Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia
Published May 30th 2017 by Greenwillow Books
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
In the real world, Eliza Mirk is shy, weird, and friendless. Online, Eliza is LadyConstellation, anonymous creator of the wildly popular webcomic Monstrous Sea. Eliza can’t imagine enjoying the real world as much as she loves her digital community, and 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 Eliza 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.
With illustrations from Eliza’s webcomic, as well as screenshots from Eliza’s online forums and snippets of Wallace’s fanfiction, this uniquely formatted book will appeal to fans of Noelle Stevenson’s Nimona and Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl.
Actual rating: 3.5 stars
Thank you, HarperCollins and Edelweiss, for sending me an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Eliza and Her Monsters has actually been so hyped up among my friends, and personally I was so excited to read this. This was giving off a Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell vibe so I expected that much, but it gave me so much more and I am honestly pleasantly surprised. There were also cute drawings scattered throughout the book, showing us Eliza’s Monstrous Sea characters which was SUCH A GOOD IDEA if you’d ask me, omg.
The book is about Eliza Mirk, and how she lives a dual life. She’s also LadyConstellation, the creator of the widely popular comic Monstrous Sea. She’s a private person both online and in real life, and has never revealed her identity as LadyConstellation. I liked Eliza as a character. She’s flawed, and has an element of realness to her. She was very relatable too.
I didn’t make Monstrous Sea to be a phenomenon – I made it because it was the story I wanted. I make it now because there’s something inside of me, crushed around my heart, that says I must do it. This is what I was put on Earth to create, for me and for my fans. This story. This is mine, and it is my duty to bring it into the world.
Cue Wallace, who moves into her school, and turns out to be the biggest Monstrous Sea fan there is. Wallace on the other hand, blehh. After that thing towards the almost-end, I stopped liking him.
Which drives me to my next point, I didn’t like the ending especially with Wallace. I think it was too… convenient? I won’t discuss this too much because spoilers, but I will say that Eliza does not deserve him. I mean, yeah, I get where Wallace is coming from, but wow to prioritize one thing over another person’s mental health? Really?
I’ve come to appreciate Zappia’s writing style since Made You Up, which sort of leads you to believe it’s a normal contemporary YA book with all the cutesy parts, but then she throws in dark aspects to the storyline. I like how accurate Zappia was able to portray mental illness.
Despite my issue with the ending. I really liked the book. Overall a really good read! Definitely do not miss out on this book. 🙂
Fame, love, admiration – but I find the one thing that produces the best results is desire. When you want the thing you’re creating, the beauty of it will shine through, even if the details aren’t in order. Desire is the fuel of creators, and when we have that, motivation will come in its wake