Eliza and Her Monsters
by Francesca Zappa
“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.
The 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 . 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.”
I had not heard of Eliza and her Monsters until I got it in the June Owlcrate box, where I got an exclusive cover. My book group then decided it was our September read, however, I read it in two days.
Eliza is a girl in senior year, shy and arty, but she is also the brains and skills behind a webcomic series (Monstrous Sea) that is a phenomenon. However, her parents do not not understand her ‘obsession’ with her drawing and her online friends, and think she should spend more time in the real world. Wallace gets transferred to Eliza’s school and they awkwardly sit next to each other in homeroom until Eliza stands up for Wallace and they discover each other’s love for Monstrous Sea, through this they get to know each other better and Eliza spends more time in the real world.
Wow, I do not like contemporaries, but if they were all like this I would love them! I have been putting this off because of the ‘genre’ but it such a beautiful book, and I was hooked after the first couple of pages. Talking with the girls in my book group, everyone who has started is hooked and I’m not sure how many of us are going to stick to the weekly amount.
My favourite bit has to be once Wallace is on the scene, so most of the book. There were so many twists, but it fitted with ‘normal’ teenager life. This book completely played with my emotions, happy one minute, sad the next, falling in love and out of love. I was shocked near the ending, but it ended in such a beautiful way.
Eliza has to be my favourite character, I totally related to her (apart from the art) but this was so close to what I was like at school and it made it more real for me. Wallace, Emmy and Max are also firm favourites as well. I also really enjoyed getting to know Eliza’s characters from Monstrous Sea like Amity, Faren, Dallas and Damien.
Eliza and Her Monsters does not really end on a cliffhanger, as it is a standalone, but I would love it if there was a follow-up story at some point.
While reading this book, I described it as a shy girl who is completely different online and then a boy slowly brings her out of her shell. I would recommend it to teenagers and adults. 5 out of 5.