in a friendly reminder that i've sh*t on all your faves, i posted this review!! find it here (preferably before unfollowing me out of righteous fury): https://emmareadstoomuch.wordpress.co...
Hindsight is 20/20.
I now understand, having read this book, what I did not grasp previously: that maybe I shouldn’t have expected to like this.
For one thing, I full on hate Francesca Zappia’s other book with everything that I am, which in retrospect is seeming like a more important factor than it did at the time.
I also really, really hate my-big-secret-was-revealed-and-now-everyone-in-high-school-knows-and-my-life-is-ruined-in-a-very-quintessentially-high-school-way plotlines. They are so stressful.
But I like contemporaries! And I like the Internet! And I like illustrations! And I like mental illness rep! And I like books people like! (That first and last one are blatantly false, but still.)
I had hope, is what I’m saying.
This book crushed every last BIT of that.
As I just ranted about (except not actually because it’ll probably take me a million years to post this, even after it took me a million years to write it, even after it took me a million years to read the book) in my review of Everything All at Once
, I am sick to death of the sh*tty family trope.
But I didn’t realize just how sick of it I could be, just how hard that trope could scrape against the bottom of the entertainment barrel, just how low we could get, until I read this book.
THIS BOOK HAS PERHAPS THE WORST FAMILY DYNAMIC OF ANY BOOK I’VE EVER READ. Because not only is it grueling and dramatic and boring and done, it’s also completely nonsensical.
Eliza has two little brothers, who are so flat and annoying they actually go well past the bounds of the very definitions of the words “flat” and “annoying.” She does not get along well with said brothers, and is, in fact, quite mean to them despite being many years older and, one would suppose (incorrectly), more mature. So that’s awesome.
But we don’t get to the very limits of terrible until we talk about Eliza’s parents. That statement, along with every single statement made in this book, may lead you to assume that Eliza’s parents are the problem. However, every single cell in my entire body vehemently disagrees with that assumption.
Eliza’s parents are just two people trying their best!!!!!! Their daughter never talks to them and spends her whole life in her room, on the Internet, and they don’t know what to do about it which is not exactly shocking considering Eliza never talks to them!!!!! They’re just trying to parent!!!!!
I think this book may have been designed to appeal to the children of technology. Here is a girl who has it all, in terms of what the online world can offer: she has anxiety, but she’s unbelievably famous, has swarms of online friends, creates amazing art, gets a boyfriend. What goes along with that is the inevitable disapproving parental figure is actually - gasp! - wrong.
Maybe that’s another reason I was destined not to like this book: I firmly believe you can’t be on the internet all the time. Not even if your friends are on there, not even if your job is on there, not even if, like, a goddamn opportunity to hook up with Zac Efron is on there. Which I guess it is, technically speaking. REGARDLESS OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES, the real world matters too, is what I’m saying.
I firmly believe that Eliza should have apologized to her parents. She doesn’t talk to them unless she’s spewing vitriol, she ignores her family, she stays in her room all the time, she refuses to even offer an explanation as to why all of this would be okay. Once she does - sorry, once her brothers do for her
- good ol’ mom and dad are more than understanding.
I gave this book the benefit of the doubt for SO LONG
because I thought character development would change the way she treats her family but nOOO, HER PARENTS WERE ACTUALLY IN THE WRONG ALL ALONG, AND IN TURN SO WAS I, MOTHER AND FATHER AND I ARE JUST THREE MORE FOOLS INHABITING THIS WORLD OF FURY AND NONSENSE.
Not even the fun Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland kind.
In the abundant free time Eliza doesn’t spend creating an inexplicably famous and successful web comic or ruining the lives of her family members, she’s living it up sexual tension-wise with a kid named Wallace.
I support this relationship, but only because Eliza and Wallace both suck so equally that they were probably made for each other. They treat each other like sh*t, and Wallace is so boring. Like seriously. Guys. This is your MCM?
Eliza stupidly hides the fact that she writes that massively successful web comic from Wallace, even though Wallace is a huge fan of it and talks to her about it all the time and revealed his
secret online identity to her
. But whatever, of course that is what would happen in a book this trope-y.
HOWEVER. Here’s the thing. Eliza and Wallace write notes to each other all the time
(like straight up instead of talking). Eliza also handwrites the speech bubbles for her comic, which Wallace is obsessed with. Like photographic-memory-level-of-knowledge obsessed. Can Wallace not recognize handwriting?
There’s a moment when Eliza recognizes Wallace’s after seeing it ONE TIME.
This book is dumb and I hate it.
Good mental illness rep, though. If only everything else didn’t suck so hard.
Bottom line: This book is designed to speak to its audience, and that high-as-hell average rating tells me it worked. BUT NOT FOR ME. SORRY, FOLKS.
I mean...come on.
Like...what the ever-living hell…?
Review to come