Eliza And Her Monsters By Francesca Zappia [Book Review]

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Eliza and her Monsters by Francesca Zappia | Book Review | YA Fiction | Young Adult | RachelPoli.com

I bought this book myself at my local Barnes & Noble.

Summary:

Her story is a phenomenon. Her life is a disaster.

In the real world, Eliza Mirk is shy, weird, and friendless. Online, she’s LadyConstellation, the anonymous creator of the wildly popular webcomic Monstrous Sea. Eliza can’t imagine enjoying the real world as much as she loves the online one, and she has no desire to try.

Then Wallace Warland, Monstrous Sea’s biggest fanfiction writer, transfers to her school. Wallace thinks Eliza is just another fan, and as he draws her out of her shell, she begins to wonder if a life offline might be worthwhile.

But when Eliza’s secret is accidentally shared with the world, everything she’s built—her story, her relationship with Wallace, and even her sanity—begins to fall apart.

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.com

The book cover is what caught my attention. It matches perfectly with the contents of the story. The cover shows a pair of hands, assuming to be Eliza’s, holding onto a pair of characters. The font of the title suggests something artsy as well. I love the design overall.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.com

I had seen this book making its way around the WordPress book world. I had heard a lot of great things. I do enjoy storytellings and creating characters, of course, so when I went to Barnes & Noble I picked it up.

Plot | RachelPoli.com

Eliza Mirk is a creative writer who publishes a comic online. She has created a brand new world with amazing characters and wonderful settings. Her username, Lady Constellation, is practically famous on the internet. However, she doesn’t want anyone to know it’s actually her.

This plot is unique as it relates so well to today. Everyone “knows” who everyone is on the internet and a lot of people make their living online now. Eliza was making money off of merch and that was going to help pay for her college. She was doing what she loved to do but didn’t want the fame attached to it. I found myself really into the plot, especially when she met a real-life fan because I knew what was coming.

Characters | RachelPoli.com

I enjoyed reading Eliza’s story. Eliza and Lady Constellation differ so much from each other which I thought was spot on. We’re all a little different on the internet. She made a great protagonist and developed well throughout the story.

Wallace was a great male lead. I was able to predict what was going to happen when he came into the picture, but I still enjoyed him and the dynamic between him and Eliza.

Eliza had two mods online, both varied in ages and they lived in different parts of the world. They only communicated online and through text but I loved their relationship with each other. They met through Monstruous Sea, but they were great friends.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

The story flowed well overall. It bounced back and forth between narrative to text layout to brief drawings and blurbs of Monstrous Sea. I never felt jarred out of the story and it was easy to read. In fact, I read half the book late at night because I couldn’t stop reading.

Overall | RachelPoli.com

This was a wonderful story. I think most of us can relate to it. The storytelling overall is great and I would love to see more.

Eliza And Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia gets…
Book Review Rating System | 4 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com 4 out of 5 cups of coffee

Favorite Quote:

“It’s stupid because that’s what I like about the internet – that it gives you time to think about what you want to say before you say it.” –Francesca Zappia, Eliza And Her Monsters

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Have you read this book? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below, I’d love to chat!

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Amnesia By Breanna Brown [Book Review]

Amnesia by Breanna Brown | Book Review | Poetry | Self-publish | RachelPoli.com

Summary:

This is a collection that details my struggles with grief and abandonment issues after the death of my mother and the dissolution of my household. I struggled with relationships, parenting and my mental health. Eventually, I found God again and He reawakened me from my depressive slumber. Through Him and my daughter, I learned to live and love again.

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.com

I have to say I absolutely love the book cover. The colors were well chosen. It’s pretty and it pops out. Yet, everything is mixed together, as is the title. The way the title is written is clever because with “amnesia” everything is jumbled up.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.com

I’ve been wanting to read more poetry and expand my horizons a bit in that genre. I’ve also been reading a few mental health subjects lately so I figured I’d give this a try.

Plot | RachelPoli.com

This book tells the story of the author’s struggles in life after losing her mother. It was a powerful read, especially since this is something we all have gone through or will go through. It’s part of life. Like some, the author found God and was able to bring her life back on track.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

I enjoyed reading this book. It’s broken up into poems of various lengths and forms. I’ll admit there were a few poems I had to re-read in order to understand them. Though I don’t think it was from the writing, I think it was because I was reading so quickly. It’s easy to get caught up and carried away with poetry, especially short ones.

I felt the author had a nice way of conveying her feelings through it all. At some moments, I felt like I was right there with her.

Overall | RachelPoli.com

This was an uplifting read, despite the context, but it was filled with hope. The writing was well done and the story was told well through the poetry. If you enjoy poetry, I’m sure you’ll enjoy this book.

