So I’d pre-ordered Eliza and Her Monsters back in February (when I still thought it was fine to spend all of my money on books instead of, I dunno, food and gas?) because it sounded like a really awesome story that I could relate to in some small areas (like being a part of an online community and having people that I talk to online and creating things, etc.). Let me tell you right now that if you like Fangirl, you’re going to love this book because it’s like Fangirl on crack. Now to go into a semi-spoiler free reaction. I don’t give away anything major, but I do talk about the book, so be warned if you’re super sensitive to spoilers. But again, I don’t go into detail about plot or anything like that.
I am amazed by how much I love this book. After finishing one read yesterday afternoon, I still wasn’t ready to start Empire of Storms so instead, I thought “Why don’t I pick up that new modern contemporary stand alone?” A little after 3 am this morning, I finished reading it. There were actual tears running down my face.
Eliza is the creator of an insanely popular webcomic (that is obviously online). I know it’s unfair to compare to Fangirl, but I’m going to for just a minute, and it will surprisingly be in Eliza’s favor. Cath had her issues: there were times when I wanted to shake her for being so closed-off from the rest of the world that she didn’t understand even the most obvious of things. As much as Cath and Eliza are alike online, they completely differ in that respect. There was never a single point in the story where I wanted to pull Eliza off the page and yell at her for being a blinded hermit. Why? Because it was all believable. The way that Eliza was written so perfectly describes what it’s like in reality to live through things that are tough. From family and friendship issues to disorders, Eliza tackles them all, and like real life, she doesn’t always win.
If I could, I’d wrap Wallace in a blanket and just read and write with him for hours on end. For not being an incredibly long novel, Zappia really made me fall in love with all of the characters. Yes, Wallace was perfect, but how about Eliza’s two online friends or the group of Wallace’s friends? Even though they weren’t on the page nearly as often as Eliza and Wallace, I was still drawn to them. I still felt like I knew them even though I didn’t see them that often. Does that sound crazy?
I’m not going to go into depth, as promised, on the plot points of this novel. However, I do want to say that I believe that everything that happened fit together like a perfect, powerful, believable puzzle. It wasn’t just a story about a boy and a girl. Maybe it seems like that from the cover, but this is a story about Eliza. Make no mistake, Wallace is a huge part, as is expected, but to me, it isn’t in any way focused around him. Everyone plays a vital role in supporting Eliza, but it’s not their story. I wanted to know more about the lives of her online friends and more about Wallace and more about pretty much everyone because it felt like it was a story that covered everyone and everything that had to do with Eliza’s life, and in some ways, it is. The fact that I wanted more of these characters isn’t a bad thing, either! It’s like not Zappia didn’t include them enough in the novel, in my opinion, but I could just read a whole story about Eliza’s two online friends and be completely satisfied because they were like real people with real issues that I cared about as much as Eliza.
Because I absolutely recommend this novel, I will say that there are some darker themes; it’s not all webcomic pages and chat windows and happiness. Zappia crawls into the hearts and minds of these characters and uproots their souls for our reading pleasure. Maybe that sounds a little twisted and I shouldn’t word it that way, but it’s important to recognize that not everything in life ends in happily ever after. There are issues in real life that remain forever and always haunt us. Zappia explores these types of problems. While I absolutely love it, I do advise that you just take into account that this isn’t going to be absolutely skipping-through-a-meadow happy the whole time. With that in mind, I do recommend this to anyone who loves creative energy mixed with friendships and online social settings. Honestly, I think that anyone could read this and enjoy it. It’s just amazing. I love it.
I’d like to thank Twin Reads for the nomination!
1. Thank the person/persons that nominated you and link back to their blog.
2. Answer the 11 questions your nominator has given you.
3. Nominate 11 other people and give them 11 new questions to answer.
4. List the rules and display the award
1. Why did you start your blog in the first place?
I’ve always loved books and when I first started reading and writing more, I wanted somewhere to write down my thoughts to keep track.
2. Have you ever had a blogging slump? How did you get through it?
I’m in a blogging slump right now. This is how I’m working through it, haha. It’s just been difficult to write Reader Reactions to everything I read, so I pick and choose. I probably update once or twice a month, but I need to work on getting that number back up to a couple times a week.
3. What is another hobby you have besides blogging?
I love reading and writing! Manga, anime, young adult novels, and my own novels are the center of my hobby-life.
4. What is the first movie you remember seeing in the theater?
I saw 27 Dresses when I was younger. That came out in 2008, so it’s only been 9 years, but that’s as far back as I can remember. We didn’t really go to the theatre that often, but I do remember that one!
5. When are you most productive? Morning? Afternoon? Never?
Night. That’s when all of my reading and writing and meeting up with people gets done.
6. Would you consider yourself more a family or friends person?
Depends on the family and friends, which is a terrible thing to say – I know! Honestly, the people who I’m really close to are a mix of both.
7. Do you share your blog with your family and friends?
No. I think 2 people I know in RL have seen my blog because I trust them not to judge me. xD
8. What was your first blog post about?
Oh goodness, I think it was just a little introduction. Nothing big. I started my blog around Christmas, so I remember that one of the very first (because I’m too lazy to go back and actually check) was about a poetry book that I got for Christmas. I love Tyler Knott Gregson and my mom had bought me one of his books to give to me a little early. I sat up reading it before I started my blog that night.
9. Do you play any sports?
Dear goodness no! I’d hurt everyone.
10. Do you play any instruments?
After three years of lessons, I know the basics of piano, though I never got good enough to comfortably read music and play from sight. I struggle with reading sheet music something terrible…
11. What was the last thing you ate?
I had a McDonald’s apple pie because I’m obsessed with those. They’re so unhealthy, but I don’t give a hoot!
3. Jade M. Wong
1. What was your favorite book as a child?
2. What is your favorite genre to read?
3. Why did you start your blog?
4. If you could pick just one dessert to eat (and no others) for the rest of your life, what would you choose?
5. What’s been your favorite read of 2017 so far, and why?
6. What’s your favorite blogging spot?
7. Is there a certain song or playlist that you listen to while you read or blog?
8. What is your least favorite movie adaptation, and why?
9. If you were stranded on an island (with no wifi), what 3 items (that can in no way be related to escape) would you choose to take with you?
10. What is your favorite summer pastime?
11. What is something that you have a collection of (besides books or movies)?