Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia
Published by HarperCollins on May 30th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, young adult, romance
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.
Eliza and Her Monsters is an adorable, feel-good contemporary that is highly relatable. If you appreciate the affection for fandoms and are a fangirl/boy yourself, this is a must-read!
I picked up Eliza and Her Monsters as I was craving a light-hearted, effortless contemporary book, and once I started, I couldn’t stop! I was instantly engulfed in the story and I completed it in a day!
The relatability of this book is stupendous, the majority of the characters that we are introduced to are in the Monstrous Sea fandom, and they each have a deep appreciation for the story and it’s characters. I loved how the characters were flawed and had individual perks and idiosyncrasies that made them distinctly themselves. Eliza preferred to be solitary and enjoyed being cooped up in her bedroom, lost in a reverie of fantasy worlds and an online community that she felt she could connect with. I found this to be especially relatable, as well as when her family think otherwise of her “strange” hobbies and her unnecessary investment in these “imaginary worlds.” Wallace was incredibly adorable, and being a big fan of Monstrous Sea, he was the perfect match for Eliza. Their relationship was dissimilar to standard YA romances, it was slow-paced, scarcely physical and it just felt so endearing and precious. Seeing Eliza open up and grow as an individual throughout the novel was heart-warming at the very least and I love how she began to explore aspects of her life that she usually neglected previously.
Although the bulk of the novel is cheerful and buoyant, towards the end Eliza and Her Monsters turns increasingly deep and intensive. Eliza has the task of grappling her own monsters, in an attempt to overcome their reign. By the end, we get a glimpse of Eliza as she learns to appreciate the outdoors and exercise. I love how this segment was included within the book, as sometimes when you hole yourself inside for an extended period of time, the best thing to do is to drag yourself outside and enjoy nature. Some of the themes that were delved into within the book include anxiety, relationships, family, death and loss.
Ultimately, Eliza and Her Monsters is a delightful read with adorable and relatable characters, an endearing blossoming relationship and explorations of mental illness. A must-read for fangirls and fanboys alike, if you enjoyed Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell you’ll love this!