Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

Eliza and Her Monsters

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 fanfict...

Title:Eliza and Her Monsters
Author:
Rating:
ISBN:0062290134
Edition Language:English
Number of Pages:385 pages

Eliza and Her Monsters Reviews

  • Emily May

    4 1/2 stars. The only reason it's not 5 is that it took a little while for me to get into it. But when I did,

    . I liked this even more than Zappia's

    .

    I'm not going to lie to you - a huge part of my love for this book is because I related so much to Eliza. So freaking much. Well, except for the part where she's a talented webcomic artist and I'm not, but shhh.

    Some of you know this, but others don'

    4 1/2 stars. The only reason it's not 5 is that it took a little while for me to get into it. But when I did,

    . I liked this even more than Zappia's

    .

    I'm not going to lie to you - a huge part of my love for this book is because I related so much to Eliza. So freaking much. Well, except for the part where she's a talented webcomic artist and I'm not, but shhh.

    Some of you know this, but others don't-- I have long suffered with anxiety, particularly social anxiety. I get worked up about sending emails, angsting over it when replies don't come straight away (

    ). I literally used to drink alcohol before the mandatory presentations in college (not showing up only worked for so long), and I still feel panic rising inside me whenever I have to make a phone call to someone I don't know well. Over the years, I've come to handle it better; to talk myself down from the panic. But it's still there.

    It's been part of who I am my whole life. From my very first school years when I almost always played alone, to later bullying because I was that "weird" and socially clueless class member who didn't get how to behave. And the way I coped? To put it simply -

    . The Internet provided a place for me to explore the world, find others like me, whilst also providing a barrier. I was invisible, free, and not alone in the way I was often alone in the real world.

    I spent hours every night on my computer, until my parents got frustrated that I spent so much time alone and not in the "real world". What they didn't get - and what Eliza's parents don't get in this book - is that I wasn't alone. I was making friends from all over the world. And they were better friends than any I'd had in "real life" at that point. And, as Eliza says:

    . A book that puts into words feelings you've always had but have struggled to voice.

    did just that.

    From my perspective, it's a very realistic portrayal of anxiety, and of someone who escapes into Internet forums. Eliza's most valued friendships are online and, of course, her well-meaning parents fail to understand or consider them "real".

    It's a

    than I was first expecting. While there is lots of geeky fandom, fanfiction, fanart, cosplay... the story of Eliza's anxiety, relationships with those around her, and even suicidal thoughts, gives the novel a more serious and emotional edge. I appreciate books like this, though. If you're looking for a geeky fandom book that is lighter and fluffier, I recommend

    .

    There's another layer to this book, too, which I found really interesting. As well as being about Eliza's anxiety, it's also about an issue that is becoming ever more relevant today, and it's an issue that I don't recall reading anything about before-- the relationship between an artist and their fans. Or, really, anyone with a fan following.

    As Eliza becomes more popular online, the thing she did for herself, for her own escapism, becomes about other people and what they expect from her. People start to expect a certain type of work and feel like her popularity means she owes the world (and them) something. This opens a fascinating discussion on what artists/writers/etc. owe their fans or followers. Whether, in fact, they owe them anything.

    It was honestly

    . On many levels. It manages to be very emotionally moving, entertaining, beautifully-illustrated AND do something new at the same time.

    deserves all of the hype.

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  • Maram

    I'm not an artist but this book made me eat, sleep and live the life of two amazing characters :')

    The story was just absolutely

    . It dealt with a combination of issues that we face within ourselves in our daily lives but in a very delicate manner. We also get to read about the importance of family and how they cope with the technological world. This book also heavily emphasizes fr

    I'm not an artist but this book made me eat, sleep and live the life of two amazing characters :')

    The story was just absolutely

    . It dealt with a combination of issues that we face within ourselves in our daily lives but in a very delicate manner. We also get to read about the importance of family and how they cope with the technological world. This book also heavily emphasizes friendship... in the INTERNET WORLD. I honestly believe that we can find the

    of friends through the internet, in many stages like:

    - accessing a webpage or any other interactive site where people can bond over similar interests

    - finding other interesting topics to talk about

    - finding a comfort zone overtime and not having the need to filter things out

    - not having the need to talk to them all. the. time.

    - we can easily catch up without any party being annoyed with the other (at least that's how I see it lol)

    And how can I forget... based on a bunch of reviews I've skimmed, I agree that this book did the FANDOM WORLD proud! I loved reading about our main characters, Eliza and Wallace.

    I highly recommend this book to everyone! Seriously, don't hesitate to pick it up ... you won't regret it!

