Book #60: Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

Eighteen-year-old Eliza Mirk is the anonymous creator of Monstrous Sea, a wildly popular webcomic, but when a new boy at school tempts her to live a life offline, everything she’s worked for begins to crumble.

In the real world, Eliza Mirk is shy, weird, smart, and friendless. Online, Eliza is LadyConstellation, the anonymous creator of a popular webcomic called Monstrous Sea. With millions of followers and fans throughout the world, Eliza’s persona is popular. Eliza can’t imagine enjoying the real world as much as she loves her digital community. Then Wallace Warland transfers to her school, 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 pages from Eliza’s webcomic, as well as screenshots from Eliza’s online forums, this uniquely formatted book will appeal to fans of Noelle Stevenson’s Nimona and Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl.

There aren’t many books that induced me to tears. Eva and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia is one of three books to have done that.

Eliza is famous. She created a webcomic that has inspired many to write and do their own artwork. She had inspired tattoos and people. And yet . . . no one knows she is who she is.

I found Eliza to be highly relateable. She was the girl I was in ninth grade. Her peers disliked her and bullied her. They didn’t understand her. She would rather be alone and invisible than talking to people. Her anxiety is close to what I had to deal with in ninth grade that, I think at moments, I was pulled back into that time.

It didn’t take me long to read the book. I think I basically vegged out on my couch and read the day away. I do know that Bug asked me to put it down. Which I did . . . until commercials came up.

I nearly threw my book close to the end of the book and even had to post something online. I needed fellow readers to join in on the moment. I needed to know I wasn’t the only one upset. It also didn’t take long for me to start crying.

I’m not sure what else I could say without giving away what happened. All I know is that this was a perfect book that pulled me in. I’m a Zappia fan now. I want to consume other books by her.

3 thoughts on “Book #60: Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia”

  1. Wonderfully written review! I recently finished reading this book and WOW – it was definitely worth the hype! I adored Eliza, she’s such a relatable character. I also really liked how the author didn’t totally leave Eliza’s parents out of the story which is often the case in most YA. The only part that I had a problem with was Wallace’s reaction to discovering Eliza’s “true identity” and the fact that he basically held her responsible for his own future – not cool.
    Anyway, I look forward to more of your posts in the future… Happy Reading! 🙂

    1. I completely agree with the problem you had with the book! I had the same reaction. I didn’t know if I wanted to throttle him or toss the book. I kept reading because I wanted to do it for Eliza. I still feel it should have ended differently. Thank you for reading my review and liking it. 🙂

    2. I completely agree with what you disliked. I am right there with you. I was torn between tossing the book across the room or find a way to beat Wallace up. I decided to finish the book for Eliza. Even now I am gushing about that book. It’s definitely staying in my bookshelf for a very very long time.

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