Sunday, August 6, 2017

Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

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.

Rating: 2/5 Stars

“Please don’t. Please. I can’t lose anyone else to this stupid turn.”

Then I understand what I was going to do, and what it would have done to Wallace, and I start to cry too.

Yeah sure, don’t kill yourself because it would make your boyfriend, the guy who drove you to this horrible point in your life, feel bad. Yeah let’s make this suicide attempt all about him because it’s very fucking healthy and not at all disturbing.


Eliza and Her Monsters is a book that should have appealed to me. It deals with anxiety, depression, fandom and suicide attempts all things I know so very well. And yet here I come with my two star rating, once again the only one in a sea of thousands who loved this book. Why is that?

My issue with this book was that it as shallow. Little thought and research was put into the very things this book is praised for: the representation of mental illness and the cool fandom/webcomic aspect. 

The book begins slow, with Eliza and her life orbiting around her webcomic Monstrous Sea and not much else, then she meets a shy guy who turns out to be a famous fanfic writer of her comic and romance begins. Up until 70% the story was dull, being familiar with fandoms, fanfics and the like I didn’t find anything new or entertaining in the book and got bored. But then Eliza’s secret identity is revealed and we get a really dumb, Hannah Montana situation in which everybody now knows about Eliza being famous and it’s chaos.

I found the revelation to be dumb, maybe things are different in the US but I was imagining something like that happening here and honestly, nobody would have given a fuck about Eliza being LadyConstellation so the whole drama that accompanied it was ridiculously over the top, like a Disney after school especial.

Then we get to the part where her boyfriend gets a book deal to put Monstrous Sea into book format, with Eliza’s “permission” but they only want to do it once the comic is finished. Boyfriend gets pissed because Eliza is having a mental breakdown and a writer’s block to boot, so he starts yelling about how she has a perfect life and can pay for college after she has worked her ass off for years making the comic, so she should just draw a shitty ending so he can make money by ripping off her original work… and then gets more pissed when she says she can’t do it.

Things get better with her family, she connects with her brothers and parents a bit more and starts enjoying things she used to hate because she was so consumed with Monstrous Sea. She starts to be a bit happier and healthier, until she visits Wallace and he just HAS to tell her how ANGRY he is at her, because now that she’s feeling like shit she ruined his life by not letting him make money off her hard work.


But then, after Eliza thinks and decides against committing suicide, Wallace has to show up, angry again, because if Eliza killed herself he would feel guilty and that’s how Eliza realizes that suicide is not the way!!!!!

The fucking end

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