Saturday, December 21, 2019

Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia ~ Review

Eliza and Her MonstersSource: Purchased.

Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

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.

I've had this book for nearly a year and have been wanting to read it for even longer than that, but I kept stalling. Partly because of my reading Mood. But also because I knew it was going to be a book that really hit home for me and I wasn't sure I was ready for it. That said, I'm so glad I finally picked it up because this book is truly a gem.

It's rare for a book to make me feel this seen. The last one to make me feel like this was Fangirl--though that isn't a direct comparison. Fangirl is a category of its own in my heart. But as a whole, this is like a more YA Fangirl and it was beyond lovely.

I picked Eliza and Her Monsters up and planned to just read the beginning. The first 80-100 pages. That way I could get into it enough to pick up easily the next day. But by the time I reached my first "this is where I'll stop" marker, I couldn't stop. So I kept going. And going. And going...until I finished the whole thing in one sitting way too late at night (or early the next morning?). I finished the book with a smile on my face and tears in my eyes. It was poignant, and I was so moved. 

The characters are so well done. Eliza is a teenage girl, and she is struggling. She's shy and an introvert and quite happy to spend her time working on her comic--the thing she loves the best. She's so realistically portrayed. Wallace is also very much a realistic teenage boy. He can be endlessly sweet. He can also have an attitude, and a bit of a temper when unhappy or overwhelmed. Neither of these two are perfect, but I did love them. 

I also was a huge fan of Eliza's brothers. I enjoyed seeing the evolution of her relationship with them throughout the story. How her perception of them wasn't quite accurate. How her interactions with them changed. Same goes for Eliza's relationship with her parents, though that was slightly different. 

Overall, Eliza and Her Monsters gave me many feelings. Some were warm and fuzzy, others were not so warm and not so fuzzy but very much real. I felt seen. This is a gem of a book that now has its own special place in my heart. And MAN, I can't stop loving this quote (and the whole last set of pages):

"There are monsters in the sea."

5 stars - A true gem.

1 comment:

  1. I loved this book! My daughter's name is Eliza, and the book character reminded me so much of her.