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review 2017-06-02 23:58
Eliza and her Monsters by Francesca Zappia | READ THIS NOW!

This past Tuesday, Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia was released into the world, and you all need to get a copy. Now.

I was an Eliza beta reader about a year and a half ago, and I finished reading my hardback yesterday. All the praise that I had already given the beta version? Oh, wow. Magnify that by a hundred. This book is fantastic. Here are my 5 reasons for why you need NEED to read it.

 


1) Fantastic Characters--

It's a well known fact that Chessie makes amazing, multi-layered characters, the type to delight fans of all ages (cc: Made You Up). Her characters feel flesh and blood. They make you want to cry and scream, and you get frustrated on their behalf. Chessie's attention to detail makes her characters come alive, with their own little habits and phrases. And with such fantastic characters, you're guaranteed to be engaged in the story, even if you don't always agree with what the characters do.

Eliza and Her Monsters - Francesca Zappia
2) Breaking Gender Norms--

The romantic interest in this book is a hulk, former football player and now fanfiction writer and a selective mute, with a soft voice. The main character is a girl with greasy hair and social anxiety, and she's this super popular creator of a webcomic. Society tends to portray female creators as being Nice, Polite Women - women need to comprise, to smile more often, etc. Here, we have another story to rival that. And many of the side characters also break gender norms. I don't know about you, but I'm very pleased to have a story where the characters aren't in these flat cardboard boxes of what we expect (e.g., alpha male). This also makes the characters feel more real to me.

3) The Unique Formatting--

You can look at several of the Goodreads reviews that mention the photos - here, for instance. Or just at look at the EpicReads post of the first two chapters. You can see the inclusion of the Monstrous Sea webcomic pages, and the prose transcription beneath. You can see private messages between the characters - the moderators of the webcomic and Eliza, the romantic interest and Eliza. You can see forum interactions and forum profiles. Most of the YA books out right now don't have this amount of layering within their stories. Horror YA sometimes includes pictures, and other fandom related books might have some stories, some fanfiction--not to this extent, not to this level of metaness. See point below.

4) Unlike Anything Else You've Read--

This book has been compared to Fangirl and Afterworlds and Nimona, because every book needs to be compared to something, so you have an idea of its marketing. It's a fact of life that you build on schemas that people already have of the world. But this book is unlike anything else that you've read. You only get Cath's fanfiction in Fangirl, some of the story from the main character in Afterworlds. Nimona started off as a comic. None of these is quite the same as Eliza and Her Monsters. Here, you get the main character's creation and see how she interacts with her fans, and you see how fanfic writers interact with the creator and the fandom. You also get to hear about a series of books that she loves, too. Chessie has posted this online - the Children of Hypnos story. The main character has a drive to create after the fandom that she loves no longer exists. You have access to that story too. There's this amazing level of metaness in this story that ties so well into the themes of creation, fandoms, etc. I repeat: unlike anything else you've read.

5) So Easy to Relate to--

If you're reading this book, there is a good likelihood that you will relate to SOMETHING in this book. Whether it's the main character's social anxiety, the need to create, the desire to interact with the fandom, or just loving how the fandom interacts-- there is something for everyone. And you know that Chessie has interacted with or been a part of fandoms, because it shows in her writing. It shows in how fandoms a portrayed. Marieke Nijkamp wrote the blurb, "A love letter to fandom, friendship, and the stories that shape us, Eliza and Her Monsters is absolutely magical." Yes, yes, yes. A love letter to fandom and friendship and stories. Yes. 100% true.

READ THIS BOOK!

PS - This wonderful novel got a starred review from Kirkus, Publisher's Weekly, Booklist, and School Library Journal.

PPS - Here is my original pre-review: I read a manuscript of this book about one year ago to date. If you like Made You Up, you will most certainly love Eliza! Chessie brings back her trademark endearing humor in another wonderful mix of adorable romance, quirky characters, and multilayered plotting (plus the cool formatting here, which is typically reserved for YA horror, but hey, Eliza is just that awesome). I would also recommend this book to fans of Fangirl and Afterworlds.

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text 2016-07-31 13:54
A Good Day or Bad?

 

 

I'm planning to have a great day today & I hope you guys do too! : )

 

 

 

Img Source: www.epicreads.com 

 

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text 2016-06-22 08:29
One More Page...

