Eliza and her Monsters was heartwarming, heartbreaking, adorable and equally as wonderful as it was relatable. (And once again, there was a DOG. An instant win for me.)
I absolutely loved the representation of Eliza’s anxiety/panic attacks (& although not out rightly stated, depression?) It was real, raw and honestly portrayed how much of an impact these things have on a persons life, both physically and mentally. I especially appreciated how it defied the whole ‘tortured artists are better artists’ stereotype and instead showed the, all too often, reality of how debilitating and compromising mental illness can be towards creativity and art (whether that be writing, drawing, music, etc.)
Wallace was one of the most adorable love interests I have read in a while and I loved that he wasn’t perfect. He was flawed but understandingly so and apologetic of those flaws (as was Eliza). I loved that he was dealing with his own things too and how the relationship between Eliza and Wallace helped them both come of if their shell but not on a ‘yay, I’m totally cured. woo love!’ kind of way. (I hope you know what I mean?..)
Eliza was wonderful. She was relatable, real and, again, flawed. In a similar way to Wallace, she was apologetic but also aware of herself and her mental state, which I really enjoyed. She acknowledged some of the things she did probably weren’t always the best for her but also how hard it is to fight against your brain and what’s right and wrong for it sometimes when you’re dealing with mental illness. It was so lovely to watch her slowly come out of her shell and become appreciated for her talent but again, I loved that Francesca Zappia didn’t give her an instant ‘cure’ plot. I loved following her relationship with her internet friends and the acknowledgement that internet friends are real friends. I also adored her brothers, especially as we, along with Eliza, got to know them better.
I adored all of the artwork in it and I’m now desperate for Francesca Zappia to write and design some kind of graphic novel or comic. I couldn’t get enough of her gorgeous art style and story telling.
In the terms of the writing style, for me, it was everything I love in a book and writing. It was easy flowing and had a variety of elements to it. Including elements such as instant messages and blog posts etc is always so much fun to read and adds a great added dimension and cultural relevance to both the characters and story. I breezed though it and would have happily devoured more pages..
Eliza and her Monsters discusses love, loss, family, friendship, first love, mental health, creativity and content vs creator relationships. It’s funny, adorable, heartwarming and heartbreaking and I’m so very happy I picked it up.
If you enjoy books like Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell and Radio Silence by Alice Oseman, Eliza and her Monsters is a book you need to check out!
(Now I just want confirmation that Eliza and Wallace are out there somewhere, cuddling Davy, with happy hearts please.)