Eliza and Her Monsters

Eliza and Her Monsters

by Francesca Zappia


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.

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Last year I’ve read “Made You Up” by the same author and I enjoyed it deeply (I should reread it one of these days and write a review for it too). So I was eager to get my hands on this beauty!

There are many things I loved about “Eliza and Her Monsters”. The cover is STUNNING, I love it to the moon and back – over and over again. It’s also perfect for the bittersweet story hidden behind it.

The bits about anxiety seem to be spot on and there were small parts even I could relate with (I’ve always been a very private kind of person, too shy for my own good and I do struggle with my own troubles – I can’t drive, for example, without feeling a panic attack right around the corner, which is why I pretty much don’t do it at ALL; and I am that kind of person with plenty scenarios in her mind about how something can turn out badly in any given situation – it bugs me to no end that I seem to be also right most of the times, with this feeding the monster in my brain constantly *sigh*), not to mention all those quotes to hold dear to my heart.

“There is a small monster in my brain that controls my doubt.

The doubt itself is a stupid thing, without sense or feeling, blind and straining at the end of a long chain. The monster though, is smart. It’s always watching, and when I am completely sure of myself, it unchains the doubt and lets it run wild. even when I know it’s coming, I can’t stop it.”

The story-inside-the-story is intriguing. And the artwork so beautiful! Oh, I wanted to read the whole Monstrous Sea series and join them all in their love for it!

The writing style feels deeply honest and – at times – raw. It tackles sensitive subjects with delicacy and in such an tender, almost intimate way.

The only thing I didn’t quite get (or like) was Wallace.
It’s not like there is no empathy left for me towards him, it’s just that – as a character- he did not always ring true for some reason. Something was missing or out of character there, and show

. But their relationship up until then was well done, considering the situation. It was both heartwarming and heartbreaking in the same time.

Overall “Eliza and Her Monsters” is a beautiful story wrapped up in this amazing package; a delightful read.

I am still considering giving it 5 stars, to be honest. I stayed up late to finish reading it in one sitting and I don’t regret a second – even though I am sleep deprived and by the time I finished reading it my son was up and I feared he wouldn’t go easily back to sleep AND so I wouldn’t get any sleep at all, lol.

“Creating art is a lonely task, which is why we introverts revel in it, but when we have fans looming over us, it becomes loneliness of a different sort. We become cage animals watched by zoo-goers, expected to perform lest the crowd grow bored or angry. It’s not always bad. Sometimes we do well, and the cage feels more like a pedestal”

“Broken people don’t hide from their monsters. Broken people let themselves be eaten.”

“You found me in a constellation.”


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