Confession: this book wasn't on my TBR list until five months before it released (which, for me, is a short time). I knew about but hadn't read the author's debut novel; it didn't sound like my thing, so I was tentative going into this book.
I bought it without reading it because I had this inkling that it would be an Emma Book, and, wow, was I right.
But why do I love Eliza and Her Monsters so much?
1. "You found me in a constellation."
Of course that phrase only has meaning if you've read the book, but it's so poetic and lovely.
2. Eliza's growth.
Eliza has anxiety, which is palpable on almost every page, and my heart ached for her (while also recognizing some of my own behavior). There's no magical cure, but she manages to grow and find new boundaries.
3. Her brothers' growth
Her two brothers, Church and Sully, are such great siblings. They don't quite understand Eliza at first, but they stand up for her when it matters most. Plus, they're young teenage boys. I have a good feeling they'll become even better beyond the scope of the story.
4. Wallace's sisters
This is such a character-driven book, and although Wallace's sisters aren't super important, they still had strong moments and developed personalities.
5. Emmy and Max
Eliza's two friends when the book starts are ones she met online. I loved how Francesca Zappia showed just how rich and deep that type of friendship can be. Plus, Emmy and Max had personalities and lives of their own, and I liked that they weren't there just to serve the purpose of supporting Eliza.
There is so much talk about creating and writing and the burn-out that can happen. As someone who had to revise 250 pages of fiction last semester while also writing more (particularly in my unfinished book that was part of those 250 pages) and doing homework for other classes, I know burn-out. Over Christmas break, I wanted to write for myself, but I couldn't. My creativity was dead for a while, which was not a fun feeling.
Most of the YA community has at least heard of Eliza and Her Monsters, but if you haven't, it's a must-read.