Eliza And Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia
Synopsis (taken from GoodReads)
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: 4.5/5 Stars
My Review: I don’t know if I have the words to properly describe my love for this book. The characters were so real, the story was strong, the setting made sense, & the writing was absolutely wonderful.
I see a lot of myself in Eliza. I’m not nearly the creative type she is, but as I am now & when I was her age, her reactions & thought processes hit home so hard. The portrayal of Eliza’s anxiety in this novel was SO SPOT ON it legitimately made me cry & nod to myself. I HAVE SAID THESE THINGS. FELT THESE THINGS. DONE THESE THINGS. Mental illness is different for everyone, so some people may not relate to Eliza’s issues in the same way as I did, but know that this is definitely one way it can manifest. I have even known people who responded in similar ways to some events irl as Wallace does in this book when THE THING HAPPENS (No spoilers, but when you read it, you’ll know what I’m talking about. The BIG NEGATIVE towards the end.)
I’d also like to note that Eliza’s parents are fully present in this book, which is refreshing. Just so many YA novels with absentee parents (if they’re even mentioned, they’re usually nowhere to be found like ever), so it’s nice when the parents exist.
I also enjoyed how the book isn’t all “LOVE INTEREST FIXES ALL YOUR MENTAL ILLNESS ISSUES HURRAY YOU’RE CURED” like some books have happen. So be happy about that, y’all!!
Oh gods, I legitimately don’t know how to put a non-flailing review together for this one. Everything was beautiful & written so so well. I DO wish there were a few more Monstrous Sea excerpts, but it makes sense why there wasn’t. The ones shown are very much representative of what is going on in Eliza’s life & her coming to terms with her work/personal life/relationships. MS, though a big part of her life & this story, are not, in fact, the story/point itself. But I still wouldn’t mind some more. Maybe Zappia could go ahead & just write us a separate book with a whole fleshed out Monstrous Sea story?? Just a thought!!
Basically, y’all should just go ahead & read this book. It’s funny, it’s cute, it’ll make you feel so many things. It’s so easy to get lost in these pages & time will fly by as you frantically devour the words.
Read. This. Book.