Cover Image: We Made It All Up

We Made It All Up

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

A great YA mystery thriller with lots of scary twists. I enjoyed reading this novel, but you have to be aware of some triggering content before picking up this book: Mentions of past Sexual Aassault, Talk of Homophobia (no slurs), Stalking, Slut Shaming

*Thanks to TBR & BEYOND Tours for the spot on the tour and to the publisher for the arc.
Was this review helpful?
The concept sounded so cool, but it ended up being really boring and sort of pointless. I guess the atmosphere was okay, but I didn't like or care about any of the characters, and I don't know if any of the characters cared about each other either.
Was this review helpful?
I wanted to love this book, the synopsis drew me in right away. The story follows celeste who has trouble remembering the night Joss turned up dead. I do like the alternating present day to past chapters and celeste as the main character. This books shows how much trauma can truly affect the mind, I will say I had a hard time finishing this book but i'm glad I did.
Was this review helpful?
This one started off interesting enough but kind of went off the rails? It was hard to understand or follow for some reason. I stopped feeling connected to the characters and their journey and ended up not finishing this one as I had no clue what was going on :(
Was this review helpful?
This book had such a cool concept that I had to pick it up. I mean two high school girls writing a fan-fic just speaks to my nerdy little heart. Unfortunately, I just couldn't like this book at all. Books that deal with sexual assault of children, slut shaming, self-harm, and homophobia are not for me. Being that this book is one of them, this is not something that I enjoyed. Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for this ARC, but this book was not for me.
Was this review helpful?
This book was an interesting read. I really like the dual timeline and the unreliable narrator. It was done well. I wasn’t a big fan of the characters and didn’t find myself really loving any of them other than Bram and we know how that went. Overall I enjoyed the story and think it’s a great read for young adults who go through so much.
Was this review helpful?
This book was so good. I enjoyed it from start to finish. A story becomes real life and it is scarier than these kids could have imagined. I loved the world building and the characters. The twists and edge of your seat moments were in good supply. Definitely check this one out!! 

Thank you @tbrbeyondtours for having me on the tour and to @littlebrown @margotfharrison for the #gifted copy for review. 

For more info on this tour and others visit https://tbrandbeyondtours.com/
Was this review helpful?
Let me have my fantasy...

When Celeste moves from Montreal to Montana, she doesn't fit in to the close-knit town of Kray. She quickly befriends Vivvy Kray, another social outcast, despite descending from the founding family of Kray. The girls begin writing fanfic-esque stories about their classmates, the dreamboat Joss and the brooding stoner Seth. Their stories go from sexy fantasies to a nightmare when Vivvy keeps pushing Celeste to make them come true. In an attempt to make their work a reality, things heat up between Celeste and Joss. When Joss is found dead the next day, a murder investigation is opened in the small town. There is a black hole in Celeste's memory of that night, and even Vivvy thinks it could have been her who killed Joss. By doing some sleuthing of her own, Celeste discovers that Joss, along with the rest of the town, had some dark secrets to hide. Will revealing the secrets reveal the killer?
I devoured this story, only putting it down when I absolutely had to. I loved the way everything was described in this novel, from the town, to the people, and everything in between. I liked the snippets of Celeste's past that were sprinkled here and there, and I felt so sad and angry about everything she went through. This story went back and forth between before the murder and after, and I loved the gradual build to what really happened that night. I highly recommend this dark YA thriller to anyone looking for a compelling read!

Please note that this book can be triggering for survivors of sexual abuse.
Was this review helpful?
I was pleasantly surprised by how instantly I was hooked into this and I could barely put it down. Needless to say, I read this within a few hours. I needed to know what was going on and what was going to happen.

I have to admit when I read the synopsis I knew I wanted to read the book because one of the main characters Celeste is moving to Montana from Montreal. I mean how could I pass this up. Although sadly there really isn’t much about the city a few places I know and have visited were mentioned.

The book is told in a dual timeline that is between now ( November 16th) and then (August 29th). It’s told in alternating chapters. This was done so beautifully and it worked for the storyline.

The storyline follows five characters throughout the book, Celeste (who has just moved from Montreal to Montana), Vivvy, Seth, Joss, and Bram (Vivvy’s brother).

The book opens up with Celeste, Vivvy, Seth, and Joss playing a game of spin the bottle and drinking in a cave. Celeste is not only drunk but has blacked out and can’t recall what happened apart from making out with Joss. She wakes up the next morning on a park bench. As Celeste is waiting to hear from Joss she soon finds out he is dead. She begins to question herself thinking that perhaps she did it. As the story progresses we see Celeste is trying to figure it all out. She would rather figure it out before the police come knocking on her door especially if she is behind it.

