Made You up

Made You up

Book - 2015
Average Rating:
Rate this:
"Armed with her camera and 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"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York, NY :, Greenwillow Books, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers,, [2015]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780062290106
Characteristics: vii, 428 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm


From Library Staff

Alex, a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic, is starting her senior year at a new school after having been expelled from her old one. She hopes to start fresh with no one knowing she is mentally ill. She still has visions and delusions, but she has developed her own methods of separating fantasy fr... Read More »

From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Sep 30, 2020

What an amazing book! Made You Up is well written taking the difficult subject of mental illness and making it accessible to a young audience by weaving it into the life of a high school student trying to find her way in a new school. Alex suffers through the usual angst associated with high school, but wondering all the while how much of her new life is real and how much is imagined. If you read this story, have a few tissues ready because it will grab your emotions and not let go until the very end. The climax was a little hard to follow, not knowing how much was really happening in the story and how much Alex was imagining, but without a doubt, this story is well worth reading.

Sep 14, 2020

The novel 'Made You Up' is about a teenager named Alex, who was diagnsed with schizophrenia when she was young. Despite her struggles with mental illness, she is determined to start a new year at a new highschool. Due to her need for community hours, she ends up joining a club where she meets Miles, their leader, and a bunch of other students soon to be her friends. This novel is an amazing portrayal of different mental illnesses (including more unknown ones, like alexithymia) and what it's like to be a teeanger dealing with these things. There's friendship, romance, and an amazing sense of storytelling clear all throughout the novel as the characters strive to solve a mystery and help their school. Reading this story, I ended up devouring it within the day. It's incredibly attention grabbing, difficult to place down for even a moment without wondering what Alex will need to deal with next. It's a story a lot of people can relate to, and it uses powerful imagery and amazing language to draw the reader in. The main characters, Alex and Miles, are very well rounded, and go through a lot of character development, their relationship with each other coming across as very realistic and immersive. The only complaint I could bring up, is that I wish some of the side characters had been expanded on more, and explored a bit more deeply. I recommend 'Made You Up' to those who wish to see a better portrayal of mental illness in media, those who are a sucker for romance, and those who want to view the universe from another point of view. It's definetely one of my favorite stories now, and I imagine Alex and Miles will be stuck in my head for a while. If you enjoy this story, I recommend checking out more of Zappia's works, as she's a very underrated author despite her talent in writing. 5/5 @Reaper of the Hamilton Public Library Teen Review Board

pacl_teens Jul 28, 2020

“Made You Up” by Francesca Zappia is a story about a teen with schizophrenia who struggles to tell reality from hallucinations. It follows the protagonist, Alex, through her senior year of high school as she deals with school, friendships, and her new interest in Miles, the boy she thought she imagined years ago by a lobster tank.
This book is a mix of romance, mystery, and realistic fiction. Like Zappia’s second book, the writing was engaging and interesting. The plot was original and the plot twists were actually unexpected. The characters and their actions made sense, and they had unique personalities. This book also tied in themes of family conflict, resilience, and what it means to live.

However, there were several things which I did not enjoy. The representation of high school life, stress, and relationships were not realistic. Alex mentions taking multiple challenging courses, but school never occupied much of her life. Furthermore, both Alex and Miles were supposed to be smart, but the way that the author demonstrated this was by having the characters sprout vocabulary words or play twenty questions and know obscure dates and names of people in history. There was more telling than showing when it came to describing how smart the characters were. The second thing that I did not enjoy about this book was the whole schizophrenia aspect of it. Even with the limited amount of knowledge that I have about mental illnesses, many of the ways that Alex lives with schizophrenia did not seem realistic. She always has her camera with her, her therapist was portrayed as somebody evil, and she only seemed to experience hallucinations and paranoia (and none of the other symptoms associated with schizophrenia like disorganized thinking, delusions, or abnormal motor behavior).

Overall, this book was pretty original and engaging. I thought it was an interesting read, and I enjoyed it. I would recommend this book, since it was well written and much better than some of the realistic fiction books that I have read before.
-Valerie, Grade 11

Jan 28, 2020

Alright guys and gals. I accidentally read Made You Up somehow not knowing it was a sick lit book because I tend to try (and fail to avoid those) and don't know enough about schizophrenia to comment on whether it's an accurate or harmful betrayal so I'll keep this brief.

This book was sweet. Which maybe it shouldn't have been considering the subject matter but maybe we also shouldn't be trying to decide what type of protagonists get to have sweet stories.

It was cheesy and cliche and tropey as all heck so if you're into that give it a read. I read it in the middle of an angsty book spell so I liked it but if I read it in the middle of a contemporary stint I might have found it to generic. I think the biggest obstacle this book has to deal with is how sweet it is. Zappia wants to tell a heartwarming, light story and maybe doing that with a protagonist who's main plot line and character growth centers around mental illness wasn't the best backdrop for that.

IndyPL_SteveB Aug 17, 2019

Terrific first novel, told from the point of view of a teenage girl with paranoid schizophrenia. Alex has moved to a new high school for her senior year, after having spray-painted “Communists” on the gym floor of the old school. She links up with a group of outsiders, including Miles, a young man she thinks she remembers from an incident when she was seven. She also unwittingly becomes the enemy of a school leader, a young woman who seems to have her own emotional problems, including an obsessive mother.

And here is a key to the book: “thinks” and “seems”. Alex knows she is schizophrenic; the reader knows she is schizophrenic. But neither Alex nor the reader knows when Alex is seeing reality or when her mind has made things up. Talk about an “unreliable narrator”! Alex takes photographs of everything so she can compare reality against her hallucinations. Pictures stay the same; hallucinations soon disappear from the pictures. She wants to go to college; but she needs to keep track of reality to do that – at least match HER reality with that of the students and teachers around her. She is taking medication for her illness, but that may also be unreliable. Challenging and involving.

Apr 02, 2019

This is an incredible book, it gave me insight into mental illness I hadn't had before. The writer addressed several issues that have become very common among teenagers. Like mental illness and various forms of abuse and bullying, how people treat others who have mental illness and most of all how to cope with a mental illness like schizophrenia. My favorite line is by Tucker "My dad call his patients normal people with a few extra quirks.". The book is set in Indiana, it never says specifically where but Goshen is a few hours from the main characters hometown. It may be very vague so that it is more relatable. Hillpark reminded me of New Pal High School. five stars!

Mar 08, 2019

Dangerously inaccurate in its portrayal of schizophrenia and very poorly written.

Oct 10, 2017

This book was extraordinary. Made me cry in my class with how the book messes with your mind. I do suggest this to anyone. Made me very inspired to start writing again after being stuck in a rut for a while.

Sep 25, 2017

I really enjoyed reading this book. I loved how it left you questioning what was real...if any of it was real.

Sep 25, 2017

A 2017-2018 Missouri Gateway Readers Award nominee (grades 9-12).

Starting your senior year of high school at a new school is hard enough but having paranoid schizophrenia that is not completely controlled too is probably too much.

I have no idea how I feel about this book and part of that is the parent in me being outraged that a parent would put their child in this situation. Her parents knew that her schizophrenia was not under control and let her go to school anyway. They didn't make sure she was taking her meds every day, and they let her live with a pretty huge delusion.

View All Comments


Add Age Suitability
Jul 02, 2018

white_wolf_80 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

May 06, 2018

helenw1975 thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

Jul 17, 2017

brown_heron_2 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings


Find it at DCPL

To Top