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Eliza and Her Monsters

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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.

385 pages, Hardcover

First published May 30, 2017

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About the author

Francesca Zappia

11 books3,768 followers
Writer of MADE YOU UP and ELIZA AND HER MONSTERS. Represented by Louise Fury of the Bent Agency.

Also wrote The Children of Hypnos serial on Wattpad (https://www.wattpad.com/story/9547883...).

Social Media: @ChessieZappia

You can find links to all my social media on my website, www.francescazappia.com.

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 11,393 reviews
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,964 reviews294k followers
May 22, 2017
She drew so many monsters that she became a monster herself.

4 1/2 stars. The only reason it's not 5 is that it took a little while for me to get into it. But when I did, it completely blew me away. I liked this even more than Zappia's Made You Up.

I'm not going to lie to you - a huge part of my love for this book is because I related so much to Eliza. So freaking much. Well, except for the part where she's a talented webcomic artist and I'm not, but shhh.

Some of you know this, but others don't-- I have long suffered with anxiety, particularly social anxiety. I get worked up about sending emails, angsting over it when replies don't come straight away (oh god, did I say something wrong?). I literally used to drink alcohol before the mandatory presentations in college (not showing up only worked for so long), and I still feel panic rising inside me whenever I have to make a phone call to someone I don't know well. Over the years, I've come to handle it better; to talk myself down from the panic. But it's still there.

It's been part of who I am my whole life. From my very first school years when I almost always played alone, to later bullying because I was that "weird" and socially clueless class member who didn't get how to behave. And the way I coped? To put it simply - The Internet. The Internet provided a place for me to explore the world, find others like me, whilst also providing a barrier. I was invisible, free, and not alone in the way I was often alone in the real world.

I spent hours every night on my computer, until my parents got frustrated that I spent so much time alone and not in the "real world". What they didn't get - and what Eliza's parents don't get in this book - is that I wasn't alone. I was making friends from all over the world. And they were better friends than any I'd had in "real life" at that point. And, as Eliza says:
It’s stupid because that’s what I like about the internet—that it gives you time to think about what you want to say before you say it.

It's always so wonderful to find a book that "gets" you. A book that puts into words feelings you've always had but have struggled to voice. Eliza and Her Monsters did just that.

From my perspective, it's a very realistic portrayal of anxiety, and of someone who escapes into Internet forums. Eliza's most valued friendships are online and, of course, her well-meaning parents fail to understand or consider them "real".

It's a much darker book than I was first expecting. While there is lots of geeky fandom, fanfiction, fanart, cosplay... the story of Eliza's anxiety, relationships with those around her, and even suicidal thoughts, gives the novel a more serious and emotional edge. I appreciate books like this, though. If you're looking for a geeky fandom book that is lighter and fluffier, I recommend Queens of Geek.
There is a small monster in my brain that controls my doubt.
The doubt itself is a stupid thing, without sense or feeling, blind and straining at the end of a long chain. The monster, though, is smart. It’s always watching, and when I am completely sure of myself, it unchains the doubt and lets it run wild. Even when I know it’s coming, I can’t stop it.

There's another layer to this book, too, which I found really interesting. As well as being about Eliza's anxiety, it's also about an issue that is becoming ever more relevant today, and it's an issue that I don't recall reading anything about before-- the relationship between an artist and their fans. Or, really, anyone with a fan following.

As Eliza becomes more popular online, the thing she did for herself, for her own escapism, becomes about other people and what they expect from her. People start to expect a certain type of work and feel like her popularity means she owes the world (and them) something. This opens a fascinating discussion on what artists/writers/etc. owe their fans or followers. Whether, in fact, they owe them anything.
Creating art is a lonely task, which is why we introverts revel in it, but when we have fans looming over us, it becomes loneliness of a different sort. We become caged animals watched by zoo-goers, expected to perform lest the crowd grow bored or angry. It’s not always bad. Sometimes we do well, and the cage feels more like a pedestal.

