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 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. 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?
Nothing is what it seems in Zappia's debut novel. Diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenic at age 14, Alexandra Ridgemont, a senior entering a new high school after an infamous graffiti episode, meets Miles, a boy she believes she conjured in childhood. Her uncertainty and the pressures of a new school create an unraveling of the barriers between imagination and reality. Told from Alex's perspective, Zappia's story submerges readers into a world where they, too, are left unsure of what to trust. As the stakes get higher for Alex with obstacles that include a principal who fanatically worships a scoreboard, a fellow student buckling under family pressure, and her mother's threats of hospitalizing her the truth continues to blur. Despite support from Miles, who comes to her aid even as he struggles with an abusive father and alexithymia, Alex must push past increasingly frightening hallucinations to uncover a surprising secret. Though some of the novel's big revelations are easily guessed and loose ends left dangling, Alex's sardonic voice and the rapid, Heathers-like dialogue will hold readers' interest. Ages 14 up.
I recommend this book!
Lovely book! It kept me wondering. It also made me want to know what was real and what was only her imagination. I would most definitely read it again.
Could not put the book down once I started reading it. You really get to understand what it’s like to have her mental illness and how life altering it can be. I would highly recommend this book to anyone.
This book is so well done. I loved it. It’s gets you inside the character’s had and her condition. I loved it. Gives you chills as well