Today I thought I’d bring you a dose of mini reviews of the audiobooks I’ve been listening to lately. I’m bringing you one of the #backlistbookworms picks, Eliza and Her Monsters, plus two anticipated books on my TBR, I Wish You All the Best and My Lady Jane! And all 5 star reads for different reasons why!
TW: suicidal thoughts, depression, panic attacks
Eliza and Her Monsters wrung all the tears out of my eyes. I fell in love with the book from the beginning. I empathized with the way it’s easier to talk to people online than in person. But also the power of a friend, having someone you can relate to and share interests. I adored how Zappia was able to make Monstress Sea come alive. I adore fandom stories and the comic really came alive with the chapters detailing the action. The way the online community becomes a piece of you, a place for friends and a community, without the online element.
I loved how passionate Eliza was about her comics and art, but also how she feels the responsibility and pressure. Feeling the pressure to perform, a responsibility to her readers and how her parents don’t really understand. Talk about how I feel right now with blogging at the moment. At the same time, Eliza’s narration and inner dialogue is fabulous. It really makes you feel like you know her, can relate to her, and feel what she’s going through.
Eliza and Her Monsters is about how we can both find ourselves in stories, and the need to live our life off the pages. I adore books with fandoms in it – the connection people can feel when they are united by a shared passion. Eliza and Her Monsters is also a story about self-care and realizing that you need to separate yourself from your work, from what you made and give yourself space.
I don’t think I have words enough to write a cohesive review of this book. I normally don’t do much for audiobooks, but I Wish You All The Best deserves nothing but my best. Deaver’s debut is a vulnerable, emotional, and powerful story about family, standing up for ourselves, being brave, and speaking our truths. Each of these characters have my heart whether it be Ben, their sister or Nathan. The characters could step off the pages. They feel so real and tender. Not to mention the narration style throughout is just GOLD. I felt like I was in Ben’s head the entire book and it was a book I had to finish reading.
I just sat on the couch listening to the audiobook because it was one of those books you need to finish. It talks about our mental health, coming out, our bad relationships with our parents, and it doesn’t shy away from any of these really tricky conversations. Instead it handles them with grace, information, kindness, and you end up really understanding not only Ben, but what they go through. I love this book to pieces and I’m so glad I also have the gorgeous hard cover and signed too! I know that this book has touched lives and I’m so happy it exists to resonate with more readers and teens!
I’m now in love with this entire series. I started with My Plain Jane and just devoured My Lady Jane. It’s so easy to do. With this entire series, these authors are able to merge the hilarious and the fantastical with empathetic characters. There’s plenty of angst and character development. But what makes it even more enjoyable is the cleverness in the book. There’s not only a fantasy twist to history, but there’s also little nods to phrases not coined yet (and invented in the story), or to controversy over Shakespeare’s writings, and more. The whole story is beyond entertaining, it’s captivating. You will fall into this book. Told in dual perspectives from Edward and Jane’s POV we are treated to two different stories about accepting who we are, finding people who support us, and fighting for our future.
Jane is such a bookish character that anyone who loves books can’t help but love. She’s headstrong and opinionated and I love her personality. Edward as well is well meaning and super privileged, but he grows and develops in the course of the book. Even the side characters have these wonderful fully fleshed personalities and stories. All in all this whole book is so wonderful and snarky. There’s tons of banter, angst, romance, and it’s a truly entertaining experience – 100% recommend.