Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia Spoiler Free Book Review

Title: Eliza and Her Monsters
Author: Francesca Zappia
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publisher: Greenwillow – HarperCollins
Format: Hardcover
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Synopsis from Goodreads:

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.


***Trigger Warning: Suicide and Attempted Suicide

Summary/Plot

When reading the synopsis from this book, I jumped into a few theories of what to expect with his book. We meet Eliza who is a very introverted, shy, friendless teenager in real life. However online when she is LadyConstellation and even Eliza online is very open and talkative. LadyConstellation is the creator of a mega popular webcomic Monstrous Sea, it is so popular that even publishing companies have sought out to obtain it. Eliza has turned it down so many times because she loves the platform of her comic just the way it is.

Eliza’s world is about to change when Wallace Warland transfers to her school and come to find out that he isn’t just a regular fan but a huge fanfiction writer. Everything takes place in slow motion but he eventually helps her get out in the world more. He doesn’t know that she’s LadyConstellation. And things are about to take a huge hit when the secret is out. Not only does this effect Eliza and her mental health but it also affects the world she’s created online, her family, and her relationship with Wallace.

Writing

This is my first Francesca Zappia novel. I actually have been wanting to read Made You Up for so long but I didn’t correlate the two as the same author so I was ecstatic to see she had written this one as well. I loved the writing!! Especially the insert pages of the graphic novel and illustrations. I think for this being a YA book, it was realistic. Francesca wrote some dialogue via instant messenger which I loved. The dialogue between the characters were great and her details were super amazing as well. I appreciate the author writing about mental health and really giving us the readers a lesson per-say through a character at the end of the book.

Characters

I feel like each character in the book played such an important role in Eliza’s life and what was going to happen next. I spoke enough about Eliza but I have to say that she is definitely going through it with her mental health. This is something that the author doesn’t explicitly talk about throughout a lot of the book because it’s not something the character knows about. However, through Eliza’s interactions with her family, people, and just her thought process, you get a feel that there is something deeper. Living a life online one way vs. how her life is in the flesh, and her parents not really knowing much to then the pressures of high school can be hard on a teenager. I know that at least for me, I found Eliza’s character relatable.

We meet Wallace Warland and I thought he was the most adorable soft boy. Once he is presented in the book, I wanted to know him more. His character arc was really well done and when I got to know him on a deeper level, I cried. No lie, I really cried because here is this character who has been through a lot and he’s just taking everything one step at a time.

Eliza’s family; her parents and siblings. Let me tell you something!! I absolutely loved this family because in my opinion, we don’t see much family dynamic. Yet, here you have in Eliza and Her Monsters, parents that are all up on Eliza, super worried about their child and not knowing what to do with her. Which I thought was realistic because a lot of parents don’t know what to do with their first-born, especially during teenage years. We’re like the guinea pigs. You can tell that Eliza’s parents just want the best for her and are trying to steer her in the “right” direction but they don’t really understand her direction. I loved the brothers, their relationship was so great to see and the sibling relationship had amazing representation.

We do get to see other minor characters but I won’t really get into that because if not then I’ll definitely be spoiling the whole book lol.

Thoughts

I am going to keep this really short since I pretty much scattered my thoughts throughout the review in the previous sections. I absolutely loved this book and thought it represented mental health, family dynamic’s/relationship, friendships, and internal battles in a great way. The author definitely takes us through the highs and lows, I had found myself at times just really hoping for the best. Francesca Zappia wrote an amazing novel filled with reality and honesty in a form that everyone can read and still feel warm and happy at the end of it. I would LOVE if the author made Monstrous Sea into an actual graphic novel because everything about it was great. I feel like it would really go far. Overall, I would highly recommend this book.


and that is the end of the review! have you read this book? or plan on to? what are your thoughts? i would love to chat in the comments!


