Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Books I've Loved: Made You Up

As you've probably gleaned if you're a regular reader, I'm a sucker for an unreliable narrator.  And in this book, the narrator is about as unreliable as you can get.  Alex is schizophrenic and every day is a struggle as she tries to keep reality and delusion straight.  And she's desperate to do it, at least long enough to finish high-school and get into college.

But things start to unravel when she meets Miles and is certain she's met him before - in the hallucination that sparked her initial diagnosis.

I loved the way delusion and reality wound around each other in this book.  And how things that were so absurd they had to be delusions turned out to be real while things that seemed so mundane wound up being the things Alex hallucinated.

It's a book I wanted to just keep reading because every turn of the page revealed something new and different and amazing, and I really wanted Alex to hold things together long enough to make it to graduation.

If you don't believe me, here's the blurb…

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.


  1. It sounds really interesting to see the world through the eyes of someone with schizophrenia. And unreliable narrators are always fun.

  2. This sounds like a great book - I'll definitely be adding it to my 'to-read' list.

  3. Well, I like the cover...but an unreliable narrator just doesn't work for me. I'm not very patient. (Amusingly, I changed my major from psychology to film because I knew I wouldn't be able to listen to people whine about their problems and then make zero effort to fix them, which is sort of the definition of being mentally ill -- doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.)