Hmm I think I’m forever chasing books about fandom to find that mythical “character like myself” who will make me feel seen the way that others have felt seen by Spoiler Alert or Geekerella. And while I’m very glad that people are feeling seen by this book, I have to firmly shelve it under “High School, I’m Glad This Wasn’t My.”
As I noted when I started reading this, I got very much more into Monstrous Sea than I did in the story of Eliza…
As I’m writing that, I’m realizing that I am falling firmly into the camp of the el terrible fans that drove Eliza to anxiety and her eventual panic attacks.
But as it were, perhaps that’s the character whom I most relate to in this novel–one in the horde of fans, but the nice kind that doesn’t heckle or troll or spew venom. For example I visit diasterisms’ tumblr page so often that it is one of my most visited sites on Chrome, but I also bristle every time someone asks her “when is the update”/”when update”/”UPDATEEEEE.” It’s a weird relationship, being an older fan, knowing that you love someone’s work and want to devour it but also they’re humans and probably have real lives and so it’s hard for them to get around to spending all their efforts on free labor/labors of love.
Eliza, on the other hand:
Which, okay, is likely largely due to some crippling social anxiety that is oh-so-conveniently fixed in the last 10% of this book by some real hallelujah type moments. She’s shocked–shocked!–to find out that her brothers are just as interested and nuanced as she is. Her parents are shocked–shocked!–that her hobby is making her lots of money. I’m shocked–shocked!–that any parents would be so clueless that their kid has that much money not in the least because can kids under 18 even open up accounts on their own? What sort of tax preparer would prepare a kid’s taxes without informing their parents? She’s still their dependent!
In any case, I think if I had more patience with the book I might try to divine a bit more of the secondary meaning in the webcomic and its plot and how it related to Eliza’s life, but instead I’m just left wishing that someone would make a book series about it 😀