Mini Reviews: Eliza and her Monsters by Francesca Zappia & Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett

Posted 23 June, 2017 by katheryn13 in blog, Contemporary, Funny, Mental Health, Reviews, Romance, Updates, YA / 2 Comments

Her story is a phenomenon. Her life is a disaster.

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.

Review:
So wow, this story caught me by surprise. First, the cover is absolutely beautiful and captivating. I would have kept it just for that alone, but the story itself is awe-inspiring. It made me want to drop everything now and write, just do what I love and write. Because that’s what I love to do (despite the lack of blog posts) and I miss it if I don’t do it for long. 
There was an element of ‘Fangirl’ by Rainbow Rowell in this I thought, mostly because some pages had pages from Eliza’s ‘Monstrous Seas’ comic.
Eliza is quiet, insular, an introvert if ever there was one. And in some ways I related well with her, though not to her level. Mostly I just felt for her about her writing/comics and how passionately she was toward them – well, okay maybe she felt more intensely than I ever could, but that’s something else.
And then you have Wallace who comes at you with no warning. I kind of got a little irritated with him at one point, when things go ape-shit, but was glad when everything smoothed out. I couldn’t believe it took such an extreme turn to make him see straight. Eliza is gradually brought out of her shell and it’s cool to see, but I suppose I could see people saying “they’re romanticising…” and making it like she needs a guy to fix her. Anyway, I’m not going to do that because I look at the story as a whole and whether it entertained me, and it sure did. The messaging between Eliza, Emmy and Max was hilarious at times and really evened out the tone. 
I think I saw some moments that hit a little too close to home and since I read to escape and forget and whatnot, sometimes it can get a bit like “ugh. no. I don’t need a reminder, thanks” but I got over it. The sweet development between Eliza and Wallace was adorable, and just so so cute, I really felt like I was going on the journey with her.
I got so mad at her parents when you-know-what happened, but at the same time I could also see their point of view about Eliza spending so much time on her phone. However, since I also do that, and have no local friends, it was like “oh…”
There was, admittedly, a lot of drama in this crammed with humour and romance, and it never became dull for me. That’s all I ask. 4.5/5 stars.

The one guy Bailey Rydell can’t stand is actually the boy of her dreams—she just doesn’t know it yet.

Classic movie fan Bailey “Mink” Rydell has spent months crushing on a witty film geek she only knows online as Alex. Two coasts separate the teens until Bailey moves in with her dad, who lives in the same California surfing town as her online crush.

Faced with doubts (what if he’s a creep in real life—or worse?), Bailey doesn’t tell Alex she’s moved to his hometown. Or that she’s landed a job at the local tourist-trap museum. Or that she’s being heckled daily by the irritatingly hot museum security guard, Porter Roth—a.k.a. her new archnemesis. But life is whole lot messier than the movies, especially when Bailey discovers that tricky fine line between hate, love, and whatever it is she’s starting to feel for Porter.

And as the summer months go by, Bailey must choose whether to cling to a dreamy online fantasy in Alex or take a risk on an imperfect reality with Porter. The choice is both simpler and more complicated than she realises, because Porter Roth is hiding a secret of his own: Porter is Alex…

Approximately.
Review:
I kind of wish the plot hadn’t been given away in the summary, but damn…that did not detract from my enjoyment. I loved the premise, and how some people compared it to ‘you’ve got mail’ and I could see that. So clearly. Bailey’s voice was fun, light, and, ugh, I hate to say this, relatable. Maybe not to me personally, but she had that kind of bounce that made it really easy to read and not get irritated like some do for me.
I was always waiting for the ball to drop when it came to her and Porter, and it just made me want to read quicker though for me that’s not possible. Haha. Porter is charming, sexy, cocky as hell and just…sweet, too. I loved everything about him and if he could become real that’d be great, thanks. 🙂
Bailey’s dad, too was a cool presence, and the same for Porter’s family. It’s not often I like the families in YA but this one was nice. The only character I didn’t like was Davy, but I’m pretty sure, despite his reasons, that was expected. Grace was fun, too, and nice to add some Britishness to the equation.
I’m on a real contemporary reading streak at the moment and I’m so happy these two books have been brilliant, at least for me. I think if you love romance, adorkable moments and draaaaaama, then these two are for you! 😀
5/5 Stars.
-Kat
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2 Responses to “Mini Reviews: Eliza and her Monsters by Francesca Zappia & Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett”

  1. These sound good 🙂 the first one does sound cute, but I wonder how I’d feel about the “romanticizing” bit. It’s no lie that romantic relationship ships are incredibly important in your teens, but I wouldn’t go so far as them solving anxiety and the like. However, I guess not all stories are the same and you can’t jump to conclusions before you actually read the book 🙂 and it does sound sweet.
    Also, books are the best escape! All people escape. Be it TV, video games or even the mall. It’s normal 😀

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