emotiona
Oct 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
this is not a horror story, but it scared the crap out of me. it had me second guessing everything and gave me major trust issues by the end. but i think the unpredictable, and somewhat alarming, nature of this story is quite indicative of how i imagine mental illness can be.

i appreciate how mental illness has garnered more frequent representation and i think the trend needs to continue, if not increase. however, its such a sensitive topic, that if its not handled appropriately or accurately, it
C.G. Drews
I AM SO TOALLY OVERCOME WITH EMOTIONS RIGHT NOW. AGH. How do I even...what do I say?! How?! GAHLKJ FJAKSLDS GHARRRHRH. *ahem* I quite liked this book. It was confusing at times and I guessed many of the plot twists, but somehow I was so totally caught up that the 400-pages just flipped by in a flash and I wanted more, but I also wanted to cry, but I also wanted to rage. So basically YEAH ALL THE EMOTIONS. IT WAS REALLY GOOD. I FEEL LIKE I JUST GOT STABBED IN THE FACE.

So it's about schizophrenia,
May 17, 2017 rated it did not like it
Ugh. I wanted to like this. Really, I did. But it just...wasn’t in the cards. Or should I say...foretold by the Magic 8-Ball. (That’s a halfhearted reference to this book. Check.)

God, I’m literally intimidated by the thought of trying to review this. It seems so haaaard to put my thoughts into words. I’ll try. Kind of.

Let’s start with the good stuff, though. This book focuses on Alex, a high school senior with paranoid schizophrenia. I was hype to read ab
Aj the Ravenous Reader

"Everyone's interesting if you stare at them long enough."

I’m peeling off a hangnail from my pinkie as punishment for not having read this sooner. I didn’t even get to vote this for GR 2015 Best YA fiction because I’ve been putting this on hold assuming this was going to be another sad and heavy read about a sick or dying kid because I may have already reached my tolerance limit for these kinds of reads this year. I was wrong about this one. I was so wrong! Now, it’s too late and I’ve got no
Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘

"My throat tightened and my heart swelled painfully in my chest. Please don't let this be a delusion. Please let this be real."

As long as I can remember, I've always been fascinated by schizophrenia, and mental illness, for that matter. Although I've been unable to explain why for years, more that I think about it, more it seems to me that what attracts me so much is the fact that people apprehend and see the world differently, through the lens of their own perception. Perception that they c
Steph Sinclair
I loved this one. An unreliable main character that is both firece and strong in every way. Definitely make sure this one is on your list! Review to come!
Aug 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: mental-health
I finished a book after my week long slump that felt like I’d been in for eternity.
THANK YOU, Katherine for messaging me for a buddy read, otherwise I would’ve been stuck in this rut forever. 😆😘

(I’m going to celebrate by buying a book or six.)

‘Made You Up’ tells the story of a girl who suffers from schizophrenia. Our main character has difficulty differentiating between reality and her hallucinations and in order to cope with that, she takes pictures.

I loved the portrayal of mental health in t
Mar 24, 2017 rated it it was ok
Recommended to sunny by: literally EVERYONE
oh hi there, it is I, hater of the popular books loved by millions of people.

◇the beginning was actually really good
◇then Miles came
◇i hate Miles
◇a lot
◇i also hate contemporaries
◇but this one was "really good"
◇but it wasn't
◇it seemed like every other YA Contemporary, except the MC in this book had schizophrenia (how do you even pronounce that)
◇i actually liked alex and i enjoyed reading about her character and learned about her condition, but
◇and th
Elle (ellexamines)
Jul 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of non-toxic mental health narratives
Recommended to Elle by: ♛ may
4 1/2 stars. You know how I'm going to review this? Post my old thinkpiece on mental illness tropes in YA, and then proceed to go into how this book smacks it all down. Let's just call this a 5000 word essay on Why Francesca Zappia Is the Only YA Author I Trust With Mental Illness Narrative Framing Anymore. Seriously.


