Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

Book: Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia
Genre: YA Contemporary
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Another book I random picked up from the Beehive Award long list, not knowing anything about. And BAM, it whacked me over the head with so many things I related to that it was a bit spine tingly. I know I am teenager-ish at heart, but it's still a bit weird when a YA book like this can feel so personal to me an old grandma. You know?

I wish I would have marked all the passages I loved, but alas, I didn't.

So, this book is about a girl who started a webcomic several years prior to the opening of the book. She is extremely famous online. She has millions of followers.... tons of forums and fanboards where people go and discuss her story. Where she joins under her alias and discusses with them. Every Friday, the world waits for her to upload the next chapter. And she hasn't missed once... ever.

In her real life she is a recluse who spends all her time on the computer. She comes and goes to school, trying to hide from everyone. She rarely talks, mostly because she has no friends. Everyone thinks she is weird. She gets made fun of, but she just ignores people. She is just dealing with it all for the last few months of high school before she can go to art school and then truly concentrate on making money with her comic.

She has a great family. Loving parents, crazy younger brothers. But she tends to just ignore them too and brush off any attempts on their part to get her to do things.

They know she does this comic thing, but they don't know how big it is.

And no one online knows who she really is except a couple of good online friends who live in various parts of the world.

One day, a new boy arrives at school! (AH... ALWAYS WITH THE NEW BOY!!!) And after an incident, she learns that he writes fanfiction for her stuff, and that he is a huge fun. This is both scary and thrilling for her. Then she finds out more about him and realizes he is the leader (mastermind) of one of her hugest online fan groups. And he is extremely popular too. Online.

In real life, he also doesn't talk. And even though he looks like he should be a popular football player. He is not. He is a nerd just like her.

So they connect. And it's awesome. And then she finds out more about his deepest darkest secrets. But he still has no clue who she is. And she is scared to death he will find out. And she wants to tell him though, but hasn't figured out how or when.

And so of course you can probably guess what happens. And then more stuff happens and everything falls apart. It's a mess and all must be fixed.

I loved it.

Why did I relate you might ask...

  • being part of a fandom (fandoms?) that most people don't get
  • having an online persona that is a bit different than your offline one 
  • being addicted to what's happening online, needing to check in with stuff all time
  • making friends from all over the world and connecting in a way that's hard to explain
  • having people think that that the thing that consumes you is just a hobby
  • having the need to create be overwhelming
  • having people think you are weird because of stuff you like

There is one quote I remember found at the very beginning of the book when our character has to stand up for the new boy. She says: "One thing I can't do is stand idly by while a fan, [a fan of anything] gets ridiculed for what he likes." I was like... yes. YES! Sigh. Why do people do this?

Anyway. Yes. I loved it. It hits on many of the hot topics of the day like depression, anxiety and suicide too. Stuff that more and more people are dealing with these days.

So yeah. Read this book. Especially if you've ever been made to feel weird because you are part of a fandom that people think is stupid or silly. My guess is you will relate to the feelings in this book too, no matter how old you are.


  1. I’ve heard nothing but good things about this one. I’m excited to read it. I’m glad you loved it so much.

  2. I think I need to read this one. That cover is awesome!

  3. This one sounds so much fun! I'm going to put it on my TBR.



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