Sunday Reading - Eliza and her Monsters
I am a huge fan of online comics, and have been for well over 15 years, when a very good friend of mine shared a comic called Boy Meets Boy with me. About a year ago she shared Eliza and Her Monsters with me as well.
She knows my tastes very well. Naturally, I fell in love with this story.
It is the story of a girl who is leading a secret life as an online comic artist. Her parents know she "does her art thing" and they know she makes a little bit of money from it, but they are clueless about how popular it has grown.
Eliza is a fairly normal high school student. (Well, normal from my perspective. That might say a few things about how high school went for me.) Quiet and withdrawn, picked on, and alone. She lives for the moments when she can be alone with the world she's been creating for years.
She meets a new boy, who is someone quieter than she is, and when she finds out he writes fanfic based on her comic they become friends, and then they fall in love.
The story felt like a fluffy bit of romantic feel good YA...fluff. Until it didn't.
I was drawn in even when I thought it was just fluff with some deep and realistic teenage angst. When I realized it went deeper than that, I wanted to read it over and over again. (I have read it twice in the last year, and I am fighting off the urge to reread it right now.)
We have nerd love, we have heartbreak, we have deep anxiety, we have avoidance, we have awkward and creative teenagers, we have an artist, we have a writer, and all this thrown together is the perfect recipe for making me a happy reader. I'm long past high school, but I still identified hard with the main character and the romantic interest. It was like reading about kindred souls, and I wanted to be their friend.
I found this story very inspiring and thoughtful. I'm sure in the next year I'll go back and read it a couple more times. I really recommend it for any and all creative types who had a hard time surviving high school. It made me feel less alone.