It has been a very, very long time since a book has had this much of an impact on me. Most of Eliza And Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia was such a light and fun read! But there was also a very serious and raw emotional edge that made me totally fall in love with this book.
Seriously, this is quite the read! I laughed, I got nervous, I scowled, I held my breath, I cried, but most importantly, I cheered!
I loved absolutely everything about this book, and I highly recommend picking it up and giving it a read.
If you have not read this book, I urge you NOT to continue on with this review OR read the goodreads synopsis OF the inside book flap. It all gives too much away! This is really a book that you need to go into totally blind so you can get the absolute most out of it!
My Thoughts on Eliza And Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia
This book was so real; the storyline, the characters and their interactions, the dialogue, the situations, the emotional reactions… everything was just so realistic.
I absolutely adored each and every one of the very well developed characters, even the ones that seemed a bit rough personality-wise. Eliza is a character that will always hold a special place in my heart. She was just so incredible to me and so relatable, even when she was in her darkest moments. Wallace was lovely. I really enjoyed seeing how his relationship with Eliza developed and that as readers, we got to learn more about him as time went on. Emmy and Max were very intriguing to me, especially where I have numerous “online friends” that I also talk to every day. The dynamic between Emmy, Max, and Eliza was so wonderful! I loved reading their chats and would very happily read an entire book that was dedicated to just their IM threads!
Then we have the family dynamics… Oh my goodness. I really can’t say much here because I don’t want to spoil anything (even though I urged you to navigate away from this review if you hadn’t read the book yet!). If you’ve read the book, scroll down to the spoilers section.
The pacing of the book was perfect. I was hooked from the very first paragraph and could not stop thinking about the book when I had to put it down. This is a book that could very easily be read in one sitting because it is so captivating.
The writing style is very easy to read and I loved the way it was organized as a story that flows from point a to point b, but has short blurbs of IM chats, emails, letters, and bits of the online comic mixed in. This really gave the book more depth, and again, made it so realistic.
On that note, I really enjoyed the online aspects that this book covered. Not simply with the online comic, but with fandoms and friendships. It was all so well done, especially the parents not understanding the appeal.
I found that I really related to Eliza’s character (which really doesn’t happen very often) because her anxiety in many situations was so similar to mine in the past. I couldn’t stop crying during one particular scene toward the end of the book because it really hit home.
I definitely need to say that I personally appreciated the way the author wrote about Eliza’s anxiety and panic attacks. It’s so rare for an author to really get this right while not sugarcoating or taking things too far. But Francesca nailed it.
My Favorite Passages from Eliza And Her Monsters
I made Monstrous Sea because it’s the story I wanted. I wanted a story like it, and I couldn’t find one, so I created it myself.
There is a small monster in my brain that controls my doubt.
The doubt its self is a stupid thing, without sense or feeling, blind and straining at the end of a long chain. The monster, though, is smart. It’s always watching, and when I am completely sure of myself, unchanged the doubt and lets it run wild. Even when I know it’s coming, I can’t stop it.
My heart jumps out of staccato rhythm in my chest and my stomach sloshes around like the great foaming tides of Orcus.
…happiness trickles from the crown of my head to the soles of my feet.
Of course, there are crude messages. Vile ones. Ones that don’t seem like they cam from a real human being at all, but some computer program designed to say things no person should say to another person. I read all of those too, like Pringles- they might be terrible for you, but once you pop, you can’t stop. This is a rollercoaster that only goes down. Near the end I feel like a hollow shell clicking a mouse, scanning words with aching eyes.
Maybe that’s normal. The things you care most about are the ones that leave the biggest holes. Nature doesn’t care if we feel so heavy we might sink into the ground and never be able to pull ourselves out again.
Broken people don’t hide from their monsters. Broken people let themselves be eaten.
Disappearing is an art form, and I am its queen.
I absolutely love how the brothers come together to support Eliza towards the end. Their sibling relationship reminded me a lot of my relationship with my brother growing up. While we certainly had our loving family moments, it seemed like we fought all the time while growing up. And phew… when we were both teens… that was intense. But then one day, our world was rocked and we turned to each other and became best friends.
Reading about Sully as he took the lead in informing their parents how badly they messed up and how Church chimed in with perfect timing was incredible. I was SO proud of them. But the moment that made me tear up and cheer was when Sully told Eliza that if she needed to talk, he was there. And then instead of leaving, he walked in and sat down next to her to just be there! Oh, my heart! That was such a powerful scene to me.
********** End of Spoliers
My Final Thoughts on Eliza And Her Monsters
I would very highly recommend this book! I cannot wait to reread it already. Five stars!
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Thanks for reading!
Have you read Eliza And Her Monsters yet? If so, what did you think?