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Publisher's Summary

Reality, it turns out, is often not what you perceive it to be - sometimes, there really is someone out to get you. For fans of Silver Linings Playbook and Liar, this thought-provoking debut tells the story of Alex, a high school senior - and the ultimate unreliable narrator - unable to tell the difference between real life and delusion. Alex fights a daily battle to figure out what is real and what is not. Armed with a take-no-prisoners attitude, her camera, a Magic Eight 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. She's pretty optimistic about her chances until she runs into Miles. Didn't she imagine him? Before she knows it, Alex is making friends, going to parties, falling in love, and experiencing all the usual rites of passage for teenagers. But Alex is used to being crazy. She's not prepared for normal. Can she trust herself? Can we trust her?

©2015 Francesca Zappia (P)2017 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Debut novelist Zappia presents readers with a wholly unreliable narrator, [but] the characters all seem authentic, thanks to Zappia's careful attention to detail." ( Booklist)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

totally shocking twist that i didn’t see coming.

lovely coming of age tale that uses mental health to push along a real to life story. doesn't make fun of mental health but shows it in a truthful light.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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***

My soul!!! This was such an amazing book. I wish I had fancy words to use in this review like Miles would... but I am forever Alex: a little crazy, but all heart.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Shook Me Up

I selected this book because it's narrated by one of my favorites - Amanda Ronconi. She uses her singular voice in an understated way that somehow states everything.

But the story! It's charming and scary and twisty in spite of following the usual romance (girl meets boy, girl dislikes boy, etc.) rules.

Alex is the new kid. It's her senior year and she's spending it in a (really weird) mean kid high school, AND she's coping, not always successfully with schizophrenia. Despite therapy and meds, she's not always sure of what's real and what's not. That's why she carries a camera with her at all times, snapping the hinky stuff all day long. This does not increase her popularity very much.

There are some very strange things happening at her school - or are there? - and Alex is determined to get to the bottom of various mysteries. But the endeavor is like peeling an onion. Or maybe like spinning plates on sticks. Or herding snakes.

Ms. Ronconi does an amazing job with a genre that is dramatic and funny and dark. The whole thing is just splendid.

Highly recommend.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

was a little slow at first

it was a little slow at first but picked up for sure. worth the listen for sure

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Loved this book

I loved everything about this book. I want more. Fantastic job. Can't wait to read more of Francesca's words.

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    5 out of 5 stars

Really great

I love this book it's amazing highly recommend this book it has to be one of my favorites and also really great narrative

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Speechless

This is one of the best books I think I have ever had the pleasure of listening too. Every chapter brought something new and exciting to the mix, even if it was small. It managed to surprise me, which I throughly enjoyed, when the author revealed who wasn't real. I really recommend this book to anyone who is thinking about getting it. Truly a work of art.

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amazing

I loved this book! I struggle with SP which is in not nearly as bad as schizophrenia because I only see things when I'm sleeping or waking up but often after an episode I will go through the day wondering things like what is really real? I love Miles character and how amazingly understanding and cool he was. This book is wonderful I highly recommend it.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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I kept waiting for it to get good...It didn't.

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

I'm an adult that (sometimes) enjoys YA but the writing here felt very juvenile. Maybe it would appeal to the 'younger' crowd.

Would you ever listen to anything by Francesca Zappia again?

I would give it a try but would not stick with it this time if I found it so juvenile/boring.

What about Amanda Ronconi’s performance did you like?

Amanda was a great narrator. She is definitely not the problem with this book. She is easy to listen to and brings the characters to life.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

I thought the overall plot was unique and interesting. You do not see all that many fiction books, especially YA, with a plot around mental illness (Albeit, it wasn't done particularly well).

Any additional comments?

Maybe I'm just a fiction snob but I kept waiting for this to get good and then when I hit the end I was super disappointed that I wasted my time.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful