Book Review: Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

Eliza and Her Monsters is a story about young Eliza Mirk, who is a lonely, friendless and anxiety-plagued girl. She also happens to be LadyConstellation, author of an extremely famous web comic, called Monstrous Sea, which is “a combination of the Final Fantasy video games and the Faust Legend.” Online, she is a queen, a talented author and artist, with millions of fans, but in real life she is just the weird girl who went to school; who people also referred to as “Creepy Don’t-Touch-Her-You’ll-Get-Rabies Eliza.” Eliza’s main aim is complete her graduation (and the comic) and move off to college. Her parents, even though they love her, do not understand her, which makes her feel alone. She hardly talks to anyone until the day she defends a boy called Wallace who was being mocked for writing Monstrous Sea fanfiction. She develops an unusual relationship with Wallace over the chapters. Although she cannot get herself to tell him that she is LadyConstellation without killing his feelings for her, Wallace is her one true friend and they both had something in common: the love to create. However, things do not go as she planned, as she loses her anonymity and has to face a lot of things, and the walls around her crumble.

This is a story that is about facing monsters- both real and imaginary. What I liked about it is how Francesca Zappia has touched the issues of anxiety, depression and suicide without going in too deep and making it a totally serious book. She has told the story of so many teenagers- how helpless they feel, or how alone. As a teenager who loves art and writing, I could totally relate to everything her characters were going through. It also tells us about the depth of online friendships and the pros and cons of internet fame. Zappia’s beautiful Monstrous Sea art and the forum conversations between Eliza and her friends in between the chapters made the story seem more real, more true. This is a must read for everyone.

Rating: 4/5

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