Review: Eliza and her monsters, Francesca Zappia

There are no spoilers in this review.

To be completely honest with you, I expected to love this book. A lot of my blogging friends loved and recommended Eliza and Her Monsters to me for a little while now and, from the synopsis and the topics it seemed to tackle, it seemed exactly like my kind of book.
I expected this to be good, I expected this to be a 4-stars read.
I ended up swallowed whole by the story, its characters. I ended up almost tearing up on the train, chocking up with my own feelings.
I expected to love this and damn, I didn’t expect to love this book THAT MUCH.

Amazing and really, really relatable characters.

πŸ’­

β€œThat computer is my rabbit hole; the internet is my wonderland. I am only allowed to fall into it when it doesn’t matter if I get lost.”

The story follows Eliza, a very introverted high school girl in real life, Lady Constellation on the internet, creator of one of the most famous webcomic, Monstrous Sea. Read by millions, loved by millions and so on. So, in this book, you get an introvert, a double-sort of life, loads of fan girling, internet friends and just it’s an ode for us lovers of the internet and screaming about everything we love online.

If there’s something that slowly and really won me over in this book, it’s the characters, and Eliza in particular, our main character. Right from the start and as she grew and changed in the story, I found myself relating to her a whole lot and in so many ways. I might not have created one of the most famous webcomics online, but I have felt the same way as Eliza more often than not, taking the internet, my computer and everything else as a refuge, being an annoying brat to my family at times that I always regret afterwards, ignoring the real world and on and on and on. Eliza just touched something, deep inside of me and just never let it go, from beginning to end. As the story moved on, as things changed, as pressure got harder and many, many things happened, I just found myself relating to her more and more and I loved it.

β€œI don’t want to be the girl who freezes when confronted with new friends, or the outside world, or the smallest shred of intimacy. I don’t want to be alone in a room all the time. I don’t want to feel alone in a room all the time, even when there are other people around.”

Apart from our main character, Eliza, this book introduces us to a ton of great side characters. First of all, there is Eliza’s family. A mother and a father, alive and together (bonus points for that, really) and two annoying yet adorable little brothers. Eliza’s family are such a big part of the story as well, supporting her and her art, trying to understand her, creating conflict as she grows, change, etc. I LOVED THAT so, so much.

We also get to meet Wallace, the love interest in this story. I appreciated how complex and three-dimensional he ended up being. Just like our main character, there was so much more than meets the eye in him and I loved that. He loves writing and he’s built like a footballer. He also plays, by the way. He has his own secrets and issues to overcome and he has selective mutism. There were loads of things to love about Wallace, really, but I think what I loved the most is how we slowly got to know him and fall in love with him, just like Eliza did.

Because YES, in this story, we are getting an amazing, slow-building romance and I appreciated that so, so much. From strangers to acquaintances, from first awkward moments to becoming real friends, to a little more… still, with all of its complexities and taking everything slow, especially with a first kiss. They were adorably awkward together and I was basically flailing all the time okay.

INTERNET! ANXIETY REP! AMAZINGNESS!

πŸ’­

Eliza and Her Monsters packs a whole punch of emotions and it manages to tackle so many important, relevant issues for me and everyone, really.

First of all, THE INTERNET. Eliza loves it, spends tons of time on forums, has amazing online friendships, people she can turn to at all times and people she can chat with all the time or after two weeks, like nothing has changed. They were different, living all across the country and not the same age, yet they are genuine friends and I loved the positive message that it sent. Basically, this book is all about a bunch of nerds on the internet and I LOVED IT.

β€œBroken people don’t hide from their monsters. Broken people let themselves be eaten.”

Second of all, the anxiety/depression rep: I thought that the representation was quite excellent, so excellent that it made me a bit uncomfortable at times because it was so accurate.

Third of all, I loved all the building up and the pressure that comes with having created something so big online. From scheduling her new comic pages, to being there for her fans, to forgetting the whole world outside to just do your own thing… yes, everything felt relatable on some level and I loved how accurate it all was, how hard and anxiety-inducing it could become for Eliza. It was a story about doing what you love, but also a story about taking care of yourself and how important that is, too.

“Eliza, your worth as a person is not dependant on the art you create or what other people think of it.”

OVERALL

πŸ’­

I have written a whole lot already about this book, so I should stop right now. I absolutely loved Eliza and Her Monsters. The characters were so relatable, the rep was quite accurate and basically it was a love story about fandoms, writers and creators and it was a real story about anxiety/depression and so much more. I don’t know, I just really loved it and would recommend it to ALL fans of YA contemporary loving relatable characters and looking for everything I mentioned right above. Just. Read. This.

