2017 releases · YA

Fandom, Online Communities and a Bit of Awkwardness: Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

Another book that left me feeling confused.

I am sure all of you have heard of Eliza and Her Monsters. It was one of the biggest YA releases of last year and everyone and their mother absolutely loved it. It was compared to Fangirl (one of my faves) and a lot of people related to it and found it amazing. Did I feel the same (spoilers: kind of, but not really)?

fandomsMy favorite part about this book was how amazing the whole fandom representation was. If you did not know, this book follows Eliza Mirk, who is the anonymous author of one of the most famous webcomics – The Monstrous Sea. I think that the way the author managed to portray The Monstrous Sea fandom was spectacular. From the excitement for when the new comic would come, to forums and author-audience interactions, and back to merch – it was all handled really well and it seemed realistic to me. I recognized some of my own experiences with online communities and getting involved and discussing your favorites with other people online and connecting through these experiences. That was definitely the highlight of the book for me.

theromanceworksI really enjoyed the romance in this one. I think Wallace and Eliza work great together, they have a lot of chemistry on page and I think their relationship is super cute. Even though they’re both kind of awkward and their interactions are sometimes too, I couldn’t help but root for them. I started liking Eliza way more once Wallace was in the picture, because she lost some of her “I don’t care, I am over it” attitude and I think they really complimented each other as characters. So that was another plus in my book.

eliza sucksI really don’t like Eliza as a main character. I find her to be incredibly selfish and self-centered. She is also whiny and sort of likes to feel sorry for herself, while also completely ignoring the people who care for her and want to be there for her. While I liked that the author wanted to portray that Eliza’s so dedicated and involved in her comic that she has tunnel vision, I just could not get on board with the rest of her character. Also, the constant repetition of how weird and strange she is so exasperating. This is told in the first person so I don’t want to hear the character constantly bashing me on the head with fact that they’re weird. Show me her weirdness, don’t let her tell me. Also, Eliza does a very stupid thing at the end which annoyed me to no end. It makes me think that she wanted to get attention which is awful in the context of what’s going on.

iffywritingI didn’t really enjoy the writing style all that much.  It was clippy and sort of awkward. The dialogues and the way the author set the scene were kind of strange and it took me a while to get used to them. I had to actively be like “it’s fine, ignore it, you’ll get used to it” so I could get into the story. I got used to it, but the writing wasn’t really compelling to me and I did not quite enjoy it. Also, the ending was sort of rushed, and there’s an instance that mentions suicide near the end, and since it was so rushed, I feel like suicide was handled poorly there. Because it was brushed over it was made to feel insignificant, which I don’t think was the point and the author handled suicide in previous parts of the story well. It just did not work out at the very end.

verdictOverall, there were some amazing stuff here. The fandom, the concept of the story, the romance really worked for me. However, I did not really like Eliza as a character and the writing left me feeling annoyed at times. I would still recommend this to you, because it’s worth a read definitely, it just didn’t completely grab me.

Final verdict: 3.5 stars

anythoughtsI would love to hear your thoughts as always. Have you read it, how did you feel about it and all that stuff! Let me know!


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12 thoughts on “Fandom, Online Communities and a Bit of Awkwardness: Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

  1. Hi! 🙂 This was the first book I’ve read in this new year and I liked it, I think I liked it quite a lot (it would not be one of my favourite reading of the year, but still… I enjoyed it), but I agree with almost all the things you wrote. I loved the fandom parts, I think that they are really well done, and I liked a lot Wallace, too. I think he’s sooooo sweet! And I agree with you about the main character too, but I liked her nonetheless. She wasn’t the best ever, but all her faults made her more real to me 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve heard of this one, but haven’t read it. Sorry it didn’t wow you as much as I’ve heard it did for other people, but it’s great (for me, as someone who hasn’t read it yet) to read such a balanced review. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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