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Eliza and Her Monsters

Eliza and Her Monsters

Écrit par Francesca Zappia

Raconté par Caitlin Kelly et Kate Rudd


Eliza and Her Monsters

Écrit par Francesca Zappia

Raconté par Caitlin Kelly et Kate Rudd

évaluations:
4.5/5 (376 évaluations)
Longueur:
8 heures
Éditeur:
Sortie:
May 7, 2019
ISBN:
9780062911438
Format:
Livre audio

Description

Eighteen-year-old Eliza Mirk is the anonymous creator of the wildly popular webcomic Monstrous Sea, but when a new boy at school tempts her to live a life offline, everything she’s worked for begins to crumble.

Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl meets Noelle Stevenson’s Nimona in this acclaimed novel about art, fandom, and finding the courage to be yourself. “A must-have.” (School Library Journal)

In the real world, Eliza Mirk is shy, weird, and friendless. Online, Eliza is LadyConstellation, anonymous creator of a popular webcomic called Monstrous Sea. With millions of followers and fans throughout the world, Eliza’s persona is popular. Eliza can’t imagine enjoying the real world as much as she loves her digital community.

Then Wallace Warland transfers to her school and Eliza 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.

Éditeur:
Sortie:
May 7, 2019
ISBN:
9780062911438
Format:
Livre audio

À propos de l'auteur

Francesca Zappia lives in central Indiana. When she is not writing, she’s drawing her characters, reading, or playing video games. She is also the author of Made You Up and Eliza Mirk’s favorite, The Children of Hypnos, a biweekly serial novel posted on Tumblr and Wattpad. She also blogs about writing at www.francescazappia.com


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376 évaluations / 31 Avis
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Avis des lecteurs

