Thursday, May 28, 2015

'Made You Up' by Francesca Zappia


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.

The characters were amazing.
Alex was the cool sort of crazy. She did a lot of weird things. The Freeing of the Lobsters. Crimson Falls. Many different things. And her mental illness didn't overpower her personality. It complemented her person. The paranoia. Checking for tracers in her food. These were common place with Alex. And it highlighted the caution she took. I thought her mental illness made her special. Different. Not all characters have melded their problems into their life as seamlessly as Alex has. And her voice. Sassy and quick. She was clever. But also very...closed. She was reluctant to like Miles. Alex had a good voice. And I liked her character. She relied on people. And people relied on her. The question that lingers is whether the world you read is reality or not. For her, I mean. Is Miles real? Tucker? Who is real? Who is just a figment?
Miles was mysterious. He reminded me of a friend. His personality was different. The good kind, though. He was dark. Closed off. Standoffish. I thought that was amazing. I am a huge fan of dark and mysterious. And Miles fit the bill. People were scared of him. (And I'm not sure I would rather be loved or hated.) He wasn't good with emotions. (I can relate to that. I found out recently through careful self-examination that I'm not very strong in the empathy area. Woohoo! People who don't work well with others. People who can't comprehend emotions! FTW! WE RULE! But yes. That's true. I'm not perfect, never said I was.) There was just something about him. His past. His present. It lured me in. His personality did the rest.

The plot was interesting. It seemed to follow the pattern of nothing happens, reveal, and reaction. Like with Alex's sister. And McCoy. And the snake. You felt like nothing else was coming. Then wham! Everything is there. It seemed like the story was tricking you in every way. Deceiving you. Making YOU, as the reader wonder what was real. This was a story you had to keep reading. It drew you in. Kept you wanting for more. The reveals shocked you. You were clinging to the pages. Every word captivating. That was this story. The plot was fascinating. So many things happened. You had to know how Alex would react. Would she be surprised? Smug? Happy? Depressed?
I started wondering what WAS real. Or is nothing real? Is this ALL a dream? I had to read more carefully. I had to focus. The story made you do that. Questioning reality in general.
The question is...what is reality?

There was a lot of drama. But not a lot of action. Not that I didn't enjoy the drama. It was great. Edge of your seat. I had to continue reading. There was so much happening. You needed to know. What happened? What now? The urge to know overtook anything else. If I could, I would read the entire thing in one fell swoop. (School sucks. It gets in my way.) There could have been some action scenes. Or something. A fight scene? Cat fight! Doesn't that seem...interesting? I would be glued to the page.

The romance was a bit unexpected. I didn't expect it. Why? The two didn't need to be romancing. Each other or someone else. They were troubled. Troubled plus romance? Hell. It doesn't always work.
I will say this. These two were good for each other. It seemed to work. They could help each other. They lost themselves in each other. It was crazy. Wild. I wasn't sure. These two could work in the end. Somehow. Someway. They were two puzzle pieces they didn't fit with anyone else. They had something.
Alex did change. I thought it was a good change. A crazy change. It wasn't bad for her, though. She seemed happier. Better. She had someone to rely on. Perhaps that's what she needed.

The ending was satisfying. I felt like it worked. Alex got what she wanted. Miles and a better future. I thought that was good. It suited the book. It made me happy to see her happy. Kissing and loving. In love. Crazy in love. It was odd. But the romance...worked. Somehow. I'm not sure how. There were no more questions. Nothing I wanted to ask.
She got her happy ending. In an odd way.


Sunny with no clouds

No comments:

Post a Comment