Monday, January 15, 2018

I'm Reading for Myself Again

It's been a long time since I've blogged about books.  Life has gotten busy, it's true, but I also burned myself out.  Last year I thought that maybe I would reinvent my blog, but it was also the year that I posted the least.  I see that many of the bloggers who were around when I started are barely posting anymore. 

Maybe everyone has moved on to bigger and better things, or maybe they're hopping on the BookTube bandwagon that I always wanted to try but never had the guts to begin.  I feel so out of the loop, but this time, I don't mind so much.  I'm reading for myself again.  I don't know which new books are coming out anymore, and I'm okay with it.  Now I just get a happy surprise if I go to the store and see that one of my favorite authors has released something new.

Right now I'm reading books that I choose to read, not books that are coming out soon because I have to review them.  Don't get me wrong, I love creating hype for a book that I was fortunate enough to enjoy earlier than most, but there's also something so relieving about picking out a book that's been sitting on your shelves for a while, patiently waiting to be read.

Current Reads:


It by Stephen King

I absolutely loved the new theatrical remake of Stephen King's It.  I spent a month after seeing it in theaters just looking up more of the story.  I finally purchased the book on a whim, and I'm loving it.  I know that it will take me a while to read, though, because it's a daunting 1,157 pages long!

After finishing Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia, I needed a new ebook to read, so I went with Kasie West's new novel, Love, Life, and the List.  Since I mostly read on my kindle during my lunch breaks at work, I thought that this would be the perfect, fluffy read.

What are you reading?

Review: Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

Title: Eliza and Her Monsters
Author: Francesca Zappia
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Age Group: Young Adult
Category: Contemporary
Release date: May 30th, 2017
Pages: 385 (eARC)
Rating: 3 out of 5
Source: Edelweiss
Goodreads | Amazon | Author

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.

The first thing that appealed to me about Eliza and Her Monsters was that just by the description of the book, I could see a lot of myself in Eliza.  In high school, I was always the quiet kid who kept to herself.  I sat in the back of my classes with a pen in my hand-- not taking notes, but writing about another world to escape into.  Like Eliza, I became obsessed with one of my stories, and I worked hard on it for years, posting it online anonymously.  While I gained some loyal readers who knew nothing about the real me, it wasn't nearly the fanbase that Eliza created for herself with Monstrous Sea.

When Eliza starts to fall for real-life Monstrous Sea fan, Wallace, she chooses to keep her real identity a secret.  As a reader, you know that this can only end one way, but it was fun to read about their relationship nonetheless.  Before him, Eliza never had anyone other than her family and two long-distance online friends to spend her time with.  Spending time with him and his group of friends helps her experience so many new things.  One thing that had me on the fence about Wallace and Eliza was that most of their conversations take place over text or in notes, even if they're sitting face to face.  Somehow, that made their connection feel too impersonal to me. 

By the time I got to the end of the book, I felt that I was just reading to get it over with.  There were many predictable, and some unbelievable parts that I couldn't shake once I read them.  I would say, though, that the story is nicely paced and well written, portraying relatable characters and an interesting plot.  I used to feel so alone in my writing and interests, but by reading about characters that I can see so much of myself in, I now see that was never true.  I would have loved a book like this if it had come out 10 years ago, and I hope that teenagers read this today and see parts of themselves in Eliza or Wallace, too.