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.
First Line: "If I was good at the grocery store, I got a Yoo-hoo."
Review: I don't think I have ever read a book with such an unreliable narrator who was constantly blurring the lines of reality and I have to admit I absolutely enjoyed every minute of it. Made You Up dealt with mental illness. Alex suffers from Schizophrenia and Paranoia, she doesn't know what is real and what isn't and since she is narrating the entire novel neither do we the readers know what is real, it was a constant guessing game. Alex does take pictures of things that help her determine what is real, but even that isn't completely reliable.
Alex was such an interesting and likable character, she is getting ready to start senior year at a new high school after being kicked out of her previous one, she wants to be as normal as possible but due to her illness it can be hard for. She checks for poison in her food that her mother cooks, she is scared of Nazis, she does perimeter checks everywhere she goes and she is terrified that Communists are after her, and now on top of everything at her new school she bumps into a boy from her past who she thought was nothing but a figment of her imagination and she is unsure if he is real or not.
Alex and Miles were both very easy to connect with. They both were complex characters and just so different from the ones I'm used to reading about. I also liked that the focus just wasn't on Alex at school but also her home life. As for Miles, he is a genius, literally. He was a total jerk at first and everyone at school actually fears him and at first I did not like him but as you learn more about him you will definitely feel for him and his situation and eventually he became a favorite of mine, I loved how understanding he was with Alex, she couldn't have found anyone better.
Overall Made You Look is an unforgettable emotional read that I highly recommend everyone picks up.
~"He belonged in the land of pheonixes and witches, the place where things were too fantastic to be real."