Eliza And Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia
Release Date: May 30, 2017
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 Rating:★★★★☆ ½
My Thoughts: Discussing social anxiety, depression, fandom/fanfiction, and internet culture, Eliza & Her Monsters is a thought-provoking and engrossing YA Contemporary that will captivate you from page 1!
I adored this book + I practically flew through it!
Through first person POV, we follow Eliza as she goes through her final year in high school while also being a popular web comic artist of Monstrous Seas!
Having anxiety myself, I felt Zappia’s discussion and portrayal of it through Eliza was well represented! Throughout the course of the novel, she explains her struggles with connecting with her classmates and in general being more social was so relatable and reading from her POV, really made me connect to her even more! + It was great to see the discussion/inclusion of therapy as well.
I went into Zappia’s novel with high expectations because I adored her debut novel Made You Up and Eliza blew me away!
Comparing her web comic to blogging, I could definitely relate to her when she discussed the interaction in the community and having online friends! Additionally, reading about the work she puts into her comic and how it becomes a part of who she is, was another aspect that I could see in myself when it comes to Book blogging and writing!
When Eliza discovers a new classmate (Wallace) writing Monstrous Seas fanfiction, she begins to see how her work impacts and is beloved by people even in her own town! While she did have her fears of explaining to Wallace (among others) of being the creator, I could definitely see where she was coming from!
I’ve been working on a few story ideas and reading about her anxieties + fears of explaining the work to others was also something I could totally relate to! She’s always felt invisible and like she doesn’t belong, however through her online comic she finds a community and people who she can connect with. It was great to see the discussion on the importance of online communities and friends!
Over the course of the novel, she develops a friendship and relationship with Wallace and I felt it was so well done! It was never rushed and really took time to develop + I loved seeing their bond grow over Monstrous Seas.
However, troubles arise when her identity gets discovered and it took the novel in a more serious direction as we see how it impacts Eliza’s mental health and her passion to continue her story.
I loved how Zappia really took the time to show the different sides of Eliza’s work and as mentioned above, the line between creator and fan, internet privacy and above all the impact of social media on arts/works online! It brought in so many different discussions throughout and it brought even more depth to the story.
+*~ I loved the Final Fantasy references 😍😉✨
Additionally, Zappia’s writing in general really gives the story a heartwarming feel to it, while balancing the more serious moments!
This novel also discusses the barrier and obstacles that come with Eliza being a creator and having fans/dedicated readers that follow her comic.
It really takes time to also discuss family as we see how Eliza’s dedication to her comic makes her realize and understand more about her brothers and parents + how the internet can sometimes take away from moments that go on in daily life when we don’t notice! That was another aspect of this novel that really resonated with me and really made me think!
The first person POV really allows you to get into Eliza’s head and really understand/connect with her. Additionally through her POV, all the characters felt real and developed!
I did feel at points, the plot itself felt rather rushed in some places, mainly towards the end and in some places it could have been expanded on just a little bit more! Mainly with Eliza & Wallace’s relationship, I wanted a little more development as I reached the end!
Eliza and Her Monsters is fantastic YA Contemporary that weaves in themes of family and friendship, while discussing important topics such as anxiety. Throughout the novel, Zappia also discusses the multiple sides that come with online communities and artists/creators. Perfect for fans of Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, this novel will capture your heart!