Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

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5stars

The only person I can be at this school is Eliza Mirk, and Eliza Mirk is barely a footnote in anyone’s life. Including mine.

Title: Eliza and Her Monsters
Author: Francesca Zappia
Number of pages: 385 (hardcover edition)
Good things about this book: Real themes well written.
Bad things about this book: Nothing, I enjoyed it.
Do I recommend it? Yes, to everyone.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

 

I started this book thinking it was going to be a happy story about a girl who created a popular webcomic and whose life wasn’t easy but it all turned out fine with little to no drama. Oh girl was I wrong! I was so wrong and I got my heart crushed; my eyes were burning with anger, pain, hope, and I found so much of myself in Eliza it was somehow scary.

I’ve always wondered what it would be like to be the person whose color comes through even when standing still. To be someone so vibrant, others can’t help but notice you.

Sometimes the true of your inner self isn’t very obvious; you can’t see it unless someone points it out or you read something and then it comes to you that maybe you’re not the person you think you were. It’s scary but maybe it can also be what makes you seek help and be better for yourself and your wellbeing. This book confirmed some things and revealed some other things. It was a very interesting and different book. You may not think it different because of what it’s about but it’s important; it gets you and, if you feel or have ever felt like Eliza, it makes you feel less alone in this scary world.

I like to tell myself I might do a lot of things – but I and my brain and everyone else know that I’m going to chicken out in the end and barricade myself in my bedroom with a plate of pizza rolls and my Netflix subscription.

Eliza is the creator of a super popular webcomic, Monstrous Sea, but besides her family and a couple of online friends, nobody knows her real identity. She goes by LadyConstellation and her comic is so famous she is in seventh heaven, economically speaking. She loves her story and the characters, she has put all of herself in them: she also loves the fans but they intimidate her. Being on the spotlight is a double-edged sword: the internet is a scary thing. Eliza is introvert and lacks the social skills to make friends in real life; she is better at communicating through texts. Eliza is just like me.

Then along came Wallace, the new kid in school, quiet and football player big. He is interested in talking to her and, guess what, he is the number one fan fiction writer of Monstrous Sea. Eliza is at the same time fascinated to know a fan in real life and terrified he is going to find out who she is and treat her differently, being yet another person to isolate her.

MirkerLurker: He’s not exactly the kind of guy that’s usually interested in me.
Apocalypse_Cow: what kind of guy is usually interested in you?
MirkerLurker: The kind I make up in my head.

The story of Eliza and Wallace’s friendship is simple yet complicated. Wallace comes with issues of his own and a personality that has many layers, some of them I didn’t like very much. Let’s be honest, he made me do the face, “The Face” capitalized, the one I do when I’m judging and cursing you very hard. Eliza is already struggling to keep herself on the surface of her life and we see how everything new (like having Wallace in her life) and not affects her fragile mental stability.

Eliza is a very relatable character for me. She is 15 years younger than me but we have much in common. I think some things never change no matter how old you are; I’m still fighting demons of my own and it’s hard to keep my guard up but that’s what we must do, right? We fight and we keep afloat.

We ascribe value to the things we care most about, but sometimes we don’t stop long enough to take a look at the bigger picture.

Hidden almost on plain sight is the theme of mental illness. Some chapters are harder than others. Some make you hopeful, some hopeless. A few pages threaten to bring you down, and then others lift you to the Moon. These swings are real and they hurt but the light at the end of the tunnel is there even if you at first fail to see it. Eliza goes through a lot when her identity is revealed; she crumbles and she is lost. Her journey is not an easy one but it was nice to read it and feel it so close to home, with a hint of hope.

Monstrous Sea is mine.
I made it, not the other way around.
It’s not a parasite, or an obligation, or a destiny.
It’s a monster.
It’s mine.
And I have a battle axe waiting for it.

Eliza and Her Monsters gave me comics, life struggle, the fear of the outdoors, the problem with communication between different generations, problems within oneself, friendships that transcend the standard concept, young scary love, but above all it gave me a young girl I could relate and I could cheer on and accompany on her rocky road that’d leave her scarred but also stronger. That’s who we are, right? Scarred but stronger every single day.

firmablog

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History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

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5stars

History remains with the people who will appreciate it most.

