Her story is a phenomenon. Her life is a disaster.
Eliza Mirk is a 17 year old with anxiety, extreme shyness….and a webcomic, Monstrous Sea, that has become an international phenomenon. She has worked diligently to keep her personal identity for the three years that she has been working on the series but when she accidentally meets one of the most famous fanfiction writers for her series, she begins to question a lot of things.
I really enjoyed this book but I’m not sure how much I’ll have to say on it.
I am positive this has been said before but the book that Eliza reminded me of the most was Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. Both are about fandom and showcase a socially awkward main character but from different perspectives. Both deal with the MC being told that what they are doing isn’t “real.” Everything Eliza has accomplished is online and thus there is an exploration in this book as to whether things that happen online are things that happen in the “real world” (spoiler alert: they are).
Some other themes that this book at least touched on: anxiety, depression, suicide.
As I am fortunate enough not to suffer from any of the above afflictions, I can’t speak to how well they are represented here. I can say though that, having not personally experienced anxiety or depression, I felt like this book did a good job of demonstrating what it can be like. The writing and characterization was such that I felt like I “got” Eliza enough that even when she got a little bit neurotic, I felt like I understood it even if only from an academic standpoint.
I liked Wallace a lot even if I kinda sorta feel like this was small case of wish-fulfillment in that the painfully awkward high school girl got the super-cute, looks-like-he-could-play-football guy. This really didn’t bother me though because Wallace’s history and his own problems developed a character that I though fit really well with Eliza and I adored their chemistry.
A book about fandom with romance, a little bit fluffy but also with some substance. All this and it was a really quick read! I think I finished it after about 8 total hours of reading last Saturday. :D