Eliza and Her Monsters

Reviewed by Melanie on June 15, 2017

fivetracks

I just finished, and I don’t know where to start. I identify with a lot of this story and forced myself not to blow through it. Eliza Mirk is a lot of things. Introvert, teenager, high school student….LadyConstellation. LadyConstellation is the creator of a very popular web comic, Monstrous Sea.

I don’t want to give away much of the plot but will focus on the characters. Their depth. Their real-ness. Their being.

Eliza has climbed into my top five protagonists list. Standing with the likes of Holden Caulfield, Roland Deschain of Eld, and Jay Gatsby. I love everything about Eliza. her dedication/obsession with Monstrous Sea, her talent to not just draw, but create entire worlds of her own. I love that she is very introverted, because I am too.

Wallace. Introverted Extrovert. Former athlete. Writer. As much as I identified with Eliza, I also identify with Wallace. I used to write a lot. Not fan fiction, but stories with characters of my own. I loved taking creative writing (even though Wallace hates it), and once upon a time, hoped to become a writer myself. Wallace is a character with lots of ambition, but his quiet demeanor makes him seem a bit aloof. I love his passion for Monstrous Sea, and that he and Eliza shared this on so many levels, without either of them realizing how entangled they both really are.

The smaller characters in the book still contribute so much to the plot, that to write them off as bit players would remove so much substance from the story itself. I love that the characters other than Eliza and Wallace seem a bit smaller than they are because for myself as a teenage, I was a bit selfish, as I think most teens are, and I these small pieces that live outside of our immediate attention are also very important to our personal growth and character development.

Parts of the story overwhelmed me. When Eliza’s worlds collide, my heart raced, my chest got tight, and I was worried about how things would shake out.

This book has been added to my personal favorites, and while I typically don’t re-read books, this will be one that I read again.

Eliza and Her Monsters Book Cover Eliza and Her Monsters
Francesca Zappia
Contemporary, Young Adult, Romance, Mental Health, Health, Fiction, Mental Illness, Pop Culture, Fandom, Realistic Fiction, Sequential Arts, Comics
HarperCollins
May 30, 2017
Hardback

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.

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