  • (4/5)
    Eliza lives with a sitcom family of annoying siblings and health-nut parents who just “don’t get it”. They don’t get computers, they don’t get the Internet. They think the way to live life is out of doors, socializing face to face. And that’s not the only place to find friends and success. Especially for severe introverts like Eliza.Eliza is just a high schooler who writes a webcomic. A damn successful one. From the sound of it, it’s on par with Penny Arcade and xkcd in terms of popularity, but more dramatic (and made in manga style with space-existential elements). But on the Internet, no one knows you’re a dog, and Eliza’s anonymity keeps her creative. Then she meets a new student, accidentally defending him against some bullies, and learns he’s the premiere fan fiction writer for her comic.This is a story about two people who find each other and bond through the thing they both like. It’s like a John Green/Rainbow Rowell hybrid, which is high praise. I loved it. This is a great cozy romance for people with social anxiety. They don’t follow predictable stereotypes. They make bad decisions, decisions that hurt people, not Hallmark-movie pulled punches. I heartily recommend reading it.
  • (5/5)
    High school senior Eliza has been publishing an incredibly popular webcomic for years--anonymously. Only a handful of people know the identity behind the person known as LadyConstellation, and Eliza likes it that way. She keeps to herself in school and spends most of her life online, where she has not only tons of fans but a few genuine close friends. Then one days she meets Wallace, a new kid at school who is demonstrably into her webcomic, but who doesn't know that she created it. A lovely, page-turnery exploration of teenagerness, first love, fandom, creativity, family, and mental health ensues. I tore through this and loved every second of it. It's up there with [Fangirl] among fandom-adjacent YA for me. Recc'd if this is your bag.
  • (4/5)
    Eliza Mirk has one goal: get through her senior year of high school while remaining as invisible as possible. Ironic given that Eliza's online personality LadyConstellation is the creator of one of the most popular webcomics, Monstrous Sea, which has millions of readers and followers. When a new boy arrives at Eliza's school and he turns out to be a Monstrous Sea fan, Eliza's two worlds collide in ways that will shake up her whole life.An excellent YA novel exploring the ideas of creativity, anxiety, and the perils of internet fame. Eliza is a compelling character and while it's obvious throughout the novel that she has some serious issues to deal with, the novel isn't just an "issues" book. Instead there is interwoven into the narrative this fantastic fantasy world that Eliza has created with drawings and sneak peeks into the narrative of the fantasy world she's created. A lovely read that will definitely appeal to fans of Rainbow Rowell's [Fangirl] and John Green's [Turtles All the Way Down].
  • (3/5)
    This is the first book I really debated between a Three Star and a Four Star rating. There are parts I really appreciated and then there are parts that made me question if I had accidentally picked up another book. Don't get me wrong, I read this book all in one day. I enjoyed it. But I felt like the book didn't know where it wanted to go by the end and in turn, made the ending feel very confused.There was a lot I enjoyed, including the characters in the first half of the book (or more specifically the main characters). I absolutely love the use of Online Personas being the ones with the more explosive personalities while the real life versions were quiet and reserved. I related to Eliza for the most part. That being a quiet loner who actually has a large online following and who wishes for her online self to be disconnected from her real life self. I liked Wallace and his relationship with Eliza (again, in the first half of the book). I really enjoyed the pages that were just online chat conversations between Eliza and her friends. And I absolutely loved the Monstrous Sea artwork, comics and Wallace's novelization of it sprinkled within. I wish there was more Monstrous Sea artwork and story within the book.That being said, there were a lot of issues. First of all, the book takes a while to actually get going. The character just meanders around for a few chapters, going to school, talking about the webcomic, talking about her family, etc. It's not presented in a fun or interesting way but rather in an odd internal monologue exposition dump. We dont really get to learn anything until Wallace actually starts to interact with Eliza.Second, We are introduced to her webcomic but we never really get a sense of the actual 'fandom' because she never interacts with her fans except when talking about things not related to her webcomic. Which I thought was rather odd. What creator doesn't interact with their fans a little, even if just in secret? So, when it's revealed at the end that even people close to her were huge fans, it's a bit confusing. The book portrays the webcomic as the new Star Wars, where everyone and their mom seems to have read it. Yet, no one really talks about it until