Books, Review

Book Review: Eliza and her monsters – Francesca Zappia *****

“You found me in a constellation.”

Eliza and her monsters Francesca Zappia

Her story is a phenomenon. Her life is a disaster.

In the real world, Eliza Mirk is shy, weird, and friendless. Online, she’s LadyConstellation, the anonymous creator of the wildly popular webcomic Monstrous Sea. Eliza can’t imagine enjoying the real world as much as she loves the online one, and she has no desire to try.

If you haven’t read any blurbs or heard anyone talk about it, I want to stop here for your sake. I feel like the blurb on Goodreads spoils a lot of the story… and I’m glad I went into it not knowing too much.

I have this thing where I pick up popular contemporary YA fiction on a whim whenever I feel like it. Saturday was one of those days. I remembered Eliza and her monsters, looked it up and started reading. It could have gone either way but in this case I didn’t stop until I finished it.

So this is Eliza’s story as she tries to survive her last year of high-school. All her free time is spend on making her webcomic which is hugely popular. Her parents do not understand what she’s actually doing and keep trying to get her out of the house more.

There was so much in this story, I don’t know where to start.

I think it’s a great example of how too much of anything can never be good. Eliza spends every second of every day working on the comic. Yes, she’s very good at it and yes, she enjoys it but when someone asks her what her plans are after the comic is finished, she doesn’t know how to answer that question. When something takes over your life like that, maybe you should take a step back every once in a while.
(I know that’s easier said than done, though… I have to remind myself to step away from some things too.)

Another thing this book does brilliantly is show anxiety and how it can manifest in different ways. I understand that sometimes being around other people is exhausting. Groups can make me feel trapped. I allow myself to feel these things but I have to remember to be careful. You can’t let them ruin your life.
The panic attacks were recognizable, although mine have never been that severe, I get why she reacts the way she does.

But what I liked most of all were the moments where they talked about creativity. Because that’s exactly how I feel. That feeling when a piece of dialogue or a line comes to you and you get so excited. That’s me.

And lastly, it reminded me that it’s okay to take some time off the internet because one of the reasons I get stressed out is because there’s too much information coming my way. Too many impulses. There’s so much pressure on our youths. We also put ourselves under a lot of pressure. In the end, it’s no wonder that anxiety has become so widespread. We’re always busy, always gathering new information, always in touch with other people. I think our brain gets tired and when we let our guard down we get bombarded with negativity.

I can only speak from my own experience here.

This book was everything I didn’t find when reading Fangirl. It made me happy and sad at the same time.

Honestly, I can’t recommend it enough.

Love

Ellen

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