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  • kazzy boy ⚓

    my heart has never been so full... i need to do more to deserve the love i'm feeling right now like i swear i’m about to get done for tax evasion... this is like when the grinch’s heart grew three sizes...this is probably how dogs feel when you let them go in a big field... i mean holy

    ... i love this book more than i can articulate...more than i’m even conscious of right now.... i don't... know... if i even identify with my name

    my heart has never been so full... i need to do more to deserve the love i'm feeling right now like i swear i’m about to get done for tax evasion... this is like when the grinch’s heart grew three sizes...this is probably how dogs feel when you let them go in a big field... i mean holy

    ... i love this book more than i can articulate...more than i’m even conscious of right now.... i don't... know... if i even identify with my name anymore. i just want to start introducing myself as:

    y'all know what though?? i'm going to go marry a surgeon and get them to replace my eyes with hearts so i can better demonstrate my passion for this book...truly, it's times like these that i feel the loss

    serious talk:

    .

    i'm always in awe when authors so accurately capture the movie reel that their brain is projecting into

    words...particularly when it’s concepts that i personally went through but couldn’t describe. when they talk about emotions and thoughts in so much depth that i've noticed things about myself that i was completely unaware of.

    because it felt like the entire alphabets was filled with forgotten words that long to describe that

    feeling but Francesca Zappia just somehow figured out exactly what to say.

    so, let's play a game:

    the way

    handled it felt like locking eyes with someone in a crowded room and they smile at you and for just a moment - in the enormity of the universe - you two are connected

    i saw myself in

    and how sometimes your self-awareness could be so overwhelming that you can’t live outside of your own head long enough to enjoy anything.

    i’ve always been sort of socially anxious myself and sometimes it’s hard to decipher between when i’m being hesitant to go out because of anxiety or if this is just something i actually don’t want to do, when the lines between what you actually want and what the constant worry in your head wants wane and blurry then vanish completely

    i saw how slightly distressing it is to remember that you exist as a solid object in the world and that your body isn’t merely an image of yourself that you have created within your own mind, but is an actual corporeal form that others see and recognize...especially when you're barely sure of it most of the times. when

    i saw how some days, it gets

    that you just don’t want to exist in anyone’s consciousness... you're okay with just being here and you don't want people to have thoughts about you that you can't control.

    and honestly there was nothing more beautiful than seeing

    slowly making the decision to stop hiding inside herself and just

    .

    who doesn't have a max and emmy in their life??

    i love my online friends!! they're a graceful cosmic deity of compassion and kindness glimmering with life energy and some days i can’t believe they're flesh and blood and not just abstract warmth and beauty.

    i’ve had countless of real life conversations with people i’ve known for years and have it be nothing more than “nice to see you” several different variations over but someone whom i’ve never spoken to before will come in my inbox and fangirl about a fictional character and it will be more fulfilling than having another formless entity cursed with a flesh prison ask me how my day has been in real life

    moreover, and this is something this book has talked about in abundance, on internet forums or just social media in general, there’s very little pressure to be someone you’re not or it’s easier to find a group of people you fit in perfectly with, whereas in real life you’re kind of geographically bound to the ones surrounding you and you’re not given much choice but to deal with them. and i know for a fact that the internet for a significant amount of people (including myself) is a place where they can be a more authentic version of themselves or vent or ask or just

    without having to explain themselves to anyone else or live up to some crazy expectation others have projected onto them.

    so if anyone makes fun of you about your web friends, remember they're probably just jealous that your net power is stronger than theirs 👌

    this book gets it so much i'm just going to make an acoustic cover of me chanting "YES! YES! YES!"

    it gets how sometimes you don’t really know how to love anything but you just give it your best shot.

    some days, that means tireless and suffocating love, like a sucker punch coming at you from nowhere, when you least expect it. other days, you’re vacant and there’s just this gaping hole where your inspiration and motivation should be, like you've been totally hollowed out, and you know you'll start retreating back into yourself, never to be seen again....

    breathe. you can't fight the crushing sense of emptiness. you can only wait it out. be it in two months. or two years. just stop. breathe.

    wait.

    best part of being an introvert is that you can stay at home and have three bowls of cheerios to compensate for your lack of personal charm and charisma and bask in your cosmic insignificance bc my friends, the stars don't give a shit what you do with your free time...congratulations, you've been enlightened with the secrets of the univers, keep up the good work 👌

    no really, i would literally consider hermitage as a viable career option because my social energy levels are too low and i don’t want to answer to social obligations and expectations…i just want to crash and burn in peace rather than in the public eye, ya feel?

    and if this book made me realize anything...it's that i am incredibly disappointed that i’m not already a secluded novelist who lives in a cottage in the countryside, only interacting with other people when she calls her probably exasperated editor or occasionally receives fan mail (sounds like

    )

    so here's to my fella introverts who waver on the edge of the crowd, slowly getting used to the water rather than jumping in all at once. who would rather curl up all day on the couch with a good book and who wish existing was not so public...

    anyways,,

    science needs to find a way for people to retreat into books bc i would lay my kidneys on the line to be a part of Eliza's stories... or, you know... at least i hope when i die, i am reborn as one of her fictional characters.

    this book was a sweet treat from the universe and y'all really, really need to read it!!

