Reviewed By: Eshadi Sharif, Class XI, Orange
MADE YOU UP by Francesca Zappia
Genre: Contemporary/Young Adult/Romance/Mental Illness
Goodreads average rating: 4.14/5 stars
My rating: 5/5 stars
“Sometimes I think people take reality for granted.”
Alex tells her story about her struggle to differentiate reality from hallucinations. Schizophrenic teenager tries to get through high school and all the drama that comes with it. The struggle is hard and only gets harder when she meets Miles- hadn’t she seen-no, imagined him before?
An Unimportant Reader’s Opinion:
Move aside John Green, Francesca Zappia is making her way to awe the Young Adult audience. Okay, in all honesty, I was never a huge fan of John Green and I really think Francesca Zappia deserves more recognition. This book will always have a place in my heart because it was just one of those books. You know, the kind of books you read and think, “Where have you been all my life?”
Firstly, I would like to say I’m not a fan of romance but the romance in this book was very unique. Alex is an unreliable narrator and does not know what is real and what isn’t. Miles isn’t one of those boys who the main character lays her eyes on and falls in love with immediately, no. There is something peculiar about him and the colour of his eyes, they remind her of a hallucination she had in the past.
Moreover, Zappia did an amazing job with her diverse and unique characters. One thing I really hate in stories sometimes is when the story completely revolves around the main character. However, you get glimpses of every characters’ struggles with their own battles in this story. Additionally, Zappia knows how to incorporate humor in her writing. As a writer myself, I find that it’s very difficult to create different characters with their own personalities whereas Zappia did an amazing job.
Secondly, there is a lot to learn from this book. The fact that the book is told from a schizophrenic’s point of view should tell you there’s a lot to learn from here. You can learn how aware a schizophrenic has to be and nothing can be taken for granted. However there’s more to it than just schizophrenia. You come across more disorders and anxieties. Furthermore, this book has a touch of history due to Alex’s parents’ characteristics and Miles’ background.
Furthermore, another aspect about the story which I loved is the setting and how relatable the story is. The story’s setting is in her high school, obviously but the struggles, such as bullying, which Alex and Miles go through individually and together are relatable. I mean, sure, Alex has schizophrenia and is naturally paranoid but who isn’t in high school? As students, we face social politics in school, which sounds funny, but in a way is true. How many of us have tried to become or completely avoid popularity?
“But-but what if this whole place”-I had to suck in air again-“what if everything is inside my head? East Shoal and Scarlet and this bridge and you-what if you’re not real because nothing is real?”
“If nothing’s real, then what does it matter?” he said. “You live here. Doesn’t that make it real enough?”
This has to be my favorite quote in the entire book. As a reader and introvert, I am not very fond of reality and believe it or not, I sometimes like to think that reality isn’t really real and the world in my head is. So what if the world I created in my head isn’t real? As long as I live in it, it is home.
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My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga
Goodreads average rating: 4.07/5 stars
My rating: 2/5 stars