Bee Reviews ELIZA AND HER MONSTERS by Francesca Zappia

Posted May 19, 2017 by Bee in Reviews / 8 Comments

Bee Reviews ELIZA AND HER MONSTERS by Francesca Zappia

Eliza And Her Monsters

by Francesca Zappia
Published on May 30th 2017
by Greenwillow Books
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Amazon | Goodreads

Also by this author: Made You Up

In the real world, Eliza Mirk is shy, weird, and friendless. Online, Eliza is LadyConstellation, anonymous creator of the wildly popular webcomic Monstrous Sea. Eliza can’t imagine enjoying the real world as much as she loves her digital community, and 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 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 illustrations from Eliza’s webcomic, as well as screenshots from Eliza’s online forums and snippets of Wallace's fanfiction, this uniquely formatted book will appeal to fans of Noelle Stevenson’s Nimona and Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl.

I received this book for free from the publisher or author in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

4 Stars

Well, this was a bucket full of nerdy sweetness, wasn’t it? After adoring Francesca’s debut Made You Up last year, I was very highly anticipating Eliza and Her Monsters. So naturally I was flailing wildly all over the place when I got a copy on Edelweiss. And I FINALLY read it and I’m so happy to say I LOVED it. Buuut I also had some issues??

Eliza and Her Monsters is about Eliza Mirk, a shy, kind of weird and friendless girl who leads a secret online life as LadyConstellation, creator of the wildly popular webcomic Monstrous Sea. When the comic’s biggest fanfiction writer, Wallace, tranfers to her school, she starts to consider that maybe the offline life might be worthwhile anyway. But how will he react when he finds out she created the comic he loves so much?

First off all, I want to say that the writing was stellar. Which I honestly kind of expected after reading Made You Up. But still. SO. GOOD. Also the formatting was unique, what with the amazing illustrations of Eliza’s comic, the screenshots from the forum and snippets of Wallace’s fanfiction. I really loved that and the illustrations are faaabulous. So gorgeous. And yeah I kinda want to read Monstrous Sea now. Which might never happen. But then, I wanted to read a Simon & Baz book after reading Fangirl and that happened so… MAYBE. I’M JUST SAYING. I have hope. A teeny tiny bit of it.

This book was fantastically nerdy. Webcomics, forums, fanfiction, fandoms,… This book spoke to my heart, honestly. So very much.  And I loved that it didn’t just show the good aspects of it. And how it showed how scary and intimidating fandoms and fans in particular can be. I mean… Yes it would be awesome if I had a huge fandom for one of my books one day and they adore me and stuff but it would also be scary because what if I disappoint them? Also there are a lot of mean people out there too. It’s terrifying to put yourself out there on the internet in any way. So I totally related to Eliza. And I got why she kept her identity a secret. And I also got why she panicked like she did when it all was thrown out in the open.

Speaking off, I kind of expected that to happen sooner in the book? But it didn’t happen until the second half. This is not a bad thing, but I do think that the blurb spoils a bit because of it. It reveals a lot of the plot.

I did really love Eliza as a main character and I related to her in so many ways. She grew a lot throughout the book and I’m so proud of her for it. Honestly she handled everything much better than I would have, probably. I also adored her family. Her brothers Church and Sully were awesome and her parents were adorable and embarrassing and what parents should be. YAY to awesome parents that are a big part of the MC’s life. YES. THANK YOU. I also loved Eliza’s online friends Emmy and Max and vote for books about them because of course. Also about Eliza’s brothers. Basically I want all the spin-offs.

BUT. Here comes the problem. Wallace. Mostly, I adored him. He was sweet and kind of nerdy and sad and I wanted to hug him. But I hated how he reacted when Eliza’s identity was revealed and it felt SO out of character. Also kind of pointless. It felt like it was done just to add more drama which was not necessary. And I will point out for the millionth time that I do not like unnecessary drama. So that kind of dampened my love for it by the end. But that was just the last 20% or so. And I still loved him most of the time. I do still love their romance because I think it had a nice build up and it was so cute and sweet. And I still ship it.

All in all I still loved it a lot. Eliza and Her Monsters was nerdy, sweet, relatable story about friendship and family, but also about creating art and fandoms and being your weird, awesome self. It has stunning artwork in it that I absolutely wanted more of. If you love YA Contemporary books, you should totally pick this book up as soon as possible.


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