Book Review: Made You Up
ashley | Nothing scares me more than the thought that what I know might not be real. I often have a sense of hesitation when I’m remembering things, wondering if what I’m remembering is true or if I made it up, which is why Made You Up by Francesca Zappia appealed to me instantly. Doesn’t hurt that the main character is a redhead, either. (Redheads unite!)
I wanted to like this book, I thought the concept of blurred realities would be fascinating, but honestly I don’t really know how I felt about it. It was a very strange, unreliable book. The strangeness was unique and definitely kept me on my toes, the unreliability of Alex’s narration because of her paranoid schizophrenia kept me guessing about whether what she was saying was really happening; certain situations seemed too wild to be true, while others just didn’t seem to make any sense at all. It was a big, chaotic mess of pieces that didn’t quite fit, which I guess was supposed to give you insight into what Alex lived with on a regular basis.
That said, sometimes it was this same strange narration that really turned me off this book. I found this was written in a kind of sing-song seriousness that made the whole “is this real” idea kind of a sarcastic joke. Which was confusing for me because I actually really liked the writing, I thought it was clever and included a lot of great phrasing and comparisons, but I couldn’t really take it seriously with the topic at hand. I thought it would level out to a sarcastic girl making light of an otherwise heavy situation, but it never did level out for me and the whole mental illness existence ended up seeming like just a stepping stone to create this strange little love story, like the addition of a mental illness was used as a character trait to set Alex apart from everyone else, instead of as an actual obstacle she had to overcome in her daily life.
Like I said, this was ultimately a strange little love story between Alex and Miles, the misunderstood bad boy who was a straight up jerk most of the time. The relationship between the two was complicated and all over the place, sometimes they hated each other, other times they were so chemically drawn to each other, it was all over the board. I didn’t hate it though, I thought Miles balanced Alex out pretty well and the two made a good team, as well as the club of misfits that they all hung out with. A mix of other interestingly strange characters.
So yeah, I don’t know how I felt about this book, there’s some really great things in here and I liked the concept overall, but there were some things that didn’t sit well with me, something I didn’t trust about it, or maybe that’s just Alex’s paranoia rubbing off on me.
May 19, 2015