  • Melissa ♥ Dog Lover ♥ Martin

    *****There will be some spoilers because I can't help myself*****

    I love the book has drawings and stories all through-out the book. They are so awesome!

    I love Eliza. She's quiet, wants to be left alone in her online world where she writes her webcomic: Monstrous Sea. She has two wonderful friends online that have helped her with her business. There is M

    *****There will be some spoilers because I can't help myself*****

    I love the book has drawings and stories all through-out the book. They are so awesome!

    I love Eliza. She's quiet, wants to be left alone in her online world where she writes her webcomic: Monstrous Sea. She has two wonderful friends online that have helped her with her business. There is Max who runs security on the trolls (we need him for GR) and Emmy who set up the merch for the comic and sales for the comic, etc. Eliza makes enough money to live off of and put her way through college. She famous and she's anonymous.

    Eliza doesn't talk to people at school. Some people are actually afraid of her and she's happy with this because all she want's is to draw out her next parts for the comic during school. Then when she gets home she puts the drawings and stuff on her photoshop to get it complete and uploads them.

    God, I wish I could draw and do something so freaking cool like that. Anyhoo . . .

    Eliza isn't really close to her parents. They are always trying to get her to do sports and random stuff she has no interest in. They think her comic is a hobby, she never told them how famous or how much money she makes. They think she makes a little bit of money and just let her do it. I do wish that Eliza would have been up front with them and I do wish that her parents would have taken the time to actually go online and read her comic and see how famous she actually was, but none of this happened. And later on, it bites them all in the butt.

    Eliza has two brothers: Church and Sully. She doesn't do much with them because they are into sports etc. She has no idea that they follow her comic and so do their friends. And when Church takes up for Eliza when her parent do something extremely stupid, I was so proud. I mean so proud. He put them in their place once and for all because sometimes parents aren't always right, even if they mean well.

    I must also mention that I'm in love with Davy, their Great Pyrenees =)

    Moving on.

    Eliza meets the new kid at school, Wallace. He starts writing notes to her because he doesn't really like to talk. It's really super cute and he's freaking hot. Just sayin'. It turns out that he writes fanfiction for Eliza's comic!

    They become close and start going out which is way beyond anything Eliza has ever done in her life! I think they are wonderful together but she never tells him that she is LadyConstellation and the creator of Monstrous Sea. I wanted to scream! He finds out when every one else does when her parents do something stupid. Poor Emmy and Max have to try to fight and keep everyone off Eliza's back and even Church cusses people to leave her alone. Eliza has a breakdown after her cover is blown and doesn't even want to finish her comic. She has to see a counselor and take anxiety meds, it's all just one big mess. If her parents would have just butted out and if Eliza would have just told them how big she is. . . so many things.

    Wallace gets mad at her obviously. I mean she should have told him but it is what it is. He gets even more mad at her when she decides she's not going to finish the comic because he has an offer to get his fan fiction published. It could make his dreams come true as well. I find it strange that people can make money off other people's work but I guess that's life.

    Some drastic things make everything come to a close and the world to be complete again. Eliza is even closer to her family and things are awesome with Wallace. It was a happy ending for all involved.

    I really wish this book would continue or maybe a little novella of what happens with everyone later on.

    This book was so awesome to me and it meant a lot on so many levels. It's a really great thing when a book can make you feel so good. Fin

    MY BLOG:

  • Samantha

    I just binge read this in a day. No regrets. 4.5 stars.

    As someone who isn't the biggest fan of contemporary, THIS is the kind of contemporary for me. It's a celebration of fandom and online life. It's like Fangirl on steroids. It deals with mental health, and negativity online beautifully. AND, one of the fandoms the protagonist was a part of is actually a real serial novel the author puts up on Wattpad and Tumblr. So cool. This is a love letter to fandom and I ADORED it.

  • Lola  Reviewer

    2.5 stars. I don’t think it’s normal for a book to take one hundred read pages to finally enjoy it. I wasn’t interested in reading about the online community of

    lovers, because I’m not new to fandom and most of it was repetition of what we all already know.

    I want to be moved by the emotional experiences. Unfortunately, this takes time with this book, because Eliza keeps everything in. She suffers from anxiety. She’s also very shy and isolates her

    2.5 stars. I don’t think it’s normal for a book to take one hundred read pages to finally enjoy it. I wasn’t interested in reading about the online community of

    lovers, because I’m not new to fandom and most of it was repetition of what we all already know.