the 'big reveal' at the end and by that time, the character is so disinterested, it's hard to get a grasp of the actual size or impact of the fandom.Third, the big reveal and the rest of the book that comes after it is my biggest problem with the book. Where do I begin with this. Well, let's just say that everyone instantly swaps to a different personality. Wallace suddenly becomes a selfish, pushy jerk who suddenly doesn't care about his girlfriend. Eliza suddenly becomes extremely rude to all her fans and then extremely mentally unstable to the point where she almost commits suicide. And I can't help but feel like the writer didn't really know how to write someone who has just fallen into a severe depression, so she tried to explain it in the actions of the story rather than in the mind of the character as events happen but no real character insight is given other than sterotypical "They dont need me anymore" dialogue which makes absolutely no sense when the main character has spent most of the book not caring about her family. The brothers, who up to this point have had no personality outside of being annoying brothers, suddenly pull a Deus ex Machina with the parents to get them to "understand". And it all comes to this rather bland ending where nothing is really solved with the exception of the end to the webcomic and her online persona now having a real life face to it.I appreciated this was the first book that really put online friends on the same level as real life friends. I appreciated that it did something unique by adding in the comic on top of just talking about it. And I really appreciated showing anxiety as something that happens to people, not as some great flaw in someone's personality that you need to beat down. However, the confused ending and the lack of character growth after the second half really left me kind of disappointed. I would maybe give it a read if it sounds interesting to you but I wouldn't exactly recommend it as the next big read.
  • (4/5)
    I enjoyed reading this book. Eliza is a relatable character and one you would root for. The story gives us an interesting glimpse into anxiety, how it affects the person afflicted by it as well as the people around her. I like the inclusion of drawings and dialogue from Eliza's popular webcomic, it's like reading a story within a story. I felt Eliza was too hard on her parents and wish she would open up more, I'm glad she did so towards the end. If you like webcomics, fanfics and fandoms, you'll like Eliza and her Monsters.
  • (5/5)
    Eliza keeps a low profile at high school. Never overly popular, she has more friends online than in person. She's also the creator of the popular Monstrous Sea online comic. Her parents think drawing comics and posting them is just a hobby but Eliza has made a lot of money from it and her viewers number over a million. Up until Wallace turned up in one of her classes, she never talked to anyone in person about Monstrous Sea. She monitors forums and has two friends online who are an integral part of her Monstrous Sea life. But Wallace is different. Despite their growing relationship, Eliza still wants to keep her Monstrous Sea identity anonymous, even from Wallace...which may pose a problem as their relationship grow.Eliza and her Monsters is a fun book. There is some, but not a lot, of the comic in the book, so if you're not a comic book reader or aren't a fan of fanfiction, then it won't be an issue. Eliza and her Monsters is more a young adult romance but not a sappy romance...well maybe until the end anyway. It's not like Sarah Dessen or Morgan Matson. It's its own unique brand.Eliza and her Monsters is a fun read. Enjoy.
  • (5/5)
    Where do I start! Fandom ✅ love story ✅ teen angst ✅ comic books ✅ art ✅ and family ✅. An amazing story about a girl how just didn’t fit in this world so decided to create another.
  • (5/5)
    I loved this. Listened to audio and read it, ended perfectly. Made me laugh and cry.
  • (5/5)
    I absolutely loved this book. Waited a very long time to get my hands on it and YAY it was worth the wait ?
  • (4/5)
    Church and Sully- awesome, funny, sweet, likeable, lovable. Breath of fresh air in the story.
  • (5/5)
    I've only recently got back into "reading" but I loved this book. It's a thrilling book about a young high schooler named Eliza who has her own web series. She's unknown to others but has an alias as lady constellation. It's an interesting read. It covers the topics of mental health and anxiety both caused by high school and the different situations having an online presence could easily have on someone. Overall I'd recommend it to anyone.
  • (4/5)
    very cute and heartwarming read! As someone battling anxiety and depression Eliza‘s thoughts and feelings were just too relatable. recommend it!
  • (5/5)
    I’m just trash right now. This book totally wrecked me and I think it might be my favourite book of ALL the books! And I have to add that the narration was frickin brilliant!
  • (5/5)
    Thus is the best!! It speaks to the true soul of an introvert! I know I am one! This book is just wonderfully written and completely relatable!!
  • (4/5)
    Title: Eliza and Her Monsters

