I was liking this novel a lot, and then I hit the halfway mark and I could. Not. Put. It. Down. It's a great look at the messiness of love when depression and low self-esteem get in the way of communication, and it absolutely nails the feelings of anxiety and panic attacks. On top of that, I wish the webcomic Eliza makes, Monstrous Sea, really existed so I could read it. Bonus, though: the book series Eliza and her friends are fans of, Children of Hypnos, does exist: http://www.childrenofhypnos.com
If you want to read a book that perfectly describes what it means to be a panic attack and anxiety sufferer, look no further. Eliza and Her Monsters is a fantastic exploration of what it means to be a silent success, only to have that success come crashing down in the worst way possible. Eliza is flawed, but she is a heroine I think a lot of readers will easily identify with, and I hope readers will love her story as much as I did.
This book has interesting, imperfect characters. Eliza doesn't socialize. At all. She meets someone at school who doesn't really talk much. They are connected by their mutual interest in the comic, Monstrous Sea. What only her parents and brothers know is that Eliza is the creator of Monstrous Sea. Hijinks ensue. (Because she has that secret, the plot has a resemblance to You've Got Mail.)
One of the things I like about this book is that it includes one accurate description of anxiety and depression. These are things that happen to many humans. The book includes that experience, showing how hard it is without making it bad or wrong to have a human problem, just really challenging. I liked the characters and story a lot. 5/5 would recommend.
Eliza in the title is Eliza Mirk, a mild-mannered high school senior who anonymously publishes a web comic, "Monstrous Sea" followed by millions. Her life is smooth and solitary until she becomes involved with Wallace, a fellow student who also happens to be a gifted fan fiction writer of "Monstrous Sea" episodes.
As one might imagine, things get super complicated when Eliza's parents inadvertently "out" her as the "Monstrous Sea's" author but for me that was the best part as it forced her to reconnect to her surprisingly supportive siblings.
I read this because it reminded me of one of my favorite books, "Fangirl." It definitely delivered. I was very invested in Eliza as a character, and the book sucked me in by about chapter six. I finished it in a day (literally cover to cover) because I was waiting for something bad to happen. It wasn't suspense per se, but dread of the best kind. I look forward to reading more by Zappia.
One thing I will warn people about it that the book is a slow burn. There isn't a lot of outside action happening, and the change happens mostly within. This makes sense for the character and theme of the book though, since both Eliza and Wallace are so introverted and live their best lives online. I didn't mind it, because I found the emotion and what happens in the family unit as a result of Eliza's mental state so compelling.
A more high school aged version of one of my favorite books, 'Fangirl'. If you're a fan of that, definitely give this one a shot. 'Eliza and her Monsters' features a sheltered girl whose moniker is internet famous, but she is utterly shy and invisible offline. That is, until a boy helps bring her out of her shell. He's quite possibly the boy of her dreams, but she has a secret that she isn't ready to tell him.
I'll be curious to see if, like 'Fangirl', the author goes on to publish her story within a story as Rainbow Rowell did with 'Carry On'.
I really can't rate it most because I started the book and never finished it. It just did not grab my attention. It was tangential and I had no interest to read past three chapters. Life is too short to read books that start bad...
This book will stay with me for a long while. I haven't read anything close to the nature of Eliza and Her Monsters. The whole thing was good...to an extent. At first, I was just stuck at the beginning because it was going by soo slowly. Then I got into it and finished it in less than 24 hours lol. Usually, I get attached to the guy in the couple and forget about the girl. However, here, I love Eliza and Wallace as a team. I can't imagine them not together because they're soo meant for each other. I can relate to Eliza with the whole being stuck online to an extent. Her Monstrous Sea is my GoodReads...Yes, its probably weird but it's like a reflex I have, checking my notifications and all these discussions and threads. It isn't good and I will work on it...just maybe later. Anyways though, this book lacked much action which was why it didn't get my full 5-stars. I felt that the climax was a bit weak. Like, ok yes, I understand that the whole world found out but still. I love the part when her brothers show their parents exactly what they've done. There are tons of parts of the book that I can comment on but then I will go on forever so I'll leave you with my favorite quote as of now:
Broken people don't hide from their monsters. Broken people let themselves be eaten.
And I personally, refuse to be eaten
Overall, I liked it. But for some reason I just can't bring myself to give it more than 3 stars.
I liked the characters and the plot. Eliza's conversations with her online friends were awesome. I loved Wallace. The end was depressing.
Anyway, I was intrigued by the webcomic. I took a look at the website. There's a few teaser things there (www.monstroussea.com). I feel like it is something I would have loved when I was a teenager. I was really into webcomics back then.
Recommended for teenagers and anyone who is at least slightly geeky.
Eliza is the creator of a web comic called Monstrous Seas but only a select few people know it. She meets Wallace and awkwardness and romance follow. A great book about finding your comfort zone and how sometimes life will shove you out of it but you can (with time and effort) spread the boundaries and be happy. Just what I needed to read! This was a fast feel-good one!
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