As the story progresses not only is everyone acting weird and suspicious but everyone has a different event of what happens. You also soon realize that this little town has a lot of deep dark secrets that they would like to remain secrets but will Joss’s death bring them to light?

I think I have only one critique about the book and that is I wish there was more of a backstory on Celeste. With all that, she went through I was curious to know what happened, in the end, to make her leave Montreal with her father.

I have to say that I really enjoyed the book and I loved trying to figure it out, to be honest, I was back and forth the entire book, although I did have my suspicions about one of them because as I was nearing the end I was thinking it was making sense but I was completely wrong. I love reading these kinds of books because they have you on the edge of your seat the whole time. I love books that make you think and this certainly did that.
Was this review helpful?
We Made It All Up by Margot Harrison is a chilling look into how people can confuse fantasy with reality and how trauma shapes who they become. The story follow new friends Celeste and VIvvy  as they begin writing a steamy fanfic about the local jock and outcast. As the fanfic progresses it gets more and more unsettling and begins to drive a wedge between the girls. Soon everyone has secrets and someone ends up dead. This book was very unsettling, but in a good way. It showcased the way small town secrets can hurt many people and end up affecting their lives down the road. I couldn't put it down and the ending blew me away.
Was this review helpful?
We Made It All Up is an explosive, page-turning novel! It’s incredibly intense and dark! Maybe a little too dark for young readers? This Upper YA Thiller is so twisted! 

So, please don’t get it twisted when I say that I had a difficult time falling into the flow of this book. The story is structured in such a way that slowly builds to gain and to hold the reader’s attention. 

Initially, the book was difficult for me to latch onto. But only in the beginning.  The story is told from one perspective, but every other chapter is a flashback. Once I got into the rhythm of the structure, I didn’t put the book down until the last page. Our main character can’t remember the past few hours of her life and Celeste’s missing memories may hold the key to finding a murderer.

For me, the downside to this book is that I figured out who the murderer was very quickly. 

Thank you to Netgalley, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers and TBR Tours and Beyond for the opportunity to review this amazing young adult novel.
Was this review helpful?
Thanks to the publisher for an eARC via NetGalley to read and review. 

CWs: violence, death, stalking, student/teacher relationship, SA (no details), talk about abusive relationships and being a victim, blackmail, hazing

3.75 stars

This was an interesting book. It’s told in two timelines, Then and Now. The Now timeline is a pretty straightforward mystery where Celeste (our narrator) has a blank in her memory and she might be the last person to see Joss alive. I found it compelling and interesting. I didn’t want to put the book down, and I had to get answers about what had happened to Joss. I liked Celeste’s character in this timeline of the story, and I liked watching her investigate the secrets of this small town and the other characters around her. 
The Then timeline was a bit weird for me. The whole idea of Celeste and Vivvy writing fan fictions about two of their classmates, Seth and Joss, was off-putting. It just felt creepy, and I got an overall bad vibe from Vivvy’s character. While I wasn’t as in to this timeline, I still found it moved pretty quickly and I was still interested in the story. I did like that Celeste was able to use the storytelling as an outlet for her own trauma, but it was still weird and I couldn’t get behind these fantasies they created. 
I wish that we’d gotten more concrete answers about what exactly had happened to Celeste in Montreal, and I would have liked to see her going to therapy or doing something to learn how to cope with her trauma instead of having it all bottled up and not telling everyone. 
Overall it was a decent mystery with a compelling writing style and a fast pace. The characters were interesting, and I read this one in a couple of hours.
Was this review helpful?
This book gave me strong Karen M. McManus vibes. It was beautifully twisty, and the use of fan fiction was super interesting. 

I was able to guess the ending about halfway through but that still didn't take away from the journey of getting there. Overall enjoyable and would recommend to fans of YA mystery.
Was this review helpful?
I love a good YA thriller, and I was intrigued by the summary of We Made It All Up, so I was excited to take part in this tour. This is my first book by Margot Harrison, but I’m definitely going to look at her backlist books now, too!

This book had a definite creepy, gothic vibe to it -- small town, creepy old house, and rich orphan twins whose family founded and named the town -- which is something I definitely liked about it. As with any mystery/thriller, it’s hard to review this book without giving anything away, but I will say that I really appreciated the storytelling method. It was told in alternating “then” and “now” chapters, of which I’m a big fan (the book I’m currently reading has the same setup!). In my opinion, it’s the perfect method for this story; since Celeste can’t remember anything past a certain point from the night Joss was murdered, we are discovering right along with her what happened that night and at the same time learning about how she first met Vivy, Sean, Bram, and Joss when she moved to the town a few months prior. It’s a great way to let the story play out and the facts trickle out. I will say the ending didn’t play out quite as I had guessed, and since I read so many thrillers, I always appreciate when an author can surprise me!