Amnesia by Breanna Brown gets…
Book Review Rating System | 4 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com 4 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“is there such a thing / as a happy medium / when your body is / swollen with life / but your soul is watching / everything else / walk off with death?” –Breanna Brown, Amnesia

Buy the book:

Amazon

About Breanna Brown

Breanna Brown, Author | RachelPoli.commy name is Breanna Brown, 26 years old, mother of one, in Nevada
writing has been my passion since my mother taught me
before I entered preschool. I love writing poetry and fiction
and I am currently pursuing my masters in English
my literary heroes are Stephen King
O’ Shea “Ice Cube” Jackson, Ellen Hopkins
Rupi Kaur and Christopher Nolan. Coffee
oils my gears, reading horror tames my fears
rap and rock flood my ears
and if I could, I’d live out my years
off french fries and spend my days
listening to classic rap
surrounded by a dozen cats
with paper stacked
both literary and monetary
I’m grateful for the miracle life
and what it has to teach me
so I cringe when people preach to me
unless it’s metaphysics, philosophy
or poetry
but I’ll digress and say I’m very appreciative
you giving your time and kindness
thank you for reading this
I hope you will enjoy
some more of what I got
comin’

Have you read this book? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below, I’d love to chat!

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Turtles All The Way Down By John Green [Book Review]

Turtles All The Way Down by John Green | Book Review | Young Adult Fiction | RachelPoli.com

Summary:

Sixteen-year-old Aza never intended to pursue the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there’s a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Russell Pickett’s son, Davis.

Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student, and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.com

The cover for Green’s latest novel is simple. I like the orange coloring of the spiral as it’s not too bright and doesn’t take away from the actual title. The title and Green’s name takes up a lot of space on the cover is in a semi-messy font which goes well with the premise of the story as well. I like it.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.com

I’ve hopped on the John Green train late. Before picking this up, I’ve only ever read Paper Towns by him. His books have always been on my list so when this one was announced, I preordered it right away.

Plot | RachelPoli.com

This plot did not turn out the way I had expected it to. I expected more of a mystery, but it turned out to be more about finding yourself and being true to yourself and your friends. It was about being there for one another. While it wasn’t what I expected it to be, it was still a fun read with a cool mystery in the background.

Characters | RachelPoli.com

Part of the reason I enjoyed this novel so much was that Aza is just like me. She’s more extreme than me, but she has anxiety and some of the things she did and said are some things I can relate to. She made a great protagonist and was good fodder to through into a mystery.

Daisy, Aza’s best friend, was a good character to balance Aza out. She was supportive of her friend but got annoyed with her at times. Still, she was a fun character and I would love to see her in another story.

Davis, their other friend who wasn’t their friend in the beginning, was interesting. It was his father who went missing, his money that Aza and Daisy – mostly Daisy – wanted. Aza and Davis related to each other on so many levels and I found it to be a great dynamic.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

John Green’s writing is always phenomenal. The story was nicely paced and flowed well. There were no stones unturned. The plot was enjoyable enough that it was a quick read and kept me wanting more. While this is a standalone novel, I’d be interested to see these characters in a sequel.

Overall | RachelPoli.com

John Green didn’t disappoint. The plot was intriguing, I fell in love with the characters, and I couldn’t put it down. I would highly recommend this.

Turtles All The Way Down by John Green gets…
Book Review Rating System | 5 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com 5 out of 5

Favorite Quote:

“I wanted to tell her that I was getting better, because that was supposed to be the narrative of illness: It was a hurdle you jumped over, or a battled you won. Illness is a story told in the past.” –John Green, Turtles All The Way Down

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Abe Books

Have you read this book? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below, I’d love to chat!

 

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Things That Surprise You By Jennifer Maschari [Book Review]

Things That Surprise You by Jennifer Maschari | Book Review | RachelPoli.com

Title: Things That Surprise You
Author: Jennifer Maschari
Published: 
August 2017 by Balzer + Bray
Genre: Middle grade, realistic fiction
How I got the book: I bought it at Barnes & Noble

Summary:

Emily Murphy is about to enter middle school. She’s sort of excited… though not nearly as much as her best friend Hazel, who is ready for everything to be new. Emily wishes she and Hazel could just continue on as they always have, being the biggest fans ever of the Unicorn Chronicles, making up dance moves, and getting their regular order at The Slice.

But things are changing. At home, Emily and her mom are learning to move on after her parents’ divorce. Hardest of all, her beloved sister Mina has been in a treatment facility to deal with her anorexia. Emily is eager to have her back, but anxious about her sister getting sick again.

Hazel is changing too. She has new friends from the field hockey team, is starting to wear makeup, and have crushes on boys. Emily is trying to keep up, but she keeps doing and saying the wrong thing. She want to be the perfect new Emily. But who is that really?