You know what trope I hate? The curing trope. You know what trope I'm tired of? The everything's-fine-until-I-go-off-meds trope. This book smacks
“Everyone's interesting if you stare at them long enough.”


Well, I’ll be damned. If I stare at this book any longer, I think I will throw it across the Atlantic Ocean for making me into this…...emotional hot mess. Speaking, of hot mess, I’m pretty sure this review will be one so, buckle up kids.


This book was quite a surprise. I DID NOT expect to have my bum bum blown away by the awesomeness. I dived into this book thinking it was going to be cute and cliche. Like
Aug 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
4 stars!!!

 photo IMG_1933_zpsnmgayn9u.png

Made You Up is a unique and riveting tale of a teenage girl named Alex. Alex is a teenager who is living with mental illness. She has schizophrenia and has trouble knowing what is real and what isn’t sometimes. I cannot imagine being in Alex’s shoes. The story was fascinating but equally terrifying knowing that people are dealing with this very serious disorder.

I loved Alex’s character. I thought she was fierce and honestly was trying to live her very best life, as difficult as i
Jan 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Not one for contemporaries but this one definitely made the exception. So beautifully written.
May 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
4 Stars!!

“Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one” – Albert Einstein


For some reason I’m always reluctant to start a YA novel and I’m always reluctant to start a book with this subject matter – mental illness. And no, not because I don’t enjoy them. In fact, I’ve always been fascinated by books about mental health. To be honest “Made You Up” was very different from what I expected. It’s a compelling, moving, refreshing story about a girl who lives in her own wo
⊱ Poppy ⊰
“What you loved as a child, you will love forever.”

Wow, I am shocked, i really didn't expect that it would be this good.

Made You Up is a book, that will make you question everything you know. It griped me from the very first page. I was real wary to read it, because Mental Illness book doesn't dwell well with me, because Literally in every book the illness is dragged, and i know it because its my it my field of expertise, we literally work hard to know and treat these patients and fo
Sarah Elizabeth
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

“My first-ever friend was a hallucination: a sparkling entry on my new resume as a crazy person.”

This was a quirky story about a girl suffering from schizophrenia, and her doubts over what was real, and what was a hallucination.

Alex was a sweet girl, and I felt quite sorry for her and what she was going through; being diagnosed with schizophrenia at such a young age, bei
Paula M

"Are you real?"

Right after reading this book, my feelings was all over the place. And if you don't know, when a book does that to you it only means one thing: the book is all kinds of amazing. Made You Up is such a powerful and poignant novel. It was engrossing to the point that the book is absolutely gripped inside your heart and the desire to let go... is nonexistent.

I love how unreliable our main character is. I'm the kind of reader who always puts herself
Aestas Book Blog
May 11, 2015 marked it as to-read
Shelves: now, not-yet-released
Holy shit!!!! OMG!!! Woah!!! This BLURB gave me CHILLS!!! I'm so intrigued and can't wait to read it!!

"Let's play twenty questions."

"Okay. But I ask the questions this time."


"If I guess it before five, I'll be really disappointed."

The corners of his lips twisted up in a smile and he said, "Don't insult me."

"Are you alive?"


"Do you live here?"


"Do I know you?"


"Did I make you up?"


Alex wages a war against her schizophrenia, determined to stay
Mayra Sigwalt
Apr 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Quando terminei de ler não consegui avaliar esse livro. O problema é q não consegui dormir por causa disso!!

A questão toda é porque fiquei em conflito. A leitura foi divertida, o livro me prendeu, o narrador que vc não consegue confiar e fica se perguntando o tempo inteiro se é verdade ou não. Acho q tem uns probleminhas na trama tbm, mas nada disso afetou meu aproveitamento da história.

Mas uma coisa q eu me perguntei durante toda a leitura "ahmm, então é assim q funciona esquizofrenia?" E bom
Cee (The Mistress Case)
How I know my Magic 8 Ball is reliable

*Before Reading*

Cee: Magic 8 Ball, will Made You Up try to kill me?