Final rating:Β  It’s a hurricane!

Trigger warnings: anxiety, depression, suicide/attempted suicide.


Francesca Zappia, Eliza and Her Monsters, Β Published by Greenwillow Books, May 30th, 2017.

goodreads-badge-add-plus-fad3b68d35050280ea55d50f17c654b5

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 builtβ€”her story, her relationship with Wallace, and even her sanityβ€”begins to fall apart.

Did you read Eliza and Her Monsters? Do you want to? (YOU should!)

What’s the last 5-stars-book you’ve read? Let me know in comments!

 

 

Note: in case you missed it in my previous post, I’m taking a small break and won’t be too around, both on my blog and to blog-hop, from Sat. 24th Feb. to Sunday, March 4th. I love you all! xx

Posted by

Book blogger, travel blogger, writer. πŸ“š |🌍 | πŸ’ž Writing & Communications Graduate. French. Living on love, wanderlust and ya books.

102 thoughts on “Review: Eliza and her monsters, Francesca Zappia

  1. First of all, I would like to mention how you had me quite worried that you ended up not enjoying this book with your first sentence of your review! But I’m so glad you actually ended up loving it as much as you did!

    I read this book last summer in a single setting and absolutely enjoyed my time reading! I was a big, big fan of the way fandom was portrayed in this book and Eliza as a character! And after reading your review I feel like I need to go back and reread this book again!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahahhaha I’m so sorry I scared you here πŸ˜›
      I really loved how the fandom was portrayed as well, everything felt so relatable and realistic to me. I hope you’ll be able to re-read it soon, I can see myself re-reading this too at some point! πŸ˜€
      Thank you so, so much for stopping by, Swetlana ❀ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Like so many other hyped books, I haven’t had a chance to read this yet but after reading your review, I’m thinking I’m going to need to read it sooner rather than later! It kind of reminds me of Kat in the Lux series by Jennifer L. Armentrout because she was a book blogger which was the main reason I loved her so much. Living and creating on the internet isn’t something that comes up in YA that often (at least, that I’ve seen), surprisingly, so it’s a rare treasure to find a book that is!

    I think the last 5 star book I read was The Kite Runner. I loved it so much, I haven’t been able to articulate my thoughts enough for a review yet even though I read it a good week ago! Most people read it ages ago but I just got around to it and it’s GORGEOUS!

    Lovely review, Marie!

    Laura @BlueEyeBooks

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I have to agree with you here – we need more books with characters like that, living, creating on the internet and so on. I appreciate these kind of books so much and find them sooooo relatable, ahha πŸ™‚

      Oh wow, so happy to hear you enjoyed this one so much! I haven’t read it, but heard fantastic things about it πŸ™‚
      Thank you so, so much, Laura! πŸ™‚ x

      Like

  3. Holy crap, it has illustrations!

    Gotta admit, at first I thought you hated it, since you said you expected to love it (but then that was probably intentional :P). It’s been on my TBR shelf for a while, but your review just bumped it up the list by A LOT!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YES IT DOES! I didn’t expect it to have illustrations, but it was soooo pretty and fitted the story so well, too. ❀
      Ahah I'm sorry about that, I couldn't resist πŸ˜› So happy to hear it, I can't wait for you to read this book, hope you will love it πŸ™‚
      Thank you so much! x

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I NEED TO READ THIS URGHH – for some reason I always forget that this book exists??? It looks SO GOOD!! And out of all of the reviews I’ve read, nobody mentioned anything about the love interest, let alone him being a selective mute! Great review!! Reminded me that I have to read this πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YES YOU DO πŸ˜€ It is an amazing book for sure, and I’m so glad you learned something new in my review as well. I can’t wait for you to read it, hope you will love it πŸ˜€
      Thank you so much for your sweet comment! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Really nice breakdown and sum up in the end Marie! While reading the first paragraph I was β€œoh, a person who didn’t like this book. Wait…” I’ve really been meaning to read this. Since before it came out. I was so excited for it and then just never picked it up. Awesome review anyway. Glad you enjoyed it. I like the graphic novel like pages in it that you showed. I didn’t know it had that! Quite interesting!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m so glad you loved this! πŸ™‚ It was my favorite book I read last year! It completely took me by surprise after I was disappointed with Made You Up. I can’t believe this is written by the same author. (Made You Up wasn’t BAD…it was just wasn’t nearly as good as this.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you so much, Emily! Oh I’m sorry you were disappointed by Made You Up – I read great reviews for that one as well, even if they weren’t as glowing as the ones for Eliza…. hm, I’ll have to think about reading it sometime, I’m still very curious to read more from this author πŸ™‚
      thank you so much!! ❀

