When I started this book, I was so skeptical as to how a book about comics, fandom and a regular American teen’s life would be an important vector in communicating about mental health.
The story begins with Eliza, who is the creator of internet’s most loved and revered comics. And yet, the blurb itself says her life is a disaster. At first, it does not seem so. It just felt like a book that will talk about regular teenage problems, fight and make up with parents, have the protagonists fall in love and end of story.
But boy! Have I been in for some serious surprise. I picked this one after a recommendation from one of my favourite vloggers Hannah. I bought it the second she mentioned mental health. And yet, once I began, the book it felt a little too frivolous to be talking about mental health.
I say this with no malice in my heart, ofcourse. But having been through mental health problems myself, I perhaps expected something very different. And yet, my naive and tiny mind did not fathom the intensity of this book disguised in a beautiful, realistic and seemingly light storyline.
Eliza meets a new boy at school, who has his own demons. I sometimes do not understand how people are not vocal about what they feel. But it may also be because years of therapy has taught ME how to express my emotions right.
This book reminded me on what it is like to be a teenager. A confused, scared one with so many uncertainties threatening to devour you and yet you navigate everyday life like you are perhaps either the coolest person in the world, or an invisible one.
This book struck a chord. I was invisible in school. I was invisible in college. It was only when I found myself, the little flicker of hope that I was not entirely a waste that I became. I became me. THIS is how I can sum up Eliza and her monsters because I have felt like Eliza. I have felt like Wallace, and I have been through every trigger that happens in the book.
I will not go through the plot. This book made me feel things I had forgotten, and that’s something rather rare. It’s a clear 5/5. Because it would be a shame if I did not give it full credit to what it is – absolutely real whilst building up a fictional universe full of nerds trying to navigate through the teenage years.
If there were ever a book I were to recommend on mental health, teenage angst and real feelings – this would be it. Eliza And Her Monsters is a breath of fresh air.