Trigger Warning: Anxiety, Mentions of Suicide, Car Accidents resulting in Death, and Attempted Suicide.
This review may contain spoilers.
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.
‘You found me in a constellation.’
I honestly didn’t know what to expect when I sat down to read Eliza and Her Monsters. All I really knew about this book was that the main character, Eliza, had an insanely popular online comic book, and that when a new boy moved to her school, Eliza’s life begins to unravel. That was it, so I decided to read the book whenever I got the chance.
Eliza and Her Monsters starts out in a semi-weird way. Basically Eliza talks about how she feels more like her online version of herself, rather than her actual, real life. The rest of the story though, is great. I ended up loving Eliza and Her Monsters way more than I thought I would.
There are a few things that I thought to be interesting in the book. We have the everyday life of Eliza, and that’s formatted in the “normal” way a book is. But there are also the online portions of the book, as well as the comic parts of the book. I didn’t think that everything would fit together. The ‘normal’ way, the online parts, and the comic parts of the book fit so incredibly well together. (I’ve mentioned on my social media before that I don’t end up enjoying books that have illustrations in them, unless the book is marketed as a picture book. There are a few pictures in this book, but since they’re the story in the story, I actually ended up liking them!)
‘I do have friends. Maybe they live hundreds of miles away from me, and maybe I can only talk to them through a screen, but they’re still my friends.’
I loved getting to know the characters in Eliza’s comics as well. I enjoyed reading about them, and getting to know them, but I loved that the whole focus of Eliza and Her Monsters wasn’t entirely focused on Eliza’s characters.
Eliza is a great character honestly. We see her strengths, her weaknesses. Eliza’s character growth in this book is great in my opinion. Eliza starts off as a person who is closed off to a lot of people. Including her family. By the end of the book I could tell that Eliza definitely has a way to go in terms of her anxiety, yet the little things that were accomplished before the end of the novel warms my heart.
The rest of the characters are written incredibly well and all very realistically as well. Especially her parents and Eliza’s brothers. What I liked most about her parents is that they made mistakes: a realistic one at that.
Zappia has managed to write this book incredibly well. I didn’t think I would like the book, yet I desperately wanted to (before reading the novel). So when I finished the novel I was glad that I ended up loving it! I even almost cried during this novel.
‘There are monsters in the sea.’
I gave Eliza and Her Monsters, 5 of 5 stars on GoodReads!
Have you read Eliza and Her Monsters?