    Author: Francesca Zappia

    Publication Date: May 2017

    Genre: YA Contemporary

    Score: 4/5

    Eliza and Her Monsters is a story about a high school student who creates a very popular webcomic. She meets a new student in her senior year who is a fan, the first fan she’s met in real life, and they become involved. She suffers from crippling anxiety. This theme of mental illness is explored throughout the entire story.

    I have a couple of problems with elements in this novel. One is that, in this day of Google, how could her parents not know how popular her webcomic is? Especially as they want to be as involved in her life, couldn’t they take a minute and plug the URL of her creation into a web browser? Failing that, Google much? Plus, with regard to her anxiety, and although it came together better in the end, there were a couple of times I found it unbelievable and it broke my suspension of disbelief. This is a small spoiler, but her consideration of suicide was believable and sort of not believable too. It could have been done a bit differently to more accurately represent suicidal feelings. Though, I am glad to see real representation of suicidal feelings in a book.

    There was a lot to like in Eliza and Her Monsters. I’m glad to have read it. It is a very easy read. Recommended.
  • (5/5)
    This book was so incredible. It sucked me in right away and kept me up all night reading. Eliza was relatable and funny, and it was so nice to see social anxiety and depression portrayed in such a non-dramatic way. This has been one of my favorite books all year!
  • (5/5)
    I love this. This book is everything. Well written. It touched my soul.
  • (4/5)
    I really enjoyed this one! It gave me such fuzzy feelings and it was so adorable! There were moments that I would have preferred maybe to read this book instead of listening to it, but it was a pleasant Audio book and I devoured it ??
  • (4/5)
    This book had all elements I like put together beautifully to create a piece of art.

