Friday, May 24, 2019

Book Review... AGAIN: Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

Book: Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

Genre: YA contemporary
2nd time rating: still ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ 

Do I review a book on a second go around even one that's actually really recent?

I guess I will so I can at least say that I loved this book just as much on a re-read. I find so many things that I relate to, it's almost a bit scary. Thing like:

  • being into something that people in your real life don't get
  • and thus feeling the need to hide it to a degree
  • because otherwise people will make fun of you (something Eliza is quite worried about)
  • having an online life that is totally separate and different from your real life
  • going to meet ups or events where you realize there ARE people DO get you
  • feeling the need to constantly create (even if millions of people don't care, unlike Eliza!)
  • and then having people IRL not really care about or showing no interest in what you are creating, even family. 
  • retreating to this sort of fantasy online life because it's lonely in real life
  • and it being your own fault mostly for hiding behind this wall, which then makes you even more frustrated!
Seriously. I could go on.

We read this one for book club this past week because we realized we had lots to say about the parenting in this book, which seems to bring out some pretty strong feelings with a few of us!

Some felt that the parents did a crappy job and if they would have done this or that or the other thing, than Eliza would be a more stable kid and wouldn't have had a breakdown. They should have looked up her comic, followed her blog, realized how famous she was. They should have not bugged her to get out and do something other than looking at her phone and computer. They should have understood that what they loved to do, she didn't love to do and left her alone. Yeah? Am I getting this right? I'm not sure.

My view is that they weren't that terrible of parents. They did what most parents do. They didn't like that she spent so much time on her phone and computer, so they tried to get her to participate with whatever the family was doing. Christmas for heaven sake. Camping. Board games. Etc. They knew what she was doing, they knew about her "hobby" but since they didn't get it, they didn't dig further to know more. They tried to get her to talk. They tried to get her involved. But they were scared of her, because they knew if they pushed too hard it would backfire on them and she would retreat worse. But at least she had parents that while they may have messed up, they cared. They were present. 

Navigating these sorts of things is really hard. Some parents will do it better than others, but I doubt there's any parent who can figure it out perfectly. 

My thoughts on THAT!

The book also deals with anxiety and depression and suicide. Really tough things! But I think it does it well without being too over the top about it and it feels genuine. 


I just looked at my first review, and I've pretty much said the same things over again here. LOL! So, that's it then. It's official.  I love this book. 


  1. actually, it sounds refreshing that the parents feature a large role in the book at all- whether they did the right thing/were good at parenting or not. Sooo many YA books the parents are just completely absent or figures in the background (which bugs me after a while)

    1. Yes. This is what I thought too. They tried. They wanted to be there for her. They were clueless, but they cared.



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