Book: Eliza and Her Monsters
Author: Francesca Zappia
Genres: YA Contemporary
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 STARS
I liked the beginning of Eliza and Her Monsters and loved how Eliza described how much her blog meant to her. I haven’t read many books (I know there are probably a lot of books out there that I’m not aware of) that centre so much on social media and the feeling of being online, it was refreshing to read. I liked the focus on friendship made on the internet and the dilemmas over them being ‘real’ friendships. Eliza and Her Monsters also delved into mental health topics such as anxiety and depression and I liked how it dealt with them.
I didn’t like the romance at all and felt it really brought down the book. I felt Eliza changed a lot when Wallace (the love interest) came on the scene. She started thinking differently and although that is realistic and not necessarily a bad thing, I really felt like Wallace became the centre of everything and I felt Eliza wasn’t her own person anymore.
I found Eliza hard to like in the beginning of the book but I did end up liking her a bit more by the end. I really disliked Wallace, I thought he was a bit of a bland character in the beginning but then grew to be really unlikable. The way he acted near the end of the book was so entitled and I wish he would’ve got called out on it more. I did like the chats Eliza had with her friends online, they felt more real than the friendships she had offline and I felt the personalities of her friends really shone through in their chats.
Eliza’s relationship with her family was surprising. At the beginning I didn’t like how their interactions (between Eliza and her parents, and her and her siblings) were described, they came across as very cold to each other but as the book went on I began to understand their family dynamics more and I really liked the family centred parts of the story near the end of the book.
I also really enjoyed the parts of the book that told snippets from Monstrous Sea itself, I wish there was more of them because I was really into the story of it.
Overall I do have some complicated feelings on this book. I disliked the parts of the book that centred on the romance and there were a lot of those but ultimately I liked how the book talked about mental health and I enjoyed the focus on online media.