Cover Image: We Made It All Up

We Made It All Up

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Member Reviews

I think those going in looking for the emotion and feeling surrounding the characters will appreciate this one more than I did. My expectation for a suspenseful mystery was trampled by the glaringly obvious direction the book was headed, so naturally that was a bummer. The writing is really well done, though, and I think the right reader will find this to be the perfect book if looking for an emotional read. We definitely needed more YA books like this back when I was a teenager!
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Although I enjoyed this read, it wasn’t what I expected. The book was more drama filled than thriller/mystery filled. The face pace of the story makes it hard to put down. There should be a disclaimer for sexual abuse triggers as well!
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In this novel, the chapters alternate between two different time periods with the same characters. There are the NOW chapters and the THEN chapters, which take place a few months prior to the others. You begin the story in the NOW, where there is a game of spin the bottle going on between four young people. The second chapter begins the THEN, showing how these four came to be a friend group and slowly working up to where the stories collide at the end.

For me, I greatly enjoyed the characters and the plot of the story overall. It was interesting and I wanted to know how it was all going to go down. Who killed Joss or was it an accident? Who has secrets to hide? Will the other three make it to remain friends? However, what held me back from a higher rating was the way the story was formatted. That bouncing back and forth between NOW and THEN every handful of pages was quite jarring, and made it hard to keep up with where and when the story was. For someone with ADD like me, the format is very hard to follow along with and I would have preferred something a bit more linear.
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This was a decent YA mystery. The story is told in a ‘then’ and ‘now’ format, and begins with the death of the town’s golden boy. The story takes place in a small town, that is hiding some pretty dark secrets. It also is about high school kids, so of course you have your stereotypical popular kids and outcast drama. The topic of SA does come up a couple times throughout but it isn’t detailed. The pacing and writing style were nice. The only real negative I have to say is that for all the build up, the reveal fell a bit flat for me.
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We Made It All Up is a story about a girl named Celeste who, in order to escape her past, has just moved to a small town in Montana from her home in Montreal. After one night of drinking and partying with Joss (the popular jock), Seth (the outcast drug dealer), and Vivvy (Celeste’s new best friend), Celeste drinks too much and blacks out. Waking up alone on a bench, the last thing she remembers is a drunken make-out session with Joss. Then Joss turns up dead. With no memories of what happened that night, Celeste is forced to investigate what happened to Joss herself. After all, she could be the one responsible.

This book took the unreliable narrator trope and just went off. Celeste doesn’t remember anything from the night Joss was murdered, and everyone in town is being super sketch about Joss’ past and about how he might have died. Throughout the book we’re introduced to several conflicting accounts of previous events and, just like Celeste, we are forced to try and figure out which parts are actually the truth. I think this type of narration invites of collaboration and connection between reader and narrator, adding a lot to the reading experience.

The narration jumps between past and present which is something I tend to enjoy as long as the timeline doesn’t get too convoluted (which it didn’t). There are also various chapters that are snippets of a Joss x Seth fan fiction novel that Celeste and Vivvy began writing early on in their friendship. These inserts weren’t particularly important for anything other than occasionally providing backstory, but they were a fun addition for readers who are into that type of storytelling. I do think readers who don’t enjoy fan fiction of this type might get annoyed at how frequently they show up, but I was fine with them.

There are some themes that are particularly dark, such as child sexual assault in the form of hazing, adult/minor grooming and harassment, and kidnapping/captivity. This is something I think all readers should be aware about before they dive into this.
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This sounded like a great book at first. I mean two friends writing fanfiction about two of their classmates? Golden. Unfortunately the lack of trigger warnings left a bad taste in my mouth. I read some really dark books, but I feel like a heads up is always nice. It was still a good story for the most part, so I still recommend it. I just want you to be aware of the following triggers before going into it: sexual assault of children, slut shaming, self-harm, and homophobia,
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This book! I had a hard time putting this one down. The suspense! OMG! It alternates chapters of now & a few months ago, teasing you with every page turn as to what really happened & whodunnit! I usually have it figured out by the middle of the book but this time I really didn’t!! So good!!
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Thanks Netgalley and Little brown for allowing me to voice my opinions on this story. 

First, can I say this is definitely the year of bomb complex stories. I love stories about people moving to new cities because It almost always mean we're gonna get tons of backstory to help us understand the MC motives and for this story it did just that and then some. 

You'll find yourself second guessing about who killed Joss, suspecting  just about everybody. The chapters are divided between the past and the present—which for some stories this form of storytelling hurts the story but in this case it helped tremendously to be told this way. 

I champion you to give this story a try you will not regret it.
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I have to admit, the first thing that brought interest to this story was that Celeste moved from Montreal, and I always like to read about people coming to or from the city I work in, where I live nearby.

But I can't resist a story about lost memories either. So it sounded like something I would love.

And how I did. Sometimes I felt paranoid, not knowing who killed Joss, suspecting everyone. The chapters are divided between the past and the present, and it helped build the momentum, but it also helped my paranoia. So many times I felt claustrophobic and I was panting like I was Celeste. I was so lost, trying to glue the memories together and find who might have killed Joss...

It is a complex story and it touches on bullying, homophobia, slut-shaming.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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 :(
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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.
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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.
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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/
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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