Zappia, Francesca. Eliza and Her Monsters (2017). HarperCollins. 400 pages
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.
Eliza Mirk is the kind of name you give to the creepy girl who clings to her ex-boyfriend for weeks after he’s dumped her because she refuses to accept that he hates her guts. Eliza Mirk is a low-level villain with a secret hideout in the sewers. Eliza Mirk belongs in a comic book.
But Eliza Mirk is me.
I subscribed to OwlCrate** a while ago, because it looked fun. I really dig subscription boxes, and I currently get Ipsy and Birchbox. I’ve tried LootCrate and NerdBlock, but I’ve ended up cancelling a bunch of them because I just wasn’t loving what I was getting.
That’s not true about OwlCrate**. I get a new YA book each month, along with a bunch of thematically appropriate goodies. I’ve gotten Caraval, and Daughter of the Pirate King, and The Upside of Unrequited so far. I haven’t sat down to read all (or any) of them yet because my to-read list is about a million books deep.
For whatever reason, I picked up this month’s book Eliza and her Monsters and I couldn’t put it down. It spoke to me on a lot of levels. The social anxiety. The secret writing that nobody in her life really gets. The online friendships. The fanfiction. It was just so much that really grabbed me.
I love Eliza.
She’s anxiety-riddled and I get it. I really empathized with her. She tries so hard.
And Wallace. Hoo boy. I love him, too.
Eliza’s family. Wallace’s family. All of it. It drew me in and made me care, and then it made me get teary, and later it actually made me cry, and I had to pause to blow my nose because I’m not a graceful cryer and I was definitely getting a runny nose.
I loved it. I loved the whole book and I can’t say enough nice things about it. I immediately bought a copy for an internet friend of over a decade who I knew also needed to read it, and sent it to her. Because I think it will resonate with her, too.
It’s a fun story. It’s an emotional story. It’s sweet and it’s awkward and it’s romantic and it’s heartbreaking and it’s just so dang good.
I definitely have to give this one 5/5 because I could not put it down.
* If you choose to buy this book based on my review, please consider using my Amazon Associates link.
**OwlCrate has a referral program. If you consider signing up, please use my referral link. 🙂