 

 

 

Source: Epic Reads 

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review 2015-07-28 00:56
Merlin's Blade
Merlin's Blade - Robert Treskillard

This is an engrossing fantasy novel that sets up the series well. While the characters are a bit bland at times, what really makes this novel come alive is the beautifully descriptive setting. Robert Treskillard paints a vivid picture in your mind with his skilful writing.

Twilight descended as he rowed. The stars appeared, but they refused to reflect off the turgid water. The moon raised its leprous head through the trees, casting anxious shadows on the reeds that rattled against the boat.

While the plot was slow-paced, it gave plenty of time to get to know Merlin. If the other characters fell flat it was because Merlin outshone them all. You feel his struggle as he goes about trying to have an ordinary life despite being half-blind, and then his pain as his friends and family are deceived by an evil magic stone. Merlin is able to use his blindness to his advantage as he sets out to destroy the stone. His selfless, caring nature, as well his bravery, are his greatest strengths and the qualities I find most admirable about him. Even through his darkest moments, he is always looking to help others, and I found Merlin to be a wise and inspiring character to look up to as you share his journey.

  I like how Merlin deals with his disability and the emphasis on how it does not define you. Merlin is teased and mocked for his blindness, and the large scars that cover his face. However he and those closest to him know that it’s what’s on the inside that matters. This is something that can be easily forgotten in our world of media and fame, where the bigger and more beautiful the better. It’s the simple things, like love and faith, which really count.

 

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text 2015-05-21 05:00
The Heir by Kiera Cass

Release Date: May 5, 2015

Published by: Harper Teen 

The Selection, #4

Source: Own

For fans of: The Bachelor, Romance, Dystopia, Sparkly Covers, Chick-lit, Royalty, YA, Companion/Series

 

     Twenty years ago, America Singer entered the Selection and won Prince Maxon’s heart. Now the time has come for Princess Eadlyn to hold a Selection of her own. Eadlyn doesn’t expect her Selection to be anything like her parents’ fairy-tale love story. But as the competition begins, she may discover that finding her own happily ever after isn’t as impossible as she always thought.

 

 

*MY THOUGHTS*

     I knew this series was big, but I didn't know just HOW big until I read this book. The ending was the cause of a HUGE uproar from teens that I met at RT 2015 and they were NOT happy. I can't wait to see how she Kiera Cass handles this next book that comes out.

"You are Eadlyn Schreave. You are the next person in line to run this country, and you will be the first girl to do it on your own. No one,' I said, 'is as powerfl as you.'"

pg. 5

     Twenty years later King Maxon and Queen America have four children and Ilea is upset about things happening in their communities. To help calm them, Maxon and America have decided to hold a Selection for their oldest, Princess Eadlyn. This changes everything as it's the first Selection from a woman, but Eadlyn doesn't have the silly expectations of actually finding love. But the Selection comes to reveal things aren't always what you expect.

Everyone keeps saying that it might be good for me. What does that even mean? I'm smart and beautiful and strong. I don't need to be rescued.' Ahren shrugged. 'Maybe not. But you never know if one of them might need to be.""

pg. 121

     The one thing I hated was that it seemed like there was no plot change from the other books. Even though this one was twenty years later and it was a woman's selection, it just seemed like the same story. But there were some things that did change. Such as the way the Selection was handled.

"I'm not sure anyone knows what they're looking for until they find it.'"

pg. 162

      Eadlyn was really spoiled and it was getting a little annoying. She seemed to think that no one could help her run the county and that she would be the only one who could get anything done. She went in not wanting to give anyone a chance. Sounds like her mother. It just seemed like I'd read the exact story before and the fact that Eadlyn was such a brat didn't exactly make me like it any more than the original.

"They just want more for themselves. I can't say I blame them, but the people are confused. They think their lives are in our hands, but they're not. 'They're in their own.' 'Exactly.'"

pg. 268

     What I did like was the ending. (Looks around for teen girls who might be trying to kill me. If you've read it, you would understand why liking what happens is a bad thing lol ) It made for a really good plot twist. I was expecting them to do something like that, but not to leave it on a cliff hanger like that. I'm guessing at all the possibilities that could happen if the ending played out like I think and I'm really interested in how Cass will handle the next book.

"This was why love was a terrible idea: it made you weak. And there was no one in the world as powerful as me."

pg. 148

     All in all, I felt like I have read this book before. I can't lie, this series could've been complete without adding this Selection to the mix, but Cass is smart. Adding these two books to the series and ending this one the way she did, opens her up to so many possibilities to continue this series. Even after the next book is published.

Overall, I give this

 
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