Eliza and Her Monsters, by Francesca Zappia
From my Kirkus column about Eliza and Her Monsters, by Francesca Zappia:
I loved this book. Granted, I tend to love books that deal with online relationships and online fandom and online culture and fanfiction and creators and so on—see Fangirl and Gena/Finn and The Truth Commission, for a few examples—but this one is a standout even so.
Appropriately, while it’s primarily written in straightforward prose, there are also excerpts from Monstrous Sea (comic panels and prose), and text threads and IM chats, etc. And Zappia does a beautiful job of making those online interactions feel warmer, more dynamic, and more immediate than Eliza’s IRL experiences, especially at first. This moment—in which a conversation with her friends is cut off by a question by her father—highlights that nicely:
I snicker. Dad looks over his shoulder at me. “What’s so funny, Eggs?”I turn off the phone and press it to my sketchbook again. Annoyance pings over my humor, little dark spots in the lightness. “Nothing.”
The text threads are not only laugh-out-loud funny, they FEEL REAL. And even without the handles, all of the voices are distinct—they’d be recognizable WITHOUT the handles.