GIVING AWAY BOOKS!

Adopt an ARC! Check out this list! (PH Only)
  • ARC Review: Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia
  • ARC Review: The Secrets We Keep by Trisha Leaver
  • Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
  • Review: Karmic Hearts by Jhing Bautista
  • Review: The Conspiration of the Universe by Kenneth Olanday

Saturday, June 3, 2017

ARC Review: Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

Better late than never! It took me quite some time to post my review, mostly because I need to sort out my feelings and translate them into words and coherent thoughts and sentences, but here it is!


Title: Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia
Release Date: May 30th 2017
Published by: HarperCollins
Source: From the publisher

Buy online: Book Depository

Summary: Eighteen-year-old Eliza Mirk is the anonymous creator of Monstrous Sea, a wildly popular webcomic, but when a new boy at school tempts her to live a life offline, everything she’s worked for begins to crumble.

In the real world, Eliza Mirk is shy, weird, smart, and friendless. Online, Eliza is LadyConstellation, the anonymous creator of a popular webcomic called Monstrous Sea. With millions of followers and fans throughout the world, Eliza’s persona is popular. Eliza can’t imagine enjoying the real world as much as she loves her digital community. Then Wallace Warland transfers to her school, and Eliza begins to wonder if a life offline might be worthwhile. But when Eliza’s secret is accidentally shared with the world, everything she’s built—her story, her relationship with Wallace, and even her sanity—begins to fall apart. With pages from Eliza’s webcomic, as well as screenshots from Eliza’s online forums, this uniquely formatted book will appeal to fans of Noelle Stevenson’s Nimona and Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl.

I was especially drawn to the story right after I've read the summary. A story about a webcomic creator? And said webcomic creator's real life colliding with her online identity? Sign me up. I have, however, severely underestimated this book.

The biggest surprise for me is Eliza. I related to her in a much more deeper level than I expected. But no, not at first. Not much, at first. I was curious enough because she's a reserved person, so talented but shy and quiet. Her online life was much more exciting and a complete opposite of her real life self. I found myself soaking in her thoughts. I do not agree with some of the things she complained about but the rest feels like I'm reading about a part of myself. The power you have online, people read about you and you're popular and you feel a sense of accomplishment for yourself. The lowest points when everything started to fall apart. Zero motivation, and what comes after the end. I really think how it was brave for writers to write an ending and think of what comes after it and still continue to write. I do write, that's why this story speaks to me so much and so clearly and so vividly. My work is mostly fanfiction, because I never ventured much outside of it, but every single thing that Eliza thought about her webcomic, it spoke to me on a level that I didn't really think I can relate to. But I did. I really did. I still think some of the sentences Francesa Zappia wrote still echo inside me days after I've finished reading the book.

This book understands me. This book perfectly puts into words the things I want to say. It's real, and it is not afraid to talk about anxiety and how it affects not just the person but the relationships and the people around her. It does not sugarcoat Eliza's mental state, even the suicidal thoughts when things become too much to bear.

Eliza and Her Monsters did not just tackle about writing, or Eliza's art, but also the fandom, online friends, real life friends, her relationship as the webcomic creator to her fans, and what happens behind the scenes of Monstrous Sea. There was so much to read and I find myself nodding to all of it. It happens, people. It's real. And I like how Francesza Zappia put it into words exactly right, including the highs and especially the lows. The self doubts, the fear of not being good enough, the pressure to produce, the guilt on the thought of not finishing and letting her readers and fans down. Eliza is such a courageous character, every day she battles these "monsters" and keep on trying still. I wish I can be this hopeful, and it makes me think about all the stories I could've finished were I not afraid, or if I realized the things Eliza did. Readers would oftentimes complain about the lack of parental presence in some YA books, but not here, and I love how one point has been stressed in the story: to try to understand each other better (this mostly applies to Eliza and her relationship with her family, especially her parents who do not really understand what she does and Monstrous Sea) and determine which friends are "real".

I never paid much attention on Sully and Church, but they made me smile towards the end. When life becomes tough, they were there for Eliza. And did I talked about Wallace? No? Wallace has his own monsters to battle, but I like how he was this soft spoken, talented person who was there with Eliza. The sweet, tender, awkward moments he and Eliza shared and how we also got a glimpse of what his life was like in contrast with Eliza. He wasn't perfect, he had his own problems to deal with and things to think about but he was such a bright presence that made the story whole.

I loved the format of the book! It did not just make me curious about Eliza's story, but the story she's crafting as well. I would love to see Monstrous Sea have its own story!

Ah, Francesca Zappia. This is the first book of hers I've ever read and I don't think it'll be the last! I love everything about this book. Eliza and Her Monsters (unexpectedly) blew me away.

P.S.: Guys, Children of Hypnos is real. You can read it on Wattpad here: https://www.wattpad.com/story/95478833-the-children-of-hypnos

Kai's favorite quote:

If you want the motivation back, you must feed it. Feed it everything. Books, television, movies, paintings stage plays, real-life experiences. Sometimes feeding simply means working, working through nonmotivation, working even when you hate it.

We create art for many reasons- wealth, fame, love, admiration- but I find the one thing that produces the best results is desire. When you want the thing you're creating, the beauty of it will shine through, even if the details aren't all in order. Desire is the fuel of creators, and when we have that, motivation will come in its wake.


Content (plot, story flow, character):
What else can I say? I love it, plain and simple.

Stunning: Worthy of a Goddess' Praise!


Book Cover:
The hands stained with paint, sketches of two characters. I'm sure you'll get it when you read the book!




There's also a giveaway for this as I'm part of the blog tour for Eliza and Her Monsters! Go enter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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