      Like

  7. I’m crying because I still haven’t gotten my copy of this book 😭 I didn’t get it for Christmas but I need this book because of all the amazing things that I have heard!
    I really loved your Review, it was very well written and I love that you included pictures for the webcomic so I could get a look inside the book πŸ˜€ I’m positive that I’ll absolutely love this book when I finally get my hands on it πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh nooooo!! I hope you will be able to get this book soon, I don’t know why, but I feel like you could really enjoy it? I hope so, at least, haha πŸ™‚
      Thank you so, so much for your sweet comment, Caro! ❀ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  8. This is on my list of books I want to read! I didn’t know you read it too, it must have passed me by somehow, but that just makes me all the more excited. I love it when you love a book so much πŸ™‚ it gives me a good feeling about it when I pick it up ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ahhhh really? We need to be better at keeping track of the books we both want to read, so we can do buddy reads πŸ˜€
      Thank you so much, Kat, I can’t wait for you to read this one ❀ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  9. i was never interested in this book but now I am so much????? i adore anxiety rep, it’s not nearly in enough books but when it is it feels so refreshing and wonderful ❀ including TV!!, when Stiles Stilinski had panic attacks on "teen wolf" I was so proud of the writers
    and I also love slow romances, I always invest so much because i'm almost forced to πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    1. AHHHH this makes me so, SO happy that I could interest you in reading this book! I hope you will be able to pick it up soon, the anxiety rep in this was AMAZING ❀ ❀
      Thank you so much!! x

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Yay! I am so glad that you ended up liking this book. I read it in December (I think) and absolutely loved it. Like you, I thought that it had an amazing representation of anxiety and the characters were very relatable. Loved hearing your thoughts on this book.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Your intro had me so worried, but then you confessed that you loved it! I love this book too! I agree. The rep was great, and the way Zappia took us through Eliza’s anxiety was great, but you know what I really liked? I liked the way her family surprised me. Especially her brother.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Oh brilliant review for this book Marie, and I’m so glad you enjoyed this one as well. πŸ˜€ I read Eliza and Her Monsters a while back and really enjoyed it, but it wasn’t quite a five star read for me (simply because I wasn’t a fan of how Wallace reacted after he discovered Eliza’s identity).
    I loved the rep in this book, Eliza was a character I could really identify with and I thought she was so amazingly written and developed as well, and I loved the family dynamic as well; especially with her younger brothers.
    Do you plan to read any of Francesca Zappia’s other books (if you haven’t already)?
    Again great review. πŸ™‚ ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I completely understand your feelings – I did not like Wallace’s reaction either, yet… I don’t know, that book kind of ended up being a hit for me anyway?? I don’t know, I loved it so much and the rep was amazing ❀
      I think I will read more of her books for sure! Did you read anything else by her and what would you recommend? πŸ˜€
      Thank you, Beth! x

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh this book was definitely a hit for me, despite the issues I had with Wallace’s character when he reacted for the most part I loved him and loved him with Eliza as well.
        Like you said the rep was brilliant too.
        I haven’t gotten around to anymore of her books yet but I added them to my to-read list. One day I will, fingers crossed it’ll be one day soon right?
        That’s all right! πŸ˜€

        Liked by 1 person

  13. OMG, I’m so glad you loved this book! It was one of my favorite YA contemporary books! It was really a wonderful read and so relatable! I loved the characters and also the beautiful illustrations. I wish there really is a Monstrous Sea webcomic series.
    Love your review! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  14. YESSSS, I’m so happy you loved it!!! ❀
    I want to say that I expected you would love this book because my book radar is getting quite good at finding the books you would enjoy, soon I'll be able to give you personalized recommendations that would be really accurate, just wait!!
    The anxiety and depression representation in this one was great and totally on point! And this book devastated me in the worst kind of ways, I'm still sad about it, I guess.
    Your review was amazing, as always! ❀

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I nearly had a heart attack and didn’t think that you loved it for a sec. THANK GOD. I felt the same way!!!!!!! I WAS SO CONSUMED.

    WALLLAAACE. OMG MY SMOL SMOL WALLACE. Soft Boyℒ️ but totally destroying the stereotype of it by being quite built because of football. I just love??? I loved the Selective Mutism because that’s spoken about so little????? I’VE NEVER READ A BOOK WITH IT BEFORE?

