ELIZA AND HER MONSTERS
Written by Francesca Zappia
Published by Harper Collins, May 30, 2017
My Star rating: 4 stars
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. (Goodreads)
I almost didn’t read this one. When it first came out, I read the synopsis and it didn’t grab me. It didn’t sound bad but it didn’t spark enough interest in me to go out and get it right away. And then the reviews started coming in and they were all glowing! Almost every single review was 5 stars and people couldn’t say enough good things about it. So I gave in – and I’m glad I did!
First off, this is the first book in a very long time that I FLEW through. It felt like I had read maybe 50 pages but then when I looked I had read 140! The writing was great and the story flowed so well that I didn’t bother to look at the time or the page numbers! I absolutely loved her writing style and I also really enjoyed that it had some illustrations of the Monstrous Sea comic, messages, and texts. I actually could have used a little more of the illustrations of the comic though. The comic itself is obviously a very large part of the story and, though it was explained throughout the book, there wasn’t enough detail for me to really understand Monstrous Sea and its characters. There are supposedly millions upon millions of fans, and I felt a little left out of it all. I wanted to be excited about the comic just as much as everyone else was but I didn’t have enough to really grasp or care deeply about it. That’s where this book lost a star.
The characters – this is where this book EXCELS! Eliza was me as a teenager (and me now to a certain extent). I myself am an extreme introvert and have many friends online that I talk to all the time but I talk to no one in real life. I also have a blog that no one in my life knows about (ok my parents, hubby, kids, and a few family members know – Hi Joe lol) and I love that it’s kept separate from the rest of my life. I don’t have millions of adoring fans or anything but I still like to be two “me’s”. I also draw and show no one….
Her relationship with Wallace was perfection to me. Their dialogue was natural and so funny! It was adorable watching two people with a common passion come together and try to work around their anxieties. Also both of them were so afraid to show each other their true selves and interests, which obviously causes some issues, but how they navigated these things was very true to life. I loved Wallace maybe even more than Eliza! He was just so sweet and hilarious!
What I thought was really great and different about this YA contemporary was the fact that the main character had parents and brothers who were a big part of her life! That’s something we rarely see in books these days and I hope we get a lot more like this. Her parents were a little bothersome and annoying sometimes but, as a parent to a pre teen, I understand how their perceptions and understanding of Eliza can be skewed. Communication between parents and their kids is hard but neither side stopped trying or got angry. Her brothers ended up being a wonderful set of side characters.
All in all this story was adorable, unique, and one I really enjoyed the whole way through. I’m so glad I decided to pick this one up!
If you’ve read this do you think we now need the Monstrous Sea comic? Would you read it?
Until next time, happy reading!