My Review:

rp-first-thoughts

This book caught my attention when so many book bloggers were reviewing it here on WordPress back in the summer. It took me a while to get around to it, but I finally did and ended up reading it in one sitting.

rp-plot

Emily Murphy and her best friend Hazel are starting middle school. Hazel sees that as a big step in their lives, but Emily sees it as school. It’s not a big deal. Emily is more excited about a movie based on their favorite book series coming out in a few months. She’s into cosplaying for the midnight premiere of the latest book while Hazel tags along, but just doesn’t seem to be into it as much.

As Hazel begins to hang out with girls on her sports team, Emily wonders what’s wrong with her. This book is about finding who you are as well as discovering who your true friends are. Yet, it’s okay to drift apart from old friends.

Meanwhile, Emily is having a hard time at home as her older sister comes home from being away for so long trying to recover from her anorexia.

rp-characters

Emily made a great protagonist. She was naive and, for the most part, wasn’t ashamed of what she liked. While others around her, such as Hazel and her new friends, believed her to be a “baby,” Emily continued to like what she likes. Her feelings got hurt and she was embarrassed, but without realizing it, Emily stayed true to who she was through and through.

Hazel reminded me a lot of a friend I used to have. We drifted apart in fifth grade as we both found other friends to hang out with. Hazel tried to keep in touch with Emily, but it was hard for her. She wanted to “grow up” and Emily didn’t. Hazel tried to include Emily in group events with her new friends, but those friends were kind of mean girls and Hazel wasn’t the best at sticking up for Emily. It was a bittersweet ending for their friendship.

I loved the parts with Mina, Emily’s older sister. Emily was feeling left out with her friends and even left out at home as her parents focused a lot on Mina’s health. Emily is supportive of her sister but also aches for an older sister who she can hang out with and talk to. Mina was a great character from beginning to end.

 

rp-writing-style

Being a middle-grade novel, this was a quick and easy read. The overall story flowed well and between Emily’s parts about finding herself, making new friends, trying to hold onto Hazel’s friendship, and keep her sister, everything intermingled very well.

rp-overall

This story was adorable and conveyed an important message that I think most middle-schoolers should read. Anyone can read it and I’m sure most of us can relate to its content.

Things That Surprise You by Jennifer Maschari gets…
5-Star Rating | Book Review 5 out of 5 stars

Favorite Quote:

“It strikes me that people are kind of like those lollipops with Tootsie Rolls in the center – if you wait awhile, you get surprised by something awesome that sits just below the surface.” –Jennifer Maschari, Things That Surprise You

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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2017 Reading List

I read a total of 62 books in 2017! This beat the number of books I read in 2016 and 2015!

I read some great books and some that I wasn’t a fan of. I read a ton of books requested by authors. Overall, it was a great reading year.

Here’s a master list of everything I read, all links go to their respective reviews on this blog.

1. Guy In Real Life by Steve Brezenoff
2. When We Go Missing by Kristen Twardowski
3. The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness
4. The Neverland Wars 2: The Piper’s Price by Audrey Greathouse
5. The Elite by Kiera Cass
6. The One by Kiera Cass
7. Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier
8. Deceived by Heena Rathore P.
9. The Aqueous Transmission by Mike Eye
10. Rise of The Elohim: The Spirit of Iris by Rocky Rochford
11. Follow Me Home by Jen Benjamin
12. Gatecrashing Europe by Kris Mole
13. Gramma Mouse Tells A Story by M.E. Hembroff
14. After Life by Matthew O’Neil
15. Renaissance: The Nora White Story by Yecheilyah Ysrayl
16. Descendants by Rae Else
17. Snap, Cackle, and Pop by Carol Kearney
18. Unpacked Sparkle by Patrick A. Roland
19. Madam Tulip by David Ahern
20. Underneath by Anne Goodwin
21. Dream, Recurring by Mark Canniff
22. Who Killed Christopher Goodman? by Allan Wolf
23. The Ghosts of Now by Joan Lowery Nixon
24. The Good Neighbor by A.J. Banner
25. Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer by John Grisham
26. The Dark and Deadly Pool by Joan Lowery Nixon
27. The Leaving by Tara Altebrando
28. Archie, Vol. 1: The New Riverdale by Mark Waid
29. Archie, Vol. 2: The New Riverdale by Mark Waid
30. Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard
31. Flawless by Sara Shepard
32. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling
33. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J.K. Rowling
34. El Deafo by Cece Bell
35. Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke
36. Perfect by Sara Shepard
37. Unbelievable by Sara Shepard
38. Jozi Flash by South African Writers
39. Nancy Drew 1: The Secret of the Old Clock by Carolyn Keene
40. Nancy Drew 2: The Hidden Staircase by Carolyn Keene
41. Pancakes and Corpses by Agatha Frost
42. Be Light Like A Bird by Monika Schroder
43. The Black Book by James Patterson
44. Everland by Wendy Spinale
45. Beauty’s Curse by C.S. Johnson
46. Beauty’s Quest by C.S. Johnson
47. Beauty’s Kiss by C.S. Johnson
48. Beauty’s Gift by C.S. Johnson
49. Lulu’s Ballalam-Bam-Bam Grooves! by Serina Adham
50. Warcross by Marie Lu
51. Real Friends by Shannon Hale
52. The Fragile Thread of Hope by Pankaj Giri
53. Into The Light by Emily Stroia
54. Keepers by Sacha de Black
55. Eleanor And The Impossible by M. Miles
56. Rot 1: Origin of the Feces by Aidan J. Reid
57. 13 Steps to Evil: How To Craft Superbad Villains by Sacha Black
58. Rot 2: The Tooth Hurts by Aidan J. Reid
59. I Am Soul by Yecheilyah Ysrayl
60. Things That Surprise You by Jennifer Maschari
61. Turtles All The Way Down by John Green
62. Eliza And Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