    I have to say, when my friend told me (more like ordered me xD) to read this book and told me it had a combination of all things I love, I was a bit sceptical, I feared that I would get disappointed.

    But gladly, I wasn't.

    This book combined fandom life, art, comic books, writing, fanfiction, fanart and mental illness so well I'm so happy I read it.

    I loved how each element in the book was covered enough throughout the book and I didn't feel like any of them was left out.

    I loved Eliza and Wallace and related to both of them on so many ways, and I loved how realistic they were in their problems and the way they delt with them.

    Francesca Zappia really did well in this one, I would definitely pick up more books by her in the future.
  • (4/5)
    Synopsis: Eliza is the creator of a webcomic that has gained a large following. She mostly keeps this fact hidden, especially when she meets a boy named Wallace who is a fan of he comic. Unfortunately, such secrets don't' bode well for a budding relationship. Rating:4/5This book really resonated with me, as a creator, and there were many things I liked about it. I think the portrayal of Eliza coincided with my experience as an author. Her art and her life are mixed and there is not much separation between the two which is hard on any creator but especially a teen. After Eliza is outted and no longer able to hide behind a pen name it makes it difficult for her to create art because of fear of criticism. I could deeply relate to that. I also adored Wallace as a character. Him and Eliza are a great match and both were endearing partly because of their lack of social astuteness.This book is much more cutesy (relationship wise) than angsty which is a nice change as it is YA. I tend to find many YA books involving relationships to be full of unnecessary angst. There is angst in the book but not because of Eliza and Wallace's budding romance. I also really liked Eliza's family. Especially her brothers. Her relationships with them were complicated as is typical for sibling relationships. Eliza's relationship with her parents really resonated with me. Eliza's parents don't get it but they are supportive as they are able to be. In this book Eliza is 18 though I felt like she read a little younger. Probably closer to 15. I also appreciated the anxiety representation in this book and thought it was well done. I struggle with anxiety and so could relate to Eliza when she struggled. While I liked many things about this book there were a few things that didn't work for me. We are shown quite a bit of Eliza's comic and honestly I didn't find it interesting. I wanted to be invested in the comic but didn't end up thinking it was interesting. I also felt that Eliza's level of fame was probably overdone in the story. Most teens who make a web comic aren't going to have the amount of fans she did. Sooooooo many people from her school are fans but they don't know she is the creator. I felt like this level of fame, while cool for the story, might not have been very realistic.Also, there is one scene where Eliza is dealing with the aftermath of the reveal that I thought portrayed some unhealthy ideas though there is also a scene later where those ideas are challenged. Still, I thought the scenes impact when it was unhealthy was stronger than the passing comment about it being an unhealthy view later.My last issue with the book was just with the marketing. I thought the synopsis revealed too much. Eliza doesn't have her identity revealed until late in the story and I would have preferred not knowing that was coming. Overall I do recommend this book especially to content creators. It was a fun and enjoyable read.
  • (5/5)

    1 personne a trouvé cela utile

    This was so hyped when it came out. I tried picking it up once and only got a few chapters in and put it down. It was not from me not enjoying it, but just was never in the mood for it. I was so excited when this came out on audiobook. I knew I needed to give it another try.I know everyone loved this, but I was still not expecting to love this as much as I did. It has a little bit of everything within the story. The characters bring love, friendship, heartbreak, and learning lessons. It deals with anxiety and suicide. I found myself smiling and tearing up all within in a few chapters.I was not expecting this to tackle so many intense topics. Every time I heard someone talk about this I heard about how cute of a story it was. Yes, it is a very cute story but had so much more going on for both Eliza and Wallace. My heart was breaking when you hear about Wallace and his family. Eliza is also dealing with anxiety and the pressures of making others happy, that she is struggling with how to make herself happy. Overall, I really enjoyed this and highly recommend it. The audiobook was great, but you will not be able to see the comics that are in the published story. It did not take anything away for my love for this though. I still recommend the audiobook.

