Reviews tagging 'Gaslighting'

Eliza and Her Monsters, by Francesca Zappia

1 review

bethsbookshelf's review against another edition

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challenging emotional funny hopeful inspiring sad tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes


Plot: 10/10
Characters: 7/10
Pace: 10/10
Writing: 7/10
Diversity: 4/10
World-Building: 9/10
Ending: 5/10
Enjoyment: 9/10
OVERALL: 61/80 (7.5/10)

Omg. This book, man. This book. I’ve been excited to read this since it was released YEARS ago and I was putting it off - no, saving it - for a time when I felt slumpy. Now was that time. I wasn’t enjoying other books, I kept DNF-ing and I needed something fun, cute and young adult. As soon as I started this, I was hooked & I kind of felt at home. Eliza is such a relatable character to me: creative, introverted and stuffed full of anxiety. She likes staying in her own room, watching her favourite shows and writing her 6,000,000 follower blog. Anonymously, of course.

Then she meets Wallace and she’s pulled from her comfort zone. He doesn’t speak; only writes her notes or sends texts, but they have one thing in common: They both love Monstrous Sea. The only thing is, he doesn’t know that she’s the creator.

And she doesn’t tell him for understandable reasons, but of course, like all plots where there’s a huge lie festering, it’s going to either make or break the main characters.

Here’s what I loved about this novel:

1. Wallace and Eliza have the cutest meet-cute of all. He doesn’t talk much at the start, and she totally accepts that. She stands up for him to the bullies and they both realise they love the same web-comic. They hang out, in silence, yet still have so much to say to each other. What’s even more is that he’s actually writing fan fiction and a prose version of her web-comic. That’s how much he loves her work! And he doesn’t even know she’s the creator. Which makes me love how much he loves her, that he actually devotes his free-time to her, before even knowing that Eliza is Lady Constellation! 

2. The way the author wrote about the internet. As someone who has grown up in the digital age, she wrote it SO well. In a way that wasn’t cringe or farcy, but as if the internet is a real place. She wrote about the feelings and emotions attached to the safety and vastness of the internet and I loved how Eliza hid and thrived in it. 

3. Wallace. For the most part. For the first half of this book, I freaking LOVED Wallace. He was a total darling: sweet, funny, shy, yet confident. He knew he was. His character took a dive, but I still loved him in the beginning. 

4. The format of the novel. It’s written in first-person present, but mixed with emails, text messages, comics, images and more. Loved it. 

5. Eliza’s brothers. Church and Sully are pretty annoying the whole way through the novel but they come through at the end and actually ended up saving half the novel for me.

6. The coming-of-age aspect. Eliza has a fantastic character arc that is almost flawless (take away Wallace). I actually wish the ending wasn’t as rushed, and Eliza was a little more self-sufficient, but I do love the therapy scene and how she managed herself.

7. The way the author wrote about anxiety and depression. She described it so well that I think even people who hadn’t experienced it would get it, but not in an overly preachy way. I also like that it wasn’t a big deal that Eliza went on meds.

Overall, I thought his was a cute romantic coming-of-age story with a fantastic premise. However, there were a few things that really ruined the novel for me:

1. There were parts of this novel that didn’t seem consistent. Little things, like a character saying they weren’t mad when a few pages before they were saying they were super angry. It felt like the editing of this was a little rushed. Then there were stupid things like, a really cute romantic scene punctuated by a toilet flushing. Not funny or necessary. Didn’t like things like that.

2. Wallace’s character arc is potentially one of the worst i’ve ever seen. He starts out the most freaking cutest and then ends up being THE WORST, but doesn’t get punished for it. Instead, the author rewards him!! I won’t give spoilers but beware. It hurts.

3. Eliza’s freaaaaaking parents. They’re worst than Wallace tbh. They just want her to be this athletic, healthy, but not too skinny, 4.0 gpa girl. But that’s not who she is. She hates sports. She’s not got muscle on her. She’s just who she is. They haven’t checked her blog in 2 years so they don’t realise she’s mustered up 6 million followers and can pay for her own college, so instead, they hold all this stuff against her while not ever asking her: HOW ARE YOU TODAY? And they basically end up ruining her life tbh. Hated them. They were the worst.

4. Eliza and Wallace’s ending.

So yeah. That’s why I dropped 1+ stars. Bitter, because it could have been a 4.5 star read for me!!!!

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