I really enjoyed this solid YA thriller with a creepy gothic vibe, and you shouldn’t hesitate to pick it up!

Rating: 4 stars!

**Disclosure: I received an early copy of this book from the publisher for purposes of this blog tour. This review is voluntary on my part and reflects my honest rating and review of the book.
Was this review helpful?
At several points this year have I pondered a perennial question, which many millennials will likely be familiar with: Am I too old for YA? Here is the thing: I love YA fantasy, but I am seriously beginning to question if I have reached my tolerance for rom-com, thriller-hype, coming-of-age stories. We Made it All Up had me asking this question many, many times.

We Made it All Up is a thriller-ish story of what can happen in small towns when groups of teens grow up together. It shares the anxiety of joining a new school, escaping past trauma, and finding friendships and first loves. However, it never really delivers on any of those promises fully.

As we are introduced to our narrator, Celeste, we also come to learn that she struggles to trust because of past trauma inflicted by an unknown, most often under-described person. On her first day at her new school, Celeste meets Vivvy, a social pariah whose family founded the small Montana town of Kray’s Defile. As Vivvy and Celeste become friends they also begin writing a queer love story between the most popular boy in school and the school stoner. Here is already where I began to wonder if I’d finish this novel. I texted a friend asking, “Would anyone actually do this?” For, as much as I fantasized about popular boys in high school, I never committed these fantasies to the page, much less shared those fantasies with my friends. Even by the last chapter, I was never rooting for any of the characters.  

I rarely write negative reviews of books because truly I am in awe of the talent and stamina it takes to create a story, pour your heart into writing it, and then seek publication. Truly, I am in desperate and eternal admiration. And I am hesitant to write anything too negative about We Made it All Up. When I began completing not finishing the book, I did what I always do: I turned to Good Reads. The reviews on Good Reads are truly impressive, with high praise and recurrent five-star ratings. So, this leads me to believe that my dislike for this book isn’t the book’s problem, and certainly not the author’s issue: it’s fully on me. As I navigate the world of being in my 30’s little of the content rings true for me. In fact, throughout We Made it All Up, I found myself rooting for Celeste’s dad, a scholar and researcher studying bats. Yes, I became that person.

Without revealing too much of the books’ plot, that is my review. Should you read this? It depends! Are you a jaded 30-year-old? Maybe not! But, if I was 15 years old again, suffering through high school drivel and social anxiety, maybe I would have devoured this book in two days. Who knows! What I do briefly want to share, before this review wraps up is that this book contains some serious trigger warnings

This book deals with themes of:

Sexual assault on minors
Child pornography
Incest
Stalking
Self-hatred and self-harm
Was this review helpful?
DNF @32%

Content Warning: Mentions of past Sexual Assault, Talk of Homophobia (no slurs), Stalking, Slut Shaming

Overall this just wasn't for me and I am not sure if it was my mood or if the content just didn't do it for me.
Was this review helpful?
An interesting told-in-two timelines story, with relatable characters and a have-you-guessing twistiness.

The whole idea of Celeste and Vivvy writing fan fiction about two of their classmates, Seth and Joss, was unique.
Was this review helpful?
Disclaimer: I received this e-arc and arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: We Made It All Up

Author: Margot Harrison

Book Series: Standalone

Rating: 3/5

Diversity: m/m romance… kinda?

Recommended For...: young adult readers, thriller, mystery, murder mystery

Publication Date: July 12, 2022

Genre: YA Thriller Mystery

Age Relevance: 16+ (romance, cursing, abelism, underage alcohol consumption, sexual content, bullying, death, parental death, child abuse, child sexual abuse, gore, fetishization, homophobia, suicide, sexual assault)

Explanation of Above: There is some romance in the book. There is a lot of cursing and some mentions and showings of underage alcohol consumption. There is some slight abelism mentioned, child abuse mentioned vaguely, child sexual assault mentioned vaguely, slight homophobia, and one mention of suicide. There is a very brief scene of sexual assault mentioned. There is some bullying shown in the book and death and parental death are mentioned. There is some blood gore shown in the book. Finally, there is a LOT of fanfic about these two boys and it leans into fetishization of the characters as them being in a gay relationship with each other but with the MC and another girl constantly wanting them to get together/seeing them as a sexual object/using their stories about them to write about their own personal trauma and personifying it onto them.

Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers

Pages: 370

Synopsis: Celeste is the talk of the town when she moves to Montana from Montreal, but the only friend she makes is Vivvy, the heir to the town’s name and a social pariah. Inspired by a passion-fueled school incident, they begin writing a love-story fan fic between the popular guy and the school stoner, one that gradually reveals Celeste’s past. While their bond makes Celeste feel safe and alive again, Vivvy keeps prodding Celeste to turn fantasy into reality. When they finally try, one drunken night on a dark mountainside, Celeste is the one who ends up kissing golden boy Joss. And Joss ends up dead.

Celeste doesn’t remember the end of that night and can’t be sure she didn’t deliver the killing blow. Could she still be that scared of getting close to a boy? Secrets are hard to keep in a small town, and even Vivvy seems to suspect her. Exploring the winding passages of the cave where Joss died, Celeste learns he had his own dark secrets, as does Vivvy. The town isn’t as innocent as it appears.

Review: This was an ok but strange book. For the most part I thought the book had an ok plot line and the story would have been great if a few things had changed in my opinion. I liked the creepy atmosphere of the book and I thought that the book did well to show how obsession can lead to some bad things.

However, this book was an absolute train wreck. The book is told in this back and forth style and it gets so confusing so quickly. It would have been better if a few chapters were in the past then one or two in the future, but constantly switching was awful. The book is also really hard to get into, but it’s also really hard to get back into. I left the book for a couple of days and when I came back, I couldn’t figure out what was going on for the life of me. The story didn’t stick with me and even with all of my notes I was completely at a loss as to what was happening and who people were. It’s an easily forgettable book in that regard. The book also made me feel extremely uncomfortable. I didn’t like the fetishization culture that was happening in the book and the book didn’t really resolve that issue in my opinion. The way the MC was writing about these two boys and then fetishizing them in public was awful and for it to be unresolved really made me not like the author. There’s a huge problem with fetishization in the book community and I just think that it could have been better done as a cautionary tale.

Verdict: Overall, I didn’t like it. I think that there are some salvageable aspects and this book could be something great, but it was not put together in my arc so I don’t have hope for it in the final version. It’s definitely not for me, but it could be for you!
Was this review helpful?
We Made It All Up by Margot Harrison
🍾🍾🍾🍾/5 Four outta 5 spinning bottles

Oh come on, we all played spin the bottle back in the day.

Right?

This book was a trip and I'm not sure why but I seem to accidentally be picking books with a cave themes lately. This one is no exception. 🤔

A girl from Canada moves to Montana after a "traumatic event." The story starts with partying in the woods and a game of spin the bottle in her new town. Playing with the popular boy and wondering how she got so dang lucky, basically. Oops, popular boy dies and she has no idea what happened.

From there the book flows with a then-and-now storyline. The back and forth is expertly done with tiny bits of new info being fed to us either thru flashbacks or fanfic the characters were writing.

I enjoyed it, honestly. For the first time in a long time I was wrong about the "bad guy."

I think.

The book left me guessing and kinda playing with the conclusion, trying to make pieces fit or complete a web not quite fully woven. I love that! I love being surprised or left thinking.

I did feel like the book had a slow start with me almost making me wanna hit fast forward to get more info. About half thru I didn't wanna put it down, though. 🙃

Recommend this book for thriller/mystery fans.

Triggers: blackouts, alcohol, drugs, assault, death, loss. PTSD, anxiety, self-harm. Sexual assault & homophobia. None overly graphic but could affect some readers.
Was this review helpful?
Review: I was drawn into this book from the very start. I couldn’t wait to read it do learn about Celeste and her attempts to fit in after moving to a new small town. She seems so small, and so sad, and you just know something bad has happened to her. I wanted so badly for Celeste to have someone on her side, soon cheering for her instead of a judging mother and an absent father. As things start to happen, I just wanted to yell to her to be careful, and think about what she was doing. I loved the twists in this book, and didn’t guess the who-done-it until the very end. I will definitely be reading more by Margot Harrison!

Favorite Quotes: “Sometimes where you are is just a step on the way to somewhere else…”
“My feelings tended to make themselves known by wrapping around my neck like pythons, never announcing their names.”
“Joss whistles behind the cedars, and his whistle splits the fabric of the world, fire and trees and sky. It splits me into two people, now and then. Before, I was watching; now I’m part of the story.”
“Grandstanding, eccentric people make it easy to be invisible; they suck up all the attention.”
Was this review helpful?