    1 personne a trouvé cela utile

  • (5/5)
    I received this book for free through BookLikes’ Giveaways. This book definitely lived up to the hype. Great story. Fantastic characters. Lots of heart. Tackled real issues in a realistic way. Plus, the comic excerpts were a nice touch that just elevated this to the next level. Overall all I can say is: Believe the hype.
  • (5/5)
    "There's a small monster in my brain that controls my doubt."


    If I could give this book 1000000 stars, I would. This is my favorite story that I have read in I don't know how long – I am not exaggerating when I say that I devoured it in one sitting with tears streaming down my face.

    I myself suffer from anxiety, depression, agoraphobia, etc, and I have never related to a character more than I do Eliza. I feel so emotionally tied to this book that even though I read it in July, I'm still dazed from it.

    If you love stories, fan art, fanfiction, comics: if you prefer a fictional world to the real one, READ THIS BOOK! You won't regret it #therearemonstersinthesea #youfoundmeinaconstellation
  • (3/5)
    The only reason I’m giving this a 3-star rating is because there are as many cons as there are pros.First thing you should know is… I was hyped coming into this book.Like, full blown HYPED.I mean c’mon. A massive online presence, fandoms webcomics and fanfiction, AND anxiety/depression finally being portrayed in a sort-of-true way (at least closer than how many other books get it)?!? All in one book?!?No.I mean yes, they were all in here and were a major part of the storyline and main character, but no as in I did not agree with HOW they were implemented into the book and… most else.For starters, the family dynamic was completely wrecked. See now, this book follows Eliza Mirk as she navigates her supposed “horrible” reality while juggling online life as the creator of the world-famous webcomic ‘Monstrous Sea’. Throughout the book I found myself getting FURIOUS (and I admit, a little uncomfortable) each time Eliza pushed her family away.I get it, okay? You want to be happy and left alone to live life on your terms but wowowow do you HAVE to be so rude to your parents and brothers?? Her parents were seriously just trying to have a good relationship with their hard-to-reach teenage daughter!! Who spends more time on her phone and computer than with her own family!! Her brothers clearly just wanted to connect and help their sister!! Instead of being seen as annoying, uncaring little kids!! I couldn’t help thinking that the author wanted to get some pent-up feelings of her own out and decided to throw it in a YA, for good measure.I understand how a lot of families are really this way. Parents disagreeing with the amount of time their children spend on electronic devices/internet and the children (most times) getting mad over said parents not being able to understand how they just connect better with people who get it and like the same things they like on the internet. It’s a real situation and it gets out of hand. Just don’t end the book with the characters staying this way if you want good feedback from readers. ** SPOILER **At least Eliza found help, sorted out her anxiety issue a bit, and TRIED to connect better at the end but she still saw her parents as the bad guys when they really weren’t. The one pushing away and causing problems was herself.** END OF SPOILER **Back to Eliza’s parents though…They would have understood why ‘Monstrous Sea’ meant so much to her if they’d asked before buuuuut Eliza could have also stepped up and said something – anything – instead of sulking and hating them more. It’s difficult to overcome but we need a character who looks difficult in the eyes and conquers his/her fears.Gosh I really didn’t like Eliza for this.She was selfish in a way anxiety and depression makes you selfish (and that’s okay for the beginning of a book as long as she eventually gets help and learns to deal better, right? Which does happen, by the way so that’s good) yet her bitterness added unnecessary fuel to the flame.Another thing, the characters were astronomically boring. I especially disliked how her younger brothers – Church and Sully – were portrayed. The author tried to add dimension to their traits by including what makes them unique (like being good at singing and math, for example) but it only added to the list of what they enjoy, not who they are as people. Singing and math don’t shape you as a person!!And don’t even get me started on Wallace. Number one fanfiction writer of her comic, this meaty football-playing looking guy who can’t talk in public - and resembles a puppy when he’s alone - so he resorts to writing out notes to Eliza at school. He becomes a totally selfish boyfriend (real traits!!) at the end of the book. When we first meet him he is seen as a mute fanboy, then turns into a relatable writer with a confusing past, then somebody I just wouldn’t get along with, ever. Not to mention the fact that she sometimes uses him as a crutch and he suspects during the end (when he gets mad, I got mad but then I agreed because I would probably be mad as well) but does nothing else about it. All problems in this book are blamed on Eliza’s so-called Monsters. That’s not true though, the real problem is Eliza.Honestly I disliked Eliza more and more as each chapter went on. I know it makes me sound shallow and an unemotional person but at this point, I’m not even ashamed to admit it. ** SPOILER **I sympathized with her struggle to stay hidden and her love for her creation but I did not sympathize after her parents (unknowingly and out of pure love for their daughter, though yes, they should have asked first) gave out her secret and she spiraled down into this abyss where she suddenly contemplates driving off the same cliff Wallace’s father died from.** END OF SPOILER **Nearly every single person (clearly not counting Wallace ‘cause he was too busy being angry) she encountered in real life that was a fan of LadyConstellation and ‘Monstrous Sea’ would either allow her space or compliment her comic. There is nothing (!!!) wrong with people telling you they liked something you created. In fact, try saying thank you for a change. If it wasn’t for them she wouldn’t have enough money to pay herself through college in the first place. Now enough of whatever I just ranted on… This book was relatable in ways many other books are not.Eliza’s therapy scenes were amazing. Her therapist gave great advice and never looked down on her client (something that doesn’t occur most of the time in real life) while allowing her to look at life in another angle. I liked this, I really did. It made sense while her comments and help allowed Eliza to process something new and finally change for the better. These parts got me emotional and earned a FULL STAR.The dynamic of the book and the drawings of the comic placed here and there was absolutely GENIUS. So yes, another FULL STAR. Half of the last star was because I understood how she felt most of the time (besides the family dynamic I just ranted on a full novel – basically – about). Eliza was at ease with herself the most when she didn’t have to think of herself physically and she was just LadyConstellation, full-blown creator and artist. She did what she loved and people loved it in return. What a better way to live, huh? Her depression was written spot-on. Everything from the sudden outbursts to the loneliness. If only she realized the world around her was not the one to blame. She was. I don’t think she ever realized this though.The other half of the last star was only ‘cause I thought it was really cool of the author to include the fact that Eliza is a fangirl herself (SO COOL HOW THIS BOOK/COMIC SHE IS OBSESSED WITH ACTUALLY EXISTS – aka the author posts chapters on Wattpad) of the famous ‘Children of Hypnos’ series. Very emotional, very realistically portrayed.What a lovely way to end a book.
