Saturday, September 16, 2017

Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia Review

Title: Eliza and Her Monsters
Author: Francesca Zappia
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Series: Standalone
Star Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

I borrowed this book from my local library and reviewed it.

I've heard many good things about Eliza and Her Monsters, and it's been sitting in my library stack for a while. When I was finally able to bump it up to the top of my stack, I was so stoked. (I'm waiting on It to come in from the library, per my best friend's request!) The actual experience of reading this novel, I'm not sure what word I would use for it. Wise? Cathartic? It was weird and wonderful and tender, alive with both Eliza's voice and the gorgeous, quirky illustrations. It also really struck a chord with me; as someone with severe social anxiety and a deep longing for friends, online and off, I really related to her, and I was cheering for her throughout the whole book. Eliza and Her Monsters has left an indelible tattoo on my heart and soul, and I will never forget it! With this book, Francesca Zappia has become one of my new favorite authors! One of the best books of 2017, hands down!

Eliza Mirk is not your average high schooler; in fact, she's famous online for creating the wildly popular webcomic, Monstrous Sea, moonlighting as the ever-popular LadyConstellation. But despite her rich inner life online, she's considered an outcast at school and even within her own family. But her life changes forever when she meets a Monstrous Sea fan in real life: Wallace Warland. As the two strike up a swift, tentative friendship, Eliza begins to realize that living a life offline might not be so bad, until her two worlds, once so clearly defined, begin to collide. When her world shatters, she is brought to rock bottom again, and she begins to wonder: Is it really possible to have both?

This book. This book was just so good! I can't believe it took me this long to read it. I'm so happy that I was able to read it before I took it back to the library. I loved the unusual format, and the way the story was told in both tender, gorgeous prose, and beautifully rendered illustrations. It made me so happy, to have a glimpse into the comic that Eliza put so much heart and passion into. But even more than that, I loved Eliza and her sweet, oblivious, loving family. The character development was so rich and real, and I was rooting for Eliza throughout the whole book. And the relationship between her and Wallace! I was dying. I'm a huge sucker for nerd love and this book really went all out on that trope. I also really liked the way mental illness was handled in this book; all too often, it's treated as a joke or indelicately. And the ending! Gah, someone kill me! It was so beautiful and bittersweet! Easily one of my favorite books of the year, hands down! Highly recommended to fans of Rainbow Rowell and Stephanie Perkins! The bottom line: A gorgeous, bittersweet and tender coming of age novel, Eliza and Her Monsters is one of my favorite books of 2017! Next on deck: Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo!

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