Magic 8 Ball: Concentrate and ask again.

Cee: You know? The kind where a book sucks the soul out of you, drop by drop, until you're on the floor rolling around in your own filth because you both love and hate yourself for picking up this book in the first place?

Magic 8 Ball: Reply hazy. Try again later.

Cee: Can you at least tell me if I'll like it or not?

Magic 8 Ball: Outlook not so good.

Dec 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Lexie by: C.G. Drews
Shelves: ya-contemporary
Well, then.

If this book was real, I highly enjoyed it.

But I trust nothing anymore, so... we'll see.

Real or not real
L A i N E Y ~back in a bit~
I don’t know what to say except that the only parts that made me feel anything was a very fictionalized version of events, as in if we live in “alternative reality” or something. (Huge FYI though, we are NOT.) And I guess as a person with a type of chronic illness myself, I have the right to say that it’s quite offensive to read.

If it was set in fantasy land then I would have felt okay and may have even given the book two and a half stars rating but as it is, one star from me.
Maliha Tabassum Tisha
Right now my heart feels like it's gonna explode with happiness!!! (:
“What you loved as a child, you will love forever.”

I love this book so. freaking. much!! It has such an interesting premise and such fun and pacy writing it gripped me from the start, which is pretty unusual for me in terms of YA contemporaries. This book is more than 400 pages long but the way I turned the pages one after the other ought to mean that it's a pretty quick read. However, I haven't had much time to rea
Chelsea ❤Peril Please❤

"You're Jetta."
He shook his head.
I frowned. "Theo?"
"Well if you're not either of them, you'd have to be me."
He blinked.
"It's me?" I said.
"I couldn't think of anyone else," he said. keep pace with my current obsession of flawed and/or tortured characters and unreliable narrators, I just had to read this. I can't even begin to imagine living in a world where I don't know what's real and what isn't. It's just unfathomable, to me. To look on my desk and see a spider, only to immedi
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

Hey look, it’s another book I read two months ago and never reviewed. Bonus this time – it was a library book (thanks a lot for denying me the ARC, NetGalley!) and my loan expired therefore erasing all of my quotes. Fail. Luckily my old lady brain didn’t sabotage me on this one so I can kind of halfa$$ review it. Lucky again that this is a book where the less said is better because SPOILERS so if this is on your TBR be careful wading t
Feb 03, 2015 rated it did not like it
Jesus fucking Christ.


This is by far the single most disrespectful representation of a serious medical condition I've read in a long time. Folks, please, please, please do not put mental illness in your books just to make your character more of a speshul snowflake. It's cheesy, it hurts, and it makes you look like an utter ass. Yes Francesca Zappia, YOU are behaving like an utter tit and I'm not afraid to shout it out loud.

NOTHING about how schizophrenia as it is portrayed in this book is accur
Norah Una Sumner
“If nothing’s real, then what does it matter?” he said. “You live here. Doesn’t that make it real enough?”

I don't think I'll ever be ready to fully review this book.The characters are so unique,the story is just captivating and there are so many twist that you won't see coming!Also,hate-to-love relationships give me life.But seriously,read this book as soon as possible,I guarantee that you'll love it if you love smart but a bit crazy and weird characters and a "oh my god my feelings
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Mental Health Boo...: June 2015 B.O.T.M 3 51 Feb 04, 2021 10:38AM  
YA Buddy Readers'...: Made You Up by Francesca Zappia - Restarting August 16th 2020 78 205 Aug 22, 2020 10:37AM  

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Writer of MADE YOU UP and ELIZA AND HER MONSTERS. Represented by Louise Fury of the Bent Agency.

Also wrote The Children of Hypnos serial on Wattpad (

Social Media: @ChessieZappia

You can find links to all my social media on my website,

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