    OMG YESSSS THE SLOW BURRRRN.

    EXCELLLLLLENT EXCELLLLLLLLLENT REP FOR ANXIETY, THE INTERNET, AND DEPRESSION.

    And yes, the pressure of the online world was so well represented and I JUST LOVE THIS BOOK.

    I need to scream about this book more?????

    OMG THIS REVIEW I LOVE AND I LOVE THAT YOU LOVED IT

    (sorry for the screamy caps!!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. PLEASE SCREAM all that you want about it???!! I loved this book so much more than I expected to, it was fabulous and gave me all the emotions ❀
      YES, I did love the selective mutism as well, it's something we never see in books and it was so interesting to explore that ❀ Wallace was such a sweet guy as well ahhhhhhhh I loved him ❀
      THANK YOU so much!! ❀ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Ah I’m seriously delighted that you loved this book!! I also related so much to Eliza! And yes to how cute and complex all her relationships were (I also squealed over the scenes with Wallace) And oh gosh I loved the inclusion of the internet, mental health issues and yes it was such a good story about doing what you love. Again, so glad you liked this! Amazing review!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. OH MY GOD YOU SCARED ME SO MUCH!!! From that intro I thought you ended up hating it and I was already thinking NOOOO 😭 But you actually loved it and I’m so happy you did aaahh!!

    I love this book so much, I think that the internet & anxiety aspects made me love it even more. And the romance was BEAUTIFUL, especially how slow-burn it was. God I’m still so happy you loved this AAAHHH. πŸ’“πŸ’“

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahahah I’m so sorry, I couldn’t resist starting out my review this way haha. I LOVED THIS SO MUCH ❀ Everything about it was so, so soooooooooooo relatableeeeee I'm still emotional about itt. ❀
      Thank you so much!! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Great review, as always, Marie! I am so bummed that I still haven’t read Eliza and Her Monsters! I was so close to getting a copy when it was on sale here in Malaysia but it was sold out. UGH! After reading your review, my desire to read it has intensified. Damn, I guess I’ll have to wait then.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh damn, that’s too bad :/ I hope you will get to read it soon though, knowing your taste in books a little bit, I feel like you could really enjoy that one πŸ™‚ Fingers crossed you can get it soon ❀ thank you so much!

      Like

  19. ASDFGKL I AM SO HAPPY YOU LOVED THIS!! I adored Francesca’s debut, Made You Up, and have been so eager to read this one! I’m definitely going out of my way to call up my local bookstore to ask if they have a copy. I can’t wait to meet this relatable character with an awesome family and a slow-burn romance!!! MY EXCITEMENT IS LITERALLY OFF THE CHARTS, MARIE.

    – Aimee @ Aimee, Always

    Liked by 1 person

    1. AHHH this makes me so, SO happy! I haven’t read Made You Up, but I so want to read it now, I’m so glad to hear you loved it! πŸ˜€
      I can’t wait for you to read this one, it was so adorable and soooo relatable ❀ ❀
      Thank you so much, Aimee ❀

      Like

  20. Yesss I loved this book as well (although I did end up skipping the middle part because I was way too impatient and I wanted to know the ending asap) and I’m glad you adored this too!!! And that you connected so well with it! I think my favorite thing was definitely the anxiety rep and also the fact that it’s very fandom focused. So it’s extremely relatable!

    Have you read Made You Up by the same author? I loved that book as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes, it was so very relatable, in fact I think that’s what made me love this book so much ❀ ❀
      I haven't read it, but it's definitely on my list, even more knowing that you loved it! ❀

      Like

  21. I feel like your reviews always come at the perfect time in my life, Marie! πŸ˜† First it was Far From the Tree by Robin Benway, and now this book… right after I got tons of recommendations for it AND started delving into the world of webcomics. Honestly, with everything else people around me have said about this book & also your review, I’m going into this novel with a lot of expectations… but if you loved it this much, then I don’t think I have to worry about being disappointed. Like with what mentioned your review, I heard people people who have some kind of internet presence can really relate to this book, and since I’m relatively new to blogging and social media, I’m interested to see how much I can relate to Eliza and her Monsters. 😊

    This was such a wonderfully-written and eloquent review! Thank you for introducing me to another amazing book~ πŸ˜‹πŸ“š