  • (5/5)
    This was a completely engrossing read that really pulled me in and was a ton of fun. I had a lot of trouble putting this book down. This is going to be a tough one for me to review; it’s one of those books I loved soooo much that I don’t know even where to start.I stayed up way too late finishing it and absolutely loved the characters, the subject matter, and the journey Eliza goes through. I love how everything comes together in the story and really enjoyed Eliza’s Monstrous Sea story as well as the story of Eliza trying to find her place in life.All the side characters are very well done and I enjoyed all the twists and turns in the story. I loved the family dynamics as well as the friendships throughout.My only small complaint was that I did feel like the ending was a bit rushed, but just a bit and this didn't detract from my overall love of this book.Overall an amazing read that I just loved to bits. I would recommend to those who enjoy YA contemporary romance with a heavy dose of geekdom.
  • (3/5)
    Kate: My high school years were during the time before social media really became a huge thing. My parents had Internet, but it was a dial up connection that we could only use if we weren’t expecting or planning to make any pertinent phone calls. And honestly, I’m so relieved that the Internet wasn’t the big social zone that it is now, for regular people as well as celebrities. I think that teenage Kate would have both loved living a lot of her life online, but I also think that it would have been isolating in its own way (and given that I was bullied a fair amount, it probably would have opened up a huge target on my back from my peers). And that is where “Eliza and Her Monsters” comes in. As a teenager who suffered from social anxiety and depression, I saw a bit of me in Eliza, our main character who has found the online world to be more comforting than the real world. And as someone who has written some fanfiction in her life (and was a vaguely well known author in a niche fandom at one point, though I’m not telling which), the ups and downs of online artistry also spoke to me. But the core of Eliza herself, and how she interacted with those around her, didn’t do as much for me as one might think that it would.But I want to start with what I liked here. I thought that Eliza’s social anxieties were pretty spot on in terms of characterization. Without really outwardly saying that she was suffering from it, you get a slow and well painted picture of what Eliza’s insecurities are like, how they hinder her, and how she tries to cope with them. It was refreshing to see this character portrayed in a realistic and honest way, and that while it was understandable that she would act in various ways, she wasn’t totally let off the hook when she was being a jerk to those around her. I also really liked that this book brings up the philosophical question of ‘what do artists owe their fans?’. Sure, this is something that has been going on for a long time, but with the advent of social media, now fans can not only interact with each other, but they now have the opportunity to address and interact with their favorite creators in a more direct way. And while this is great in lots of ways, in other ways, sometimes lines are crossed and fan entitlement gets a bit out of hand. From the “Song of Ice and Fire” fandom to the “Harry Potter” fandom to the wonderful world of comics across the board, sometimes healthy and relevant critiques of topics turn into “YOU OWE US THIS.” This book allows us to see that from the creator’s POV through Eliza and one of her favorite authors, and it’s a great way to raise these questions and get the reader to think about them.But there were other things about this book that frustrated me. Mainly, I didn’t really care for Eliza, as relatable and realistic as she was. I think that seeing it from the perspective of an adult who had to tramp through that swamp of teen angst and came out on the other side, a lot of me was saying “goddammit, suck it up.” Teen Kate would have TOTALLY loved Eliza though, and given that this is, ultimately, written with teens in mind, I think that she probably works well. I also was a bit frustrated with her relationship with Wallace, if only because I felt like there were some things that she did that were SO manipulative and she never really was taken to task for it. I didn’t really like what it said about acceptable things in teen relationships.Overall, I liked how “Eliza and Her Monsters” approached fandom, artistry, and teenage mental illness. I wish that I had liked the protagonist more, but hey, you can’t have everything.Serena: As Kate has lain out so nicely, my evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of this book is pretty similar. I don’t have the personal experience of existing as a creator on an online platform, but I follow various fandoms online fairly avidly and have witnessed first hand the strength in community that these groups can bring, as well as the viscous cycle of entitlement and possession that can also be on display at times. In these ways, I think this book is very much speaking to an ongoing struggle in today’s teens’ lives that I, like Kate, never had to deal with.Like Kate, I was never part of the popular crowd in highschool. I wasn’t the most bullied either, and instead existed somewhere in the probably lucky “no one cares” zone of being unnoticed. I also had no other “version” of life or a representation of my life that I had to maintain, like today’s teens who must carefully navigate and manage not only their day-to-day activities, but also the version of themselves that exists online. Eliza, uncomfortable and shy in real life, has found a niche for herself online. But no social sphere comes without its own strings.I very much enjoyed the exploration of creativity on an online platform. Eliza is both safely at a distance from those who interact with her online (one of the appeals of her online persona), but is also exposed and at the mercy of those same fans. No longer do fans need to write a letter and mail it in to an author who may or may not even look at their fan mail. Creators online are exposed across so many formats to the visceral reactions of the same fans whose admiration and appreciation they are hoping to garner. I think one of the best representations of the push/pull relationship of this kind is Bo Burnham’s raw, and almost tragic, song “Can’t Handle This.”But, in general, I read books for the characters, so as much as I loved the themes that were tackled in this story, I had a similar hang up with Eliza as Kate did. I think Kate hit it on the nose when she mentioned the fact that she and I are reading this having come out on the other side of that hellish tunnel called “highschool.” Many years (yikes!) distanced from these same struggles, they begin to lose their edge. This is good, but it also presents a reality check when reading books like these. I don’t want to dismiss these problems as “just highschool stuff, get ready for REAL life, kids!” But…I’m still a 30 something woman reading this and that’s what I felt. So with that perspective, maybe there’s nothing wrong with this character for highschoolers themselves, and it’s probably touching on many relatable challenges. But there are many YA stories out there that present the challenges of their young protagonists in ways that are more approachable and sympathetic to their adult readers as well than this one did, which is a legitimate mark against it.
  • (5/5)

