Book #60: Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

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.

There aren’t many books that induced me to tears. Eva and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia is one of three books to have done that.

Eliza is famous. She created a webcomic that has inspired many to write and do their own artwork. She had inspired tattoos and people. And yet . . . no one knows she is who she is.

I found Eliza to be highly relateable. She was the girl I was in ninth grade. Her peers disliked her and bullied her. They didn’t understand her. She would rather be alone and invisible than talking to people. Her anxiety is close to what I had to deal with in ninth grade that, I think at moments, I was pulled back into that time.

It didn’t take me long to read the book. I think I basically vegged out on my couch and read the day away. I do know that Bug asked me to put it down. Which I did . . . until commercials came up.

I nearly threw my book close to the end of the book and even had to post something online. I needed fellow readers to join in on the moment. I needed to know I wasn’t the only one upset. It also didn’t take long for me to start crying.

I’m not sure what else I could say without giving away what happened. All I know is that this was a perfect book that pulled me in. I’m a Zappia fan now. I want to consume other books by her.

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