Book report 5: “Made You Up”

In the book, “Made You Up”, written by Francesca Zappia, we learn that reality is a difficult thing to understand, and that everything around you could literally just be your imagination. Francesca shows this in the story by having the main character(Alex) be schizophrenic. That means she can’t tell the difference between reality, and her delusions. We get to experience her life as, for the first time, she goes to school. Alex meets boys, and girls, and other new people. Then she discovers a huge plot between a girl, her mother, and the principle. Alex then attempts to figure it all out. She gains friends while doing this, and a new understanding of everyone around her, particularly her sister. Then she discovers…none of it is real. The very way we are introduced into the story means that we don’t realise this until she does. And so the shock is quite great for her and us. Like realising she had completely misunderstood the plot. That her sister died 5 years ago, but her parents didn’t want to say so. Also, that boy she thought she imagined was real, but then she continues to think, and realises she might just be imagining that too. Also the fact that the girl’s mother had died years ago, and that the principal had in fact being making the girl do stuff she didn’t want to do. In the end, she goes to a mental hospital to seek help for her problems. And by the end of it, as it turns out…the boy was real, but by then we aren’t particularly trusting of her view of reality, and so it is left up to us, the reader, to decide if what she experienced was real, or not. 

The reader learns about the message the book tries to portray, by experiencing it in a way for themselves. Since we can only see the story unfold through the main character’s view of the world, we only ever know what she knows. So when Alex believes something to be real, then it is real. And when she says something isn’t real, then it isn’t real. But this reality we create is completely broken multiple times. By doing this, Francesca shows how reality really is, and how at any moment, it could turn out to be completely-false, or partially-false, or in fact, real when we believe it couldn’t be. And that understanding this reality for what it really is, is extremely difficult, and even impossible for some people.

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