Eliza and her monsters By Francesca Zappia

Blurb: 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.

2.5/5

This book had me confused for a little while. Not the likes of ‘oh my god! how will I ever figure out how I really feel about this book’  but more like ‘okay, I clearly am not enjoying this book as much as I enjoyed some other ones but nevertheless I am reading it non stop.’ I finished this one in two days, the beginning was promising but as the plot progressed things became really bland really fast. Nothing happened, it was as if there was no plot; things were just happening one after the other without any real purpose, the characters for the most part were flat and when they did do something that added a flavor to their arc it was a distasteful sort of addition.

Eliza is one of the most annoying portrayals of teenagers that I have read in a long while, she was rude and mean to her parents, she was disrespectful of her brothers’ interests, she painted everyone in an antagonistic sort of way, her fans, her family, her schoolmates etc. If someone liked something other than what she liked she was least bothered to even be civil about it let alone be genuinely interested. She never even tried to understand where her parent’s concern was coming from, she never tried to bring them into the loop. Which parents don’t try to push their kid into outdoor activities, does that mean they deserve the title of a villain? Eliza was plain whiny in my opinion. I mean considering suicide because the boy you like won’t talk to you because you lied to him or because you have millions of fans who now recognize who you are? I understand that anonymity was prized for her and I respect that but should the loss of it in any way justifies a character’s decision to end her life, even if that decision lasted for a mere number of hours? The whole portrayal of Eliza’s love for being anonymous or not wanting to be the direct recipient of all the attention was juvenile at best.

Wallace, well, I liked Wallace for the most part. He was sweet and seemed very realistic but even his arc got ruined when he started pestering Eliza to make art even when she had no inspiration just so that he could benefit from it. I mean that was mighty selfish of him and yet we see no character point it out, in fact this whole thing is never even acknowledged.

The part about the forums or the fan arts or the fanfiction or the shipping was very relatable… it’s for anyone who has ever been a fan of anything. However, I really thought there should have been more background information about Monstrous Sea. More than once I found myself floundering to understand who the characters being talked about were or what the actual story of Monstrous Sea was. These were the parts I skipped in their entirety, they made the story boring for me.

Overall this was a really really average book for me. The writing was good. I might read Made You Up by the same author too since I find its premise quite interesting but sadly this book wasn’t it for me.

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