I rarely read the blurb of the book and just jump into a book when I get them, Well, it has been both good and bad for me. I did the same with Eliza and Her Monsters, after reading so many positive spoiler free reviews about it.
I needed to read something easy and light hearted after reading a serious classic like The Picture of Dorian Gray. How did that turn out for me? You will have to read ahead to know.
About the book
Book Name: Eliza and Her Monsters
Author: Francesca Zappia
Genre: Fiction – Drama, Young adult
Characters: Eliza Mirk, Wallace Warland
Setting: Indiana, The USA
Eliza is the creator of the popular online comic, Monstrous Sea which has a tremendous fan following. She goes by the LadyConstellation and is frankly a virtual super star. In real life, she is quiet, shy, and avoids people as much as possible. Her family doesn’t understand her or her online business but let her be to an extent.
She suffers from anxiety attacks and has no friends in school, where she usually spends her time drawing for her comic. She has two online friends who help her navigate through life and family issues. She feels safer online and prefers to keep the real and virtual life separate.
When Wallace, a famous fan fiction writer of her Monstrous Sea, joins her school her worlds collide. Eliza being Eliza, misses all her chances to come out clean to him about who she is.
But is it now too late now to tell him? What would it take for him forgive her when he finally realizes the truth? Did she overcome her personal fears and monsters at the end? Read the Eliza and Her Monsters to know more.
My initial thoughts
Well, it was definitely not what I expected at all. But don’t worry you freaks, I meant in a good way. I suppose. Well I will try and explain better.
I thought the book Eliza and her monsters was about her own inner monsters, like her mental illness. I was not happy to find it was not about her anxiety but about her comic.
And then I realized it was indeed about her mental illness. So I guess it was a roller coaster ride. Just what I wanted. So I am happy again I guess.
Another thing that stood out for me was the portrayal of online friends. Like any of you, I have and love all my online friends and I probably will share my dark deep secrets with them before I would with my family and friends. You all get that right? Finally there is a book that puts across that it was okay to do that and not all virtual friends were creeps and tricksters.
Things that worked for me
- YES to showing how online friendships that can be real and time zones can be pain in the butt.
- I loved how well the pressure and her desperation to finish the story were depicted.
- The Eliza-Wallace friendship turned to relationship was realistic and the growth arc was spot on.
- If you hate the ‘Love conquers all’ trope, you will love the ending.
Things that didn’t work for me
While the stories within story worked for so many of my friends, it failed to impress me. It maybe due to the fact that I don’t read fantasy books.
If you are looking for a book that deals with mental illness or about online community with a bit of romance, Eliza and Her Monsters might be your pick. If you love books like Fangirl and Radio Silence, do not even think twice, you will completely adore Eliza and Her Monsters.
Let us chat
Have you read this one? Do you read fan fiction and what are your favorites? I am definitely in the mood to read a few after reading this book. Let us chat.
You know I usually say I never read a book when everyone is talking about it, right? But I am here to show you that I have read some books at the right time. And of course, I forgot to review them right then, which is quite like me of course.
So in our new episode of review shots, let me tell you about books that were not on my TBR and I read them only because of the hype. Well, that never turns out quite well, does it?
Books that I read only for the hype
Book Name: Everything, Everything
Author: Nicola Yoon
Genre: Fiction – Romance, Young Adult
Characters: Madeline “Maddy” Furukawa Whittier, Oliver “Olly” Bright, Pauline Furukawa Whittier, Carla Flores
Setting: Los Angeles, California, The USA
This YA took the Twitter world by a storm and I got the book almost immediately to read it.
Maddy led a very sheltered life all through her life due to her illness. She has never stepped out of her house in years and her mother and her nurse are the only one she interacts with. Them and her book blog. Until a new family moves to their next house.
I liked the book and would have loved it even until for the twist at the end, which I didn’t see coming at all. I normally would love to be thrown off, but this twist was kinda ‘trying too hard’. I also didn’t like the theme that ‘love conquers all, even illness’ that kept surfacing.
I loved reading the story, for the cutesy cheesy love story but it didn’t win my approval.
Book Name: Turtles All the Way Down
Author: John Green
Genre: Fiction – Romance, Young Adult
Characters: Aza Holmes, Davis Pickett, Daisy Ramirez, Mychal Turner, Noah Pickett
Setting: Indianapolis, Indiana, The USA
You all know my beef with John Green.
