Eliza and Her Monsters

Eliza and Her Monsters

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Previously reviewed by the same author:
Made You Up


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.


I really enjoyed the author’s debut novel, Made You Up, so much so that I had Eliza and Her Monsters pre-ordered. I may have only got around to reading it this January, but I still had faith that I’d enjoy it based on her debut. I wasn’t wrong. Eliza and Her Monsters is a fantastically geeky YA read. I lapped it up!

The story centres around Eliza who, online, is LadyConstellation. She is the anonymous creator of the very popular webcomic ‘Monstrous Sea’. Eliza is very different in real life. She’s quiet, weird and without friends. She really is the polar opposite online, but Eliza wants to keep her online world purely online. Eliza is made to look out for a new transfer student at school named Wallace. She finds out that he’s a super fan of ‘Monstrous Sea’ and writes fanfiction about it! Wallace begins to bring Eliza out of her shell (he simply thinks she’s a fan of the webcomic) and Eliza wonders if a life offline would be so bad. Unfortunately, Eliza’s identity is revealed and life turns completely upside down.

Eliza and Her Monsters is unique because of the way it’s told. It uses illustrations from her webcomics and online chats with her friends on the ‘Monstrous Sea’ forums. It was really important to see this in the story because it made it so much more realistic. Eliza’s life was online and this made it totally believable. I love books that experiment with social media/internet extracts. It’s modern, it’s fun but it doesn’t always work. However, Francesca Zappia really writes it well!

Eliza is a fabulous character who I can imagine many people relating to. I know I saw a lot of myself in Eliza. Eliza found life online much easier to handle than the real world. Eliza was completely different to the rest of her family. She was quiet and anxious and didn’t get social cues as much as others. I loved that you could still tell how much Eliza’s family cared for her even if they left her to her own devices. They knew that’s what Eliza wanted. Wallace was a good addition to the story and I loved how he was bringing her out of her shell and encouraging her to step outside of her comfort zone. He never forced her and was patient. I loved that.

I also appreciated the portrayal of Eliza’s panic attacks. In general, her anxiety was incredibly well represented. The reader could clearly see how it was affecting Eliza’s life and how there wasn’t just a magic fix.

This is a fabulous second novel from Francesca Zappia. I was impressed!

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

A wonderfully geeky story, but one that also has a 10/10 representation of anxiety!