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh wow, well… seems like I am very good at reading your mind? πŸ˜›
      I hope you will get to read this soon, it was such a great and highly relatable book, I LOVED IT SO MUCH, really, I hope you will just as much ❀
      Thank you so much, Zoie!! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Hello Marie! ❀
    Great review! The illustrations look amazing in the physical copy! (I had the eBook version, which was great but I am sure it is not the same!) Glad to hear that you enjoyed this book. I also liked the slow-building romance between Eliza and Wallace, although I was a bit taken off-guard by Wallace's actions towards the end of the book.
    The last 5-star book I read was this past weekend (Brokeback Mountain! It was amazing!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I completely understand – I was a bit taken off-guard by his behaviour, as well, I didn’t expect him to react this way? :/ It didn’t take away my enjoyment, but it was still… a bit strange, haha πŸ™‚
      Thank you so much, Sophie!! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Ahh, wonderful review Marie! I haven’t read this yet but only hear amazing things about it. πŸ˜€ Your review has definitely made me pick it up, because I didn’t know of all the great representation it had. Next time I’m looking for a contemporary I’ll be sure to check this one out!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. This book πŸ™‚ I so want to read this. Like you said, many people have already told me to read it too. Now after reading your review, I just can’t wait πŸ˜€ It seems amazing.

    And all that relatable things about scheduling and forgetting the world outside? That must be really interesting to read, I guess. And I love storylines with anxieties, especially since I read Turtles All the Way Down.

    Slow burn romance? Ahh, I love it πŸ˜€
    You are making me buy this book like RIGHT NOW πŸ˜€ I am so excited for reading it. And I am so happy that you loved it πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I CAN’T WAIT for you to read this one! I have a feeling you could really enjoy it. It was SO relatable and AMAZING overall ❀
      Thank you so, SO much for your sweet comment!! ❀ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  25. I’ve had this on my shelf for ages because some blogging friends recommended it but gosh, the illustrations are so beautiful and that anxiety rep – yes please! I’m glad it has selective mutism as well and the message of taking care of yourself. Lovely review Marie!

    Liked by 1 person

  26. YASSSS! I’m so happy to see you truly enjoyed this story so much! I loved it to pieces for the same exact reasons, it was just sooooo friggin relatable! ❀ ❀ ❀ the anxiety rep also had me giving it extra brownie points. I loved these characters oh so much & just like you, also gave it extra kudos for having a mom/dad together…we just don't see that anymore. Great review Marie! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OH I’m so glad you felt the same way about this book ❀ It was SO relatable and yes, you're so right about the parents. We rarely see them still together in YA books so that was great. And the brotheeeers were adorable as well ❀
      Thank you so much! ❀

      Like

  27. Oh my GOD, I didn’t know this book had illustrations!!! Now I’m even more excited for my copy to arrive omg and I feel like this will become one of my favourite books ever???? I already feel so connected to Eliza from what you’ve said in your review and now I’m just all GRABBY HANDS GIMME THIS BOOK RIGHT NOW I WANT TO READ IT AND LOVE IT AND CHERISH IT UNTIL THE END OF TIME. I’m so glad that you loved it so much ahhh this will probably be my next read once it gets here! Fantastic review Marie ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I didn’t know either, when my copy came and I saw all of the drawings I FELL IN LOVE. I seriously can’t wait for you to read it and I hope you’ll love it as much as I did ❀ ❀ ❀ Thank you so much!! ❀ ❀

      Like

  28. I’ve heard so much about this book but I haven’t yet had the chance to read it! And it looks so cool, especially as it’s not strictly in a novel format. I’m seriously looking forward to this! Great and well-written review, Marie!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you so much! πŸ™‚ I hope you will get the chance to read this book, it was really beautiful, both with the drawings inside and with the story it told. very relatable as well. I’m still not over it haha I loved it ❀

      Like

  29. I’m sure this book was all over bookstagram at some point because it was included in several bookish subscription boxes, and everyone was raving over it. (I was kind of skeptical because, to be totally honest, I trust my book blogger buddies that write reviews over the bookstagrammers that don’t really “review” review them if that makes sense, haha. Anyway, I am so glad you loved this one! Many people have told me it’s one that draws you in emotionally and it seems like it was that case for you as well. I didn’t realize it was mixed media type of book with illustrations; that has me more excited to pick it up! πŸ™‚

    – Summer at Xingsings

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh that really makes a lot of sense πŸ™‚ I am not over on bookstagram too much, I just take a look at my favorites, you included, but don’t pay attention to the reviews there too much. But I have my trusted reviewers and book bloggers, too πŸ™‚ ❀
      I am glad my review could make you eager to pick it up – I hope you will read it at some point, I have a feeling you could really enjoy it πŸ™‚
      Thank you so, so much, Summer! ❀

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.