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    Loved this book so much. Not sure what else to say but that. If you haven't read it, you need to. Like now.

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  • (5/5)

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    Loved loved loved. The author depicts social anxiety so well and I loved the glances we get at Eliza's comic series.

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  • (5/5)

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    Eliza and her Monsters tells of the double life of Eliza Mirk, a teenager who is anxiety-ridden and friendless except online. As Lady Constellation, she posts a popular webcomic, Monstrous Sea, and her work has millions of fans around the world. It's fame that she has always carefully hidden from everyone, including her parents--they don't understand her obsession with her art and her online life. She's always done well separating the two until she meets Wallace, who happens to write the most popular online fanfiction of her work.I don't usually give a full five stars, but this book spoke to me, had me wrecked, and then lifted me. Thank you, Francesca Zappia, for writing this story. I rarely manage to finish a book in three days, but this one grabbed hold and insisted I couldn't put it down. It does a good job of explaining the effects of anxiety disorder. I wish I had had a book like this when I was a teenager.

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  • (2/5)

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    “I’m not normally one to take advice from my fictional characters, but there comes a point in every girl’s life where she reaches a crossroads: a night alone with her sweatpants and her favorite television show, or a party with real, live, breathing people.” There is a HUGE problem with this book. Let’s step back and take a look.It’s centered around Eliza and her web comic, internet friends, family, new boyfriend, and a bucket of mental disorders. Eliza is immature (not meant as an insult) when it comes to socializing, mostly because she spends her time with online friends and creating her web comic. She’s a clearly structured character, and probably one a lot of people can relate to one way or another. She also shows healthy ways of comping with anxiety (stepping away from situations, breathing, art). Wallace is a big jock-built guy who writes fan-fiction of Eliza’s comic. A+ for that! He’s also a selective mute and has a bucket of his own mental disorders to cope with. His character isn’t as fleshed out as Eliza and he can fall flat or seem out of character at times.There’s also art in this book! Yes, we get to see little snippets of art and some of the story from Eliza’s webcomic, and it is pretty! Honestly, I really want to read the comic just from the bits of story given to the reader throughout the book.Putting all the good points aside, here’s where the HUGE problem comes in to play.“I do have friends. Maybe they live hundreds of miles away from me, and maybe I can only talk to them through a screen, but they’re still my friends. They don’t just hold Monstrous Sea together. They hold me together.”Through the book Eliza refuses to communicate with her family and anyone IRL (in real life). BAD. By the end of the book her parents our made out to look like bad guys for not knowing their daughter and doing dastardly things like worrying. You know, questioning if it was a good idea to give strangers her address over the internet, asking if she has any real friends she wants to hang out with, and things like that. And get this: they actually make her spend time with the family! How dare! Looking back, if this was all part of the plot and Eliza eventually came to her senses the book wouldn’t have been as bad. But, by the end, it was still had the mega “look what my parents did to me!” vibe. This book is marketed to 14+ year olds in the tech age, where there’s both the best ways to communicate and the worst communication. Don’t make a book that says it’s okay to be stuck on their phones and computers all day and yell at their parents when they are parenting.

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