SYNOPSIS: 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 Nimonaand Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl.
About the Book
Eliza and her Monsters by Francesca Zappia
Format Hardcover, Owlcrate Exclusive Edition, 385 pages
Publisher Greenwillow Books(May 30th 2017)
Read May 20 – May 21, 2017
Source Owlcrate May 2017: Comic Explosions
Eliza Mirk is an anxiety-plagued weirdo, shuffling silently through the corridors of her Indiana high school without a single friend. She’s also beloved LadyConstellation, creator of the comic Monstrous Sea, “a combination of the Final Fantasy video games and the Faust Legend.” On the Monstrous Sea forums, she’s the queen to millions of passionate fans; in school she’s “Creepy Don’t-Touch-Her-You’ll-Get-Rabies Eliza.” She keeps the two worlds separate, and she likes it that way. But things start getting complicated when the new guy in school, who’s even more silent than she is, turns out to be a Monstrous Sea fan.
There were a lot of small aspects within Eliza and Her Monsters that made me really enjoy the book as a whole. The first aspect was the characters. It took me a few chapters to warm up to Eliza, but by the end I was rooting for her so hard. I really liked her character arc, and how she was a creator of a comic and “mother” of an online fandom. I also like Wallace, the love interest, a lot. He was flawed, had his rough moments, but ultimately supported Eliza. I liked the build-up to their relationship, as well as the slow-and-steadiness of their relationship. I feel like those kinds of romantic relationships aren’t always present in YA, where relationships tend to happen and accelerate so quickly. Therefore, I found Eliza and Wallace’s relationships to be really cute, realistic, and refreshing.
Eliza and Her Monsters also has positive anxiety and mental illness representation, which is a huge plus. I also liked how Eliza and Her Monsters addressed fandoms (and just the internet in general), and its positives ( like online friends!!) and negatives ( such as trolls), as well as the role of technology and fame when it comes to creator-creation dynamics. (THIS BOOK ADDRESSED WRITER’S BLOCK, AND THAT MADE ME SUPER HAPPY!) Eliza spends most of her time on the internet creating Monstrous Sea, but it’s ultimately something that’s posted on the internet that hurts her. Lastly, I loved the format of the book. Eliza and Her Monsters has pages and drawings from Eliza’s comic, Monstrous Sea. They were so intriguing, and they made me want to read the comic itself.
I recommend Eliza and Her Monsters if you’re looking for an awesome YA contemporary read, especially if you consider yourself to a creative or artsy person.