    I want to be moved by the emotional experiences. Unfortunately, this takes time with this book, because Eliza keeps everything in. She suffers from anxiety. She’s also very shy and isolates herself from her classmates. Honestly, I thought she was a boring character for at least half of the novel.

    Surely, some people will connect to her – hell, part of me did. We all have a quieter, more shy and private side. But Eliza’s ‘‘real’’ life is so monotonous. Even SHE dislikes it. Her ‘‘online’’ life is more exciting, but I personally prefer reality over what the internet brings. It’s fine to have online friends, but I disbelieve that they should be your only friends. Eliza doesn’t even want to make real life friends.

    Then she meets Wallace and it’s quite awkward between them and feels very online-ish too, what with him being unable to speak out loud and solely sharing his thoughts through writing. I’m a reader, so I love writing, but I prefer verbal communication anytime.

    It got a lot better when Eliza started discussing her problems, or at least hinting at them, when more psychological themes surfaced. Don’t read this book if what to want is to admire the webcomic pictures, because there aren’t that many of them. The

    story is definitely incomplete – it’s more of a teaser than anything else.

    All in all, it’s just too darn bad it took me so long to start enjoying it a little. I considered putting it aside a couple of times. The characters are great when they start opening up about themselves, but they never reach that point where they become extraordinary. The story is extremely underwhelming. I won’t ever reread

    . I’m not that patient. It should have been condensed. No idea what the editor was thinking. Dull.

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  • Hailey (HaileyinBookland)

    I finished a book for the first time in more than a month!!! Yay!!!!

    This was such a good read! It was so much more than I was expecting and just gripped me right from the beginning. Loved it!

  • Cait (Paper Fury)

    SO MUCH INTERNET APPRECIATION. I also absolutely

    the writing, the anxiety/depression rep, the themes of creating and art and writing, and how many illustrations were in this book. Like

    ?!???? I'm so pleased.

    I shall just hug it now.

    And like I couldn't help comparing them a little as I read...and I definitely loved MYU more. B

    SO MUCH INTERNET APPRECIATION. I also absolutely

    the writing, the anxiety/depression rep, the themes of creating and art and writing, and how many illustrations were in this book. Like

    ?!???? I'm so pleased.

    I shall just hug it now.

    And like I couldn't help comparing them a little as I read...and I definitely loved MYU more. But Eliza and Her Monsters was just so poignantly relatable. I felt really understood reading it and so many thoughts and feelings Eliza had were just like..."Okay wow this is creepy because this is me."

    98% of Eliza's life is online and her parents are like "ok but they're not real friends." LOL @ YOU PARENTS. Internet friends are fabulous and Eliza knew it. I adored the messages with Emmy and Max. I also really appreciated the age gap?! Like Emmy's 14 and Max is early 20s and Eliza is 17.

    It's really sweet and nice. And the book totally did highlight how the internet can suck, but mostly it was positive which was such a refreshing change.

    Eliza most definitely had anxiety/depression and her whole LIFE was creating this super-famous webcomic series. Her family didn't take it seriously, but she was uber famous (and anonymous) online. I really loved that aspect!! Eliza also always wore baggy sweaters, tried to melt away in crowds, hardly ever spoke, and basically lived and breathed her passion. #Relatable

    He has selective mutism and is like this huge guy you "expect" to be a football player but -- NO HE'S ACTUALLY A WRITER. And supercute.

    Their friendship = to romance was so well done. So shippable. They both had lots of anxiety issues, but their story was about art and learning how to trust someone enough to be friends and being passionate about things. It's a book with issues but it's not an issue book...and there's nothing wrong with issue books. I just prefer when people are

    . These two so were. Cute and precious. <3

    (I also really really really loved that it featured protagonists who weren't good at talking. They communicated through art and writing. It was SO good and SO well done.) (I mean, there is dialogue, but it just really showed this side to anxiety that often gets forgotten and I just ajfdksalfd.)

    Several times, haha. It felt very very much like

    and

    and

    ! So for me, I predicted everything and kind of lost the element of freshness.

    So that more than makes up for it. (Like woah legit the comics in the book are

    ?!? This author is so madly and marvellously talented.

    I love how it really

    me. I don't get that a lot in books! It didn't knock my socks off, but hey my socks are lovely where they are thanks. So I'm just glad I got to dive into this world of art and comics and writing and teens who create magical worlds to escape into.

    Also anytime someone says "exercise" Eliza runs away. This is relatable and perfect.

    **** QUOTES ****

    I AM OFFICIALLY ELIZA.

    (IT WAS AT THIS POINT I RELATED SO HARD I NEARLY CRIED TBH.)

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