Made You Up by Francesca Zappia (428 pages)
Overview: Alex has schizophrenia which means that hallucinations are a major part of what she sees as reality. Some blend seamlessly into her world while others, like the phoenix who flies over town or the armed men who guard the school, are easier to distinguish as nonexistent. Through carefully developed procedures, Alex has been able to control her hallucinations and paranoia well enough to continue going to high school. Though there are certainly difficult times, the people she meets senior year at East Shoal High will forever change Alex's life for the better. Overall: 4
Characters: 4 While I read tons of mental health books, I had never read one with a main character coping with paranoid schizophrenia. It was a very interesting experience to live in her world of total uncertainty with her mind. I also love how Alex doesn't let her difficulties define her, and, while they are always present, she works to live her life to the fullest.
I also loved the friends she makes at East Shoal through community service club and class. Miles especially shines as he learns about Alex early on and is there to help her distinguish between what is real and not and help her cope with some harsh realities. Miles defies the flat labels that the school gives him and is the perfect second ingredient to the story.
Plot: 4 The plot was interesting but did throw me for a few loops. While I enjoyed reading about her mental health journey, it was hard for me to believe some of the events that actually did happen at the school. Going into this too far would provide too many spoilers, but I felt like Zappia took it a little far without having much of a point for it. At times, it just felt unnecessarily chaotic.
Writing: 4 The writing style had a strong voice that I enjoyed. It was light and easy to read which made the four hundred pages manageable. While I can't personally speak to the accuracy of the portrayal of the mental illness, I thought that she framed and executed Alex's story well. Click Here To Buy Now: Click Here
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