Review: Eliza and her Monsters

Eliza and Her MonstersEliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

MY EXPERIENCE WITH THE BOOK: 

I came into this book expecting it to be 3/5 stars. I’ve read Zappia’s work before and loved it. But when YA stories specifically target “teen internet culture”, I have unusually low expectations. However, this was GREAT!

 

CHARACTERS/DYNAMICS:

Eliza:

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a delightful character! I related to her depression and fading away near the end of the book. Apart from that, I wouldn’t say Eliza is a terribly memorable YA protagonist. It is interesting, however, how independent she is. It’s every teen’s dream! The fame! The fortune! I appreciate Zappia exploring what the harms to teen fame via social networking have done.

Wallace: I thought Wallace was an excellent character, more than Eliza. However, near the end— it’s like his personality did a 180. Suddenly everything was about him, and he’s never truly redeemed. Sure, he went after Eliza at the end. But… all of it still reasons to his selfish pursuit of publishing his stories.

Eliza’s parents:

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How I imagine Eliza’s parents. 

absolutely hated them. Which you’re supposed to. I am very thankful that my family weren’t health/sports nuts. It would drive me crazy. Poor Eliza.

Eliza’s homeroom teacher: one of the only moments I did not like was when the teacher revealed her Monster Sea tattoo. It seemed a little too cliche for my liking!

Eliza’s best friends, Max and Emmy: Tbh I was just waiting for Max to reveal his feelings for Eliza. Was anybody else waiting for that? Or am I just too diluted with crappy YA romances that it’s become the norm for me?

 

PLOT:

The plot lags a little in the beginning, but once the page 250 mark, the ball drops. Tension grows. All secrets are revealed.

My favourite arc was the family camp retreat. It inspired me to reconnect with my younger brother.

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My favourite line was something about Eliza finally realising for the first time that her two younger brothers (11 months apart in age) aren’t twins. They’re two completely different people. It was a beautiful moment that made me tear up.

 

STRUCTURE: 

If you enjoy the structure to the Illuminae Files (read my reviews to book one and book two by clicking the links)— you will LOVE this. It has scraps of fan fiction transcript, graphics and sketchings, as well as chat logs. It’s more comprehensible than the Illuminae Files but still shakes up the usual bland YA format.

 

THEMES:

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  • anxiety
  • depression
  • death
  • family
  • art
  • online social issues vs real-life social problems

 

THE ENDING:

I felt the ending was a tad bit rushed. Her identity reveal should have been strung out further, in order for us to explore her deeper issues and insecurities.

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IMPACT:

I’m definitely happy I read this book! I want to print the letter that the author Eliza adores so much. Something about how the best kind of art is what evokes desire and motivation in us.

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3 Comments on “Review: Eliza and her Monsters

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