This book had everything that the book world is talking about and needs now. Turtles All the Way Down has #Ownvoice leads, one of whom suffers from mental illness and a mystery the leads had to solve in relation to their parents. Sounds all good to me.
Yet I could not relate to the characters at all, nor did I buy their ‘love story’. Did I mention this book had an absentee parent as well? I know lots of people loved this book but for me it ended as a so-so read because of these reasons and more.
I wanted to like it more than it deserved any way. And probably will stay away from John Green hereon.
Book Name: My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry
Author: Fredrik Backman
Genre: Fiction – Drama
Characters: Elsa, Granny, Alf, Britt-Marie, Kent, Ulrika, Lissete, George
Oh I loved Backman’s other book A Man Called Ove and I started reading this one almost immediately. But it took me more than a month to finish this 350 and odd pages and I will tell you why.
The precocious ‘almost eight’ years old Elsa has just lost her grandmother to cancer. Her grandmother was also her best and only friend, who kept her safe at night with the tales of the Land of Almost-Awake and the Kingdom of Miamas.
Now she is set with the task of handing over apology notes to the wacky characters in their apartment for her grandmother’s past and getting to know more about them and her family as well.
I liked the concept of the book and how the little girl learnt to deal with all the changes and new people in her life. I loved many of these characters and their sub plots. But the book totally went over my head when it came to the imaginary land and its people.
Maybe there is a reason to why I don’t read fantasy much.
Bottom – line
Of course I don’t regret reading them at all. But I wish I hadn’t tried as hard to like them and gave up when I should have. Well, lesson learnt. Maybe.
Let us talk
Do you read books because everyone is reading them? Are there books that you have read only because of the hype and that didn’t turn out as expected? Let us talk.
Most of us have that one person to whom we have to share every minute detail of the daily life. We spend up dishing about everyone else in each other’s lives. Thanks to the new age technologies, we can do a LIVE relay of anything that happens. It includes any shopping decisions and dating disasters. Sometimes it is more than one person, as in my case. Hence there are group chats. Okay, spare me the lecture about gossiping, because this ain’t. Sometimes there are WhatsApp texts with screenshot and images, other times there is the chatty rant out through audio message a rarer case. But if any of us is trying to reach us through the old fashion phone call way, then it is way too big for texts to handle. And if you are at a place where there is no mobile signal, there is good old email conversation. If you can spin your head around these scenarios, then you would love the new book in the block, because the entire storyline of The Boy is Back has been set on a narration based on email, texts and group texts, journal entries and even reviews.
Book Name: The Boy Is Back (Boy #4)
Author: Meg Cabot
Genre: Fiction Romance
Characters: Rebecca, Nicole Flowers, Reed, Marshall, Carly and Trimble Stewart, their parents Judge Richard P. and Connie Stewart.
Disclaimer: Thanks to Edelweiss for the Advance Review Copy of the book.
The story revolves around Rebecca Flowers, President of Movingup! Senior Moving Consultant and Reed Stewart, a pro golfer set at Bloomville, Indiana. The duo part after a prom date gone awry, one that involves EMTs, cops and a judge, none other than the father of Reed, Judge Richard P. Stewart, who cuts him off from the family. But when the Judge Richard and his wife Connie have their senile moments and others are confused how to handle them or their wrath, they engage Becky, with much opposition from their family moments. What happens when the star-struck lovers meet as adults and each having their partners from the rest of the story.
To be fair this is a chick lit and the story is not really too difficult to predict, but the premise is new, about a senior moving consultant and her occupation. As it goes with the premise, there are several other characters and their relationship tangles which make the typical love story more interesting. I loved the chemistry between Carly and Marshall Stewart, elder brother of Reed and the constant marital banter between them. As always, I loved the smaller quirky characters than the main protagonists.
The length and pace of the entire story are steady and apt for the storyline; I was able to finish the 400 pages in lesser than 3 hours. The only issue some might find with the book is the narrative style, as few might not like the entire story through only digital communications, devoid of any actual conversations between any of the characters. While I liked the group chats between Reed, Marshall and Carly and even between Becky and Nicole, it became quite tiresome to read a whole lot of them. It was exasperating to see the couple type to each other when they were physically near each other after a few times, even when that has become quite common these days in even in my life. Again the reviews were cutesy while the journal entries were too much to handle.
The boy is back is the fourth book in the Boy series. The story does continue from the events that happened ten years ago, and it works well as a stand alone even when I haven’t read the series earlier. Catch this funny, light and breezy chick lit if you like the Princess Dairies from the same author and would be perfect travel companion if you read this genre.