Instagram: @chicnerdreads
Twitter: @ChicNerdReads

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43 thoughts on “Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia Spoiler Free Book Review

  1. Eeeek!!! Again, I’m so happy you enjoyed Eliza as much as I did & that you now understand my need for more Monstrous Sea 😩😂🤞🏼I agree with you that the portrayal of the parents was spot on. Like you said we don’t often see that reflected in our books but it is a reality, parenthood (especially with your 1st) is like wading in wading in the water at night. You just don’t know what to expect & tons of mistakes will be made. Zappos’s just gets it! She tackled so many difficult topics in this one book that made you think from different perspectives. Ahhh! Love your review twin 💜📚💜

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, twin! And I sooooooo agree with you on everything you stated! I loved how she tackled different important topics within this YA novel, showing us what teens face. Especially in the 21st century where technology and the internet is very much a part of our lives. This book was just hitting the nail on the head with everything. Family, personal relationships, self-care, mental health…everything lol. Great book and I really hope we get Monstrous Sea! BECAUSE WE NEED IT RIGHT NOW TWIN!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great review for this book Gretchen, I have Eliza and Her Monsters on my to-read list and I’m pretty much counting down the days until its release date in the UK (little over a week now) so I can get my hands on a copy and get started on it. It sounds brilliant and your review has just made me all the more excited to finally read it. I love the sounds of Eliza’s relationship with her parents as well, it sounds like it was incredibly well written.
    Do you plan to start Francesca Zappia’s other book now you’ve read this one? I’d be interested to see what you think of it if you do. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I freaking loved this book! I’m glad you loved it as much as I did! It was so cute and also thought provoking! I loved the beautiful Illustrations. I so wished there was really a monstress sea web comic. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. i’m super intrigued by this one and it’s definitely going on my TBR! When I first heard the name I never expected it to be about what it is actually about. I really want to read more books that delve into mental health issues etc as so far i’ve only read Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella!
    Great review Gretchen!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think this book is great for mental health reads and I really hope you like it if you get to it. I will be recommending this one. I just love that although cute and quirky, it was very realistic and relatable. After reading the book, I can see why the author wrote the title very different reasons. I really hope you read this one! Happy reading Hannah!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Amazing review! I have heard many great things about this book and I’m glad to see that you loved it as well. Contemporary isn’t a genre that I usually read, but I definitely need to get my hands on this book and read it as soon as possible! It just sounds fantastic and like a book that I would greatly enjoy. Plus I’m always looking for books with good mental health representation and good family relationships – and this book seems perfect for that. Once again, amazing review! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Anna! Just like you, I don’t read much contemporary but this one called my attention after seeing a few trustworthy bloggers rave about it. I think this book is definitely perfect for mental health rep and family rep as well. I feel like we still don’t see much family dynamic in YA books but it’s slowly coming along. This one did great with everything! Happy reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Awesome review, Gretchen! I’m really curious about this one. It sounds like it has so many things going for it. I love it when authors tackle important topics such as mental health and relationships. I also love it when family dynamics are further explored and represented in YA because it doesn’t happen often! After reading your review, I’m more than sure this is a book I’d love to read! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  7. […] Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia ★★★★★ Genre: YA Contemporary Ugh I absolutely loved this book and will recommend it for days to come! It is contemporary but it talks about some very important things like mental health, family dynamics’s, and friendships. I also loved how the author inserted some of the webcomic in the book. I have a non-spoiler review here. […]

    Like

  8. Ugh, another one to add to Amazon! What are you and Lilly doing to me? ❤ I love stories that are so reliant on strong characters. This sounds very much my cup of tea and yet very different. I think the concept appeals to my shy online gamer self 😉 Well in the "old pre-vertigo" days haha. I have to admit that this will be on my shelf. Lovely review ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Great review, Gretchen! I hadn’t heard of this book or even of Francesca Zappia yet– but I’m so glad you reviewed this. I completely agree with you that we don’t get enough family dynamic in most YA novels. It seems like the parents are always absent/dead, there are no siblings, or everyone is abusive. I definitely want to see more familial relationships budding in literature. It makes me so happy to see this here!

    Does Eliza narrate this story alone, or do we get other perspectives?

    Liked by 1 person

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