June 8, 2017

Review: Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

Title: Eliza and Her Monsters
Author: Francesca Zappia 
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release date: May 30th 2017
Source: Edelweiss
Format: eARC

Rating: 4.5/5

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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. 

First of all, I don´t like to compare books of one author with another, because it leads to create high or low expectations whatever the case may be, so if you are interested or curious about this book, do not read it with the expectation that is another Fangirl, yes, there are similar in some aspects but that´s it (this is my humble suggestion).

Eliza and Her Monsters is about Eliza Mirk, a shy, introverted and with social anxiety young woman, she´s happy immersed in her passion that is to draw her webcomic Monstrous Sea, which is a very popular and which she publishes weekly anonymously under a pseudonym. Eliza has millions of followers and fans, but she only has two best friends whom she met through her webcomic forum and they´re administrators of her website, but with whom she only interacts online, since one lives in Canada and the other in California, for that her offline life is lonely, which is how she wants it to continue, until she meets Wallace the new guy at school, whom is also very quiet, withdrawn and coincidentally is a fan of her webcomic and he writes fanfiction of Monstrous Sea.

The first thing that comes to mind to Eliza when she meets Wallace is that he is an athlete, since he has the physique of one, but from the time she realizes that he´s a fan and  fanfiction writer from her work everything changes, Like her, Wallace is also shy and he doesn´t speak in public, so the interactions between them in public are through messages either text or written on a sheet. It was nice to see how the relationship between the two begin very slowly, since both are extremely shy, but as initially both say half truths or omit things like the fact that Eliza is the creator of the webcomic Wallace loves, this is something that could cause them problems in the future.

Overall, I recommend you to read Eliza and Her Monsters, I loved it! It´s a very good book that deals with mental health problems, but another great part of it is about fandoms.

Something I liked a lot is that it contains illustrations from the webcomic, Monstrous Sea forum entries and text messages, unfortunately I read it in ebook format and the images were very small, but I hope someday to have a physical copy in my hands.

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