How many books have you read in 2017? Which was your favorite? Let me know in the comments below!

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I Am Soul By Yecheilyah Ysrayl [Book Review]

I Am Soul by Yecheilyah Ysrayl | Poetry Book Review | RachelPoli.com

Title: I Am Soul
Author: Yecheilyah Ysrayl
Published: 
December 20, 2017 by Literary Korner Publishing
Genre: Poetry
How I got the book: I received a free copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Summary:

I AM SOUL is Yecheilyah’s Fourth Collection of poetry. Select poems from the PBS Blog and her personal journal, these pieces focus on all things personal and all things SOUL.

My Review:

rp-first-thoughts

I was pleased to find out this author had a poetry book up her sleeve for one last release in 2017. Poetry has intrigued me lately and I’ve been trying to read more of it. So I was eager to give this one a try.

rp-writing-style

As the summary suggests, I Am Soul is a collection of poetry from the author’s blog or personal journal.

These poems are based on African history and literature as well as Women’s literature. It’s interesting to read from such a perspective because I come from a different background than the author. It reads just like a journal and it’s refreshing.

The poetry comes in all shapes and sizes so that it doesn’t get monotonous. Some are long lasting two to three pages while others are just a few lines taking up half a page. Some of them rhymed and some didn’t. Some lines were long reading like prose and others weren’t. It kept my attention and I was able to read it in one sitting, despite how short it is at 96-pages.

rp-overall

If you’re interested in history or even just poetry in general, this is a great book to read.

I Am Soul by Yecheilyah Ysrayl gets…
5-Star Rating | Book Review 5 out of 5 stars

Favorite Quote:

“But I can write, / articulating the suffering / of the now silent.” –Yecheilyah Ysrayl, I Am Soul

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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Rot 2: The Tooth Hurts By Aidan J. Reid [Book Review]

Title: ROT 2: The Tooth Hurts
Author: Aidan J. Reid
Published:
December 23, 2017
Genre: Short Story, Dark Comedy
How I got the book: I received a free digital copy from the author in exchange for an honest review

Summary:

The Fairy Godmother needs a hitman

She thinks she’s found the right guy. Ray Jones – a recent convict and tooth fairy thief.

Unfortunately for her, he’s got other ideas.

My Review:

rp-first-thoughts

I’m part of the review team for this series of shorts. After reading the first part, I was eager to read this one.

rp-plot

Leaving off from part one, Ray Jones is saved by the Fairy Godmother herself, but not out of the kindness of her heart. She needs Ray to do her a favor; a favor that will grant Ray his freedom and even retirement from being a tooth fairy. But that task isn’t an easy one as he must kill a human.

The Fairy Godmother is certainly a piece of work in this short story series. Ultimately, Ray agrees because it’s either his life or the human’s. For the next 21 pages, we follow Ray as he scopes out the human and attempts to complete his task.

rp-writing-style

This short story picked up right where the first part left off. There were no introductions and not too much backstory, which was great for me. The narration and the character of Ray Jones is hilarious and is so fun to read, despite the dire situations he gets himself into.

rp-overall

Rot 2 was a great successor to Rot 1 and I’m looking forward to reading more of the series as it comes.

ROT 2: The Tooth Hurts by Aidan J. Reid gets…
4 stars book review4 out of 5 stars

Favorite Quote:

“She had told me it meant ‘Route To Kill’. Said it in a way like she was orderin’ a BLT sandwich. Want fries with that kill?” –Aidan J. Reid, Rot 2: The Tooth Hurts

Buy the book:

Amazon

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