Eliza and Her Monsters By Francesca Zappia
Publication Date: May 30, 2017 (HarperCollins)
Started Reading: September 5, 2017
Finished Reading: September 5, 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Her story is a phenomenon. Her life is a disaster.
In the real world, Eliza Mirk is shy, weird, and friendless. Online, she’s LadyConstellation, the anonymous creator of the wildly popular webcomic Monstrous Sea. Eliza can’t imagine enjoying the real world as much as she loves the online one, and she has no desire to try.
Then Wallace Warland, Monstrous Sea’s biggest fanfiction writer, transfers to her school. Wallace thinks Eliza is just another fan, and as he draws her out of her shell, she begins to wonder if a life offline might be worthwhile.
But when Eliza’s secret is accidentally shared with the world, everything she’s built—her story, her relationship with Wallace, and even her sanity—begins to fall apart. (x)
I talk about this a lot, but I am not a fast reader. I wish I could read more books a year but I’ve never been able to read many. Partly because school gets in the way but also partly because I only read when I am in the mood to read.
Last night I was reading the Mr. Robot tie in book when I decided I wanted to start one of the physical copy books I brought to school with me instead of the e-arcs that I’ve been reading for the past month (I also talk about this a lot, but, I am not a fan of e-books and struggle to get through them). I picked up Eliza and her Monsters after really wanting to read it since I bought it. I sat down to read it and finished the whole book in that one sitting!
Clearly, I loved it. EAHM had everything I love in a book: amazing character development, relationships that feel authentic, and a story that I have interest in. This story actually reminded me a bit of Queens of Geek, so I’m starting to see a pattern in books I love hahah (hint: I’m a nerd and love reading about nerds).
I became so interested in the story Eliza has created and the fanbase around it that continues to grow. It is such a relevant story to the YA community as so many of us are also either readers of webcomics (or something similar) or artists. Now I just wish I had a webcomic like Eliza’s that has the fanbase hers does that I can jump into! It sounded like such a fun community, I got a little jealous 🙂
Something else I appreciated with this is how much I related to Eliza and her having internet friends. I grew up in my teens with internet friends and they were such a big part of me growing as a person. But, there was also that side where Eliza’s parents didn’t understand it, and were constantly questioning the friends and whether they were real, if they should be sending packages to their house, etc. I think a lot of people can relate to this, myself included. My parents have never (and probably will never) understand how people my age can have best friends that we have never met. The writing in these bits was perfect and felt so familiar. Seeing such a positive depiction of social life through the internet and how amazing it can be to grow up with the internet is so refreshing. I would love to read more books like this!
Although I found the ending was a little rushed, the length of the book overall felt perfect. I find a lot of contemporaries that are around or over 400 pages can lag a bit and feel slow. I never felt this way in EAHM, each scene and character interaction felt relevant to the story and the development of the characters.
Something that always makes me happy in books, when there isn’t a surplus of characters! I really prefer when there are a set few characters that are really focused on so that their development can be the highlight of the story, rather than there be way too many side characters that it’s hard to keep up. I find when there is a smaller set of characters that I can connect to each character more and I find it easier to remember each of their traits, instead of always getting confused between who is who.
I know a lot of teens can also relate to one of the messages in this book. This book deals a lot with following a career path that will make you happy despite pressure from parents or other family members to take a path that will be “safer” in earning money. The weight of this decision being put on the teen while the adults in their life are constantly reminding them that what they want to do for the rest of their life, and what will make them happy, is not a viable option and they must choose something else is such a tough topic to cover, but is so relevant to teens around my age as they start to enter University. I think it was really great of this book to discuss this, I know for me it felt almost refreshing to hear other people with similar dilemmas.
I would highly recommend this to anyone who is also into “internet nerdy” things like I am. Also, as I mentioned, this book had a lot of bits that reminded me of Queens of Geek so I would also recommend to anyone looking for a book with a similar feeling that Queens of Geek had!
Well, this was quite rambly. Honestly though, please pick up this book, you won’t regret it!
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