Fandom Done Right: Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

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Her story is a phenomenon. Her life is a disaster.

In the real world, Eliza Mirk is shy, weird, and friendless. Online, she’s LadyConstellation, the anonymous creator of the wildly popular webcomic Monstrous Sea. Eliza can’t imagine enjoying the real world as much as she loves the online one, and she has no desire to try.

Then Wallace Warland, Monstrous Sea’s biggest fanfiction writer, transfers to her school. Wallace thinks Eliza is just another fan, and as he draws her out of her shell, she 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.

Source: GoodReads

I loved this book.

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I have read many books about fandoms this year, I think it’s almost a sub genre in YA contemporary.  Lots of them have been good.  Lots have been mediocre.  And some of downright pandered to their audience.  With Eliza and Her Monsters I think I found one of these books that’s actually scary identifiable.

Though, I do not have near the anxiety issues Eliza has, I see a lot my teen self in her and I have had panic attacks before.  I also can relate to her as an introvert.

Extroverts, like Eliza’s parents, always have a hard time realizing why introverts like being by themselves.  Why we have to have that alone time.  Why it’s so crucial that an introvert has a people free day and be a RAT (rude antisocial troglodyte).

Yeah, I know.

Introvert whining.  But when you are constantly told that parties are fine and find yourself only looking at your watch the entire time wanting to know when you can go home and binge watch something on Netflixs…

Okay, end of introvert pity party.

The point, I’m trying to make-digressions aside is this book is so relatable.  It also goes into the pitfalls of how one can get absorbed in fandom in an almost unhealthy way.  And honestly reading this sort of scared me because I could see shades of myself in Eliza and while I loved her, that isn’t exactly a good thing.

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Okay, it was actually a great thing it made me feel for the character and made her journey seem even more real, but it also scared me on some level that some of the darker moments of this characters journey…well, I could see it happening to me if I were in her shoes.

The romance in this book was delightful.  I liked both Wallace and Eliza.  They both had this awkwardly cute quality about them.  I did get annoyed with Wallace towards the end of the book when he pressured Eliza to finish her comic.  His reaction, however, as douchey as it might’ve seemed wasn’t really that unrealistic.  In fact, had he not acted the way he did I probably would be calling the book out for not being realistic.

One of my biggest issues with Fangirl was that the fan fiction that Cath wrote was a very obvious watered down Harry Potter fan fic (the fact that, that got its own spinoff is another story for another day) the fandom in Eliza and her Monsters actually is its own thing and it sounds pretty cool.

Really, I wouldn’t mind reading a spinoff of Eliza’s story. which seemed to be more than Harry/Draco fan shipping.

Just saying.

I think what drove me into liking this book was that it was relatable.  It had its moments of darkness, but it also had its moments of hope.  If you want a good book about fandom, I highly recommend you check this contemporary out.

Overall Rating: An A

 

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