Title: History Is All You Left Me
Author: Adam Silvera
Good things about this book: NYC, relatable and diverse characters.
Bad things about this book: I really don’t know, I found it balanced and perfect.
Do I recommend it? Yes, yes and yes.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

“One day, Batman is going to take off his mask and, boom, it’ll be me.”

This book left me with so many emotions but above all it left me with reminders of how strong human beings can be when they have to face something hard like losing your first love. The story takes place mainly in New York City and, even with all the descriptions of the freezing weather, it makes the story feels magical. Fun fact: at some point in the book they tell how cold was the weather at the beginning of 2015 and I was in New York at that time with my sister and it was unbelievably cold!! It was fun sharing that unpleasant feeling with the characters.

People are complicated puzzles, always trying to piece together a complete picture, but sometimes we get it wrong and sometimes we’re left unfinished.

I really don’t want to tell you much about the story because I think what the summary says is the only thing you should know to experience every single chapter. There are History chapters in which Griffin tells the story of his relationship with Theo, his first boyfriend, from the beginning. The history chapters at the beginning are fun and adorable since they also have their best friend Wade that I liked a lot, then they became hard to read without crying a little bit because of so many things.

“Come on, be a bro that helps his other bros buy condoms.”

The Today chapters were hard as hell to read. I have cried and cried, smiled a bit, then cried a little bit more. Theo accidentally drowned while at the beach in Santa Monica with his new boyfriend Jackson. It broke everyone. Griffin is in pieces and doesn’t think he will ever be okay. He “speaks” to Theo telling their History together and trying to understand his history from when they weren’t together anymore. He is trying to get to know the new Theo even if it’s going to break him even more than he is already.

I have all this history with you, Theo, but he has pieces of your puzzle that would destroy me if I ever had to put them together, and yet I still want them.

I loved how the chapters went by smoothly and everything was in the right place. I was a little afraid of the pace at first because going back and forth seemed confusing but it worked really well. I have to say that every time I read the words “Today” at the beginning of the chapter my heart felt heavy because I knew how sad it was going to be and indeed it was. Suffering was beginning to look normal so that anything a little nice was a win. How much I suffered. It isn’t really the saddest story I have read but you start to get to know the characters and you follow them on their everyday lives so their sadness becomes your sadness, their happiness becomes your happiness.

I did criticize Griffin for a few of his poor choices. I knew he was going to learn from his mistakes but seeing how he was underestimating his issues I was really afraid of things going out of control. If he kept doing that it was going to be really hard to go back and get a grip of his life. I loved Griffin, flaws and everything. He is a lovely boy and when he loves he gives his all.

I should really stop blaming everyone and certain events for what’s happening to me. I’m the worst thing that’s ever happened to myself.

I am glad because Griffin was surrounded by very nice parents and a friend, Wade, who was more than the third wheel of their weird trio. I am also glad because he got to know Jackson, Theo’s boyfriend at the time of his death, and could share his grief with the only other boy who truly loved Theo. Jackson is a character you may want to hate but then you don’t because you understand how much he loved Theo and how he was only afraid of losing him to Griffin and their strong first love.

There’s nothing wrong with someone’s saving my life, I’ve realized, especially when I can’t trust myself to get the job done right. People need people. That’s that.

I knew this book was going to be great and painful to read because of the author, the magnificent and really adorable, Adam Silvera. I read his book More Happy than Not without even knowing what was it about and it broke my heart. I knew it had lgbtqi characters and representation is very important so that was the main reason I read it in the first place. Books about characters not really defined by their sexualities that narrate their everyday lives and adventures are books I love to find and read.

Long story short, this book is a book that has to be read. It has various elements that can and will get to you, that you understand, that in some way you have come around some time during your life.
I will keep this story in my heart for a very long time, that’s for sure.

I feel like a rock being skipped through the ocean— pain, relief, pain again, relief again, eventually destined to sink.

I’m ready for your next book, Mr. Silvera!!

firmablog