Review: Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

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Genre: Young-Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 385
Series: None
Release Date: May 30, 2017
Publisher: HarperCollins

Star

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Eliza Mirk is shy, weird, and a loner. She has no friends in the “real world”. Online though, she’s the creator of the famous webcomic, Monstrous Sea. She’s a part of two worlds but when her webcomics biggest fanfiction writer transfers to her school, those worlds collide. She likes Wallace but she can’t tell him that she created Monstrous Sea. That is, until the secret is revealed on its own and her life splinters.

But before that bad stuff happens, Eliza is living the good life of being a total Grumpy Gus. And yes, that’s sarcasm.

Eliza’s life isn’t bad but it’s not perfect either. She hates school and has no friends there, and she complains constantly about her home life. Part of it is warranted because her parents have a tendency to refer to her webcomic as just a hobby and her online friends as not “real” friends. They don’t understand that just because the people are online doesn’t make them any less real. But at the same time, Eliza doesn’t exactly give them a chance. She complains that they don’t try but every time they do, she snaps at them and treats them like an inconvenience.

So they’re both partly to blame for the problems, and even though Eliza’s whining, about something that could be a lot better if she just tried, gets old, she’s a teenager and that’s basically her job. She’s relatable because I remember being like her. Teenage years are shitty but she’s dealing with them, and it’s written very well.

The writing in the whole book is really good. The author does a good job with Eliza’s voice. The story is, as you’ve read above, very interesting and especially relatable for fandom peeps. For me, it did he job that Fangirl couldn’t; I felt connected to the characters and the things they cared about. I loved both Eliza and Wallace, and found their relationship to be adorable. They were both a little awkward and a lot shy. They both had their flaws, and problems to deal with, but they understood each other and were so cute.

The illustrations, from Eliza comic and the little excerpts from Wallace’s fanfiction, that were given between chapters… the final touch to make the book complete.

In the end, the only issue I has is that I wish the pace has been a little faster. That’s it. Everything else was great and I highly recommend that you give the book a shot. It’s a beautiful and heartfelt coming-of-age story and I especially recommend it to teenagers.

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