Friday, June 9, 2017

Book Review: Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

Owlcrate's May theme was "Comic Explosion," which included a ton of amazing items. I was stoked when I heard that was the theme because I love comics and I was excited to see what I would receive. The book for the month, however, was not a comic or graphic novel. Instead, it was a story about a creative person who writes a web comic: Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia.


Eliza Mirk is the anonymous creator of a popular web comic Monstrous Sea and would rather spend time online than in the real world where she's lonely and weird. Until Wallace, Monstrous Sea's biggest fanfiction writer, transfers to her school. Wallace, believing Eliza is just another fan, begins to coax Eliza out of her online shell and into the real world. 

My Thoughts

This book surprised me, as most contemporary books I enjoy do. I was afraid it would turn out to be a stereotypical, cliche story filled with teenage-angst and only a glimpse at the life of a creative person. But it wasn't. It was good.

I read the whole book in one sitting. The story drew me in, and I wanted to find out what happened with Eliza and Wallace and her web comic. Despite not being in high school anymore, I related a lot to Eliza and the safety net of the Internet. Even her reactions to her family--despite how annoying it was at times--was something I felt deeply. How Eliza felt about her art is how I often feel about my writing. I find myself too engrossed in my own head that I miss the real world. I struggle with finding the right words. I understand wanting to shy away from the world, from other people, and spend my time online with a screen between me and the person I'm talking to. Francesca Zappia, the author, portrayed this side of an introverted creative person very well. And I'm grateful for the book because of this portrayal.

The inclusion of Eliza's artwork was cool, but I didn't see how it connected to the story. Maybe I read it too fast or maybe it was just supposed to be an added bonus. My other issue was the amount of profanity and discussion of sex within the novel. I suppose the story was going for a realistic approach to teenagers in high school, even if I didn't think it was necessary.

The story touched on a lot of issues often overlooked in literature these days, such as social anxiety, how invested we with the Internet, working out the issues in a parent and child relationship, creativity and creation in any form. I feel these aspects were portrayed well and realistically, which made the book realistic and flow well.

Overall, Eliza and Her Monsters was a well-written story about someone who creates. It reminded me of Fangirl and the Disney Channel movie Read It and Weep. If you're a creative person or you spend more time online than in real life, give this book a chance.

~I received Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia in the May Owl Crate monthly subscription box, which I purchased with my own money. I chose to write a book review of my own free will. All opinions are my own.~


  1. Loved her first book so I do want to read this when I have a chance!
    Thanks so much for stopping by! Jen at YA Romantics

  2. I LOVED this book! :) Glad you enjoyed as well!