It was honestly such an interesting and thoughtful book. On many levels. It manages to be very emotionally moving, entertaining, beautifully-illustrated AND do something new at the same time. Eliza and Her Monsters deserves all of the hype.

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Profile Image for Jesse (JesseTheReader).
468 reviews169k followers
February 2, 2018
I took waaaaay too long to finish this book, but I honestly don't have any regrets about that. I actually think it lined up perfectly with something I'm facing in my own life right now, that's similar to what Eliza faced with being a creator online. I feel so connected and understood by this story and I'm glad I finally worked myself up to finishing it.
Profile Image for Hailey (Hailey in Bookland).
611 reviews87.5k followers
June 22, 2017
I finished a book for the first time in more than a month!!! Yay!!!!
This was such a good read! It was so much more than I was expecting and just gripped me right from the beginning. Loved it!
Profile Image for emma.
1,823 reviews48.6k followers
May 23, 2018
in a friendly reminder that i've sh*t on all your faves, i posted this review!! find it here (preferably before unfollowing me out of righteous fury): https://emmareadstoomuch.wordpress.co...

Hindsight is 20/20.

I now understand, having read this book, what I did not grasp previously: that maybe I shouldn’t have expected to like this.

For one thing, I full on hate Francesca Zappia’s other book with everything that I am, which in retrospect is seeming like a more important factor than it did at the time.

I also really, really hate my-big-secret-was-revealed-and-now-everyone-in-high-school-knows-and-my-life-is-ruined-in-a-very-quintessentially-high-school-way plotlines. They are so stressful.

But I like contemporaries! And I like the Internet! And I like illustrations! And I like mental illness rep! And I like books people like! (That first and last one are blatantly false, but still.)

I had hope, is what I’m saying.

This book crushed every last BIT of that.

As I just ranted about (except not actually because it’ll probably take me a million years to post this, even after it took me a million years to write it, even after it took me a million years to read the book) in my review of Everything All at Once, I am sick to death of the sh*tty family trope.

But I didn’t realize just how sick of it I could be, just how hard that trope could scrape against the bottom of the entertainment barrel, just how low we could get, until I read this book.

THIS BOOK HAS PERHAPS THE WORST FAMILY DYNAMIC OF ANY BOOK I’VE EVER READ. Because not only is it grueling and dramatic and boring and done, it’s also completely nonsensical.

Eliza has two little brothers, who are so flat and annoying they actually go well past the bounds of the very definitions of the words “flat” and “annoying.” She does not get along well with said brothers, and is, in fact, quite mean to them despite being many years older and, one would suppose (incorrectly), more mature. So that’s awesome.

But we don’t get to the very limits of terrible until we talk about Eliza’s parents. That statement, along with every single statement made in this book, may lead you to assume that Eliza’s parents are the problem. However, every single cell in my entire body vehemently disagrees with that assumption.

Eliza’s parents are just two people trying their best!!!!!! Their daughter never talks to them and spends her whole life in her room, on the Internet, and they don’t know what to do about it which is not exactly shocking considering Eliza never talks to them!!!!! They’re just trying to parent!!!!!

I think this book may have been designed to appeal to the children of technology. Here is a girl who has it all, in terms of what the online world can offer: she has anxiety, but she’s unbelievably famous, has swarms of online friends, creates amazing art, gets a boyfriend. What goes along with that is the inevitable disapproving parental figure is actually - gasp! - wrong.

Maybe that’s another reason I was destined not to like this book: I firmly believe you can’t be on the internet all the time. Not even if your friends are on there, not even if your job is on there, not even if, like, a goddamn opportunity to hook up with Zac Efron is on there. Which I guess it is, technically speaking. REGARDLESS OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES, the real world matters too, is what I’m saying.

I firmly believe that Eliza should have apologized to her parents. She doesn’t talk to them unless she’s spewing vitriol, she ignores her family, she stays in her room all the time, she refuses to even offer an explanation as to why all of this would be okay. Once she does - sorry, once her brothers do for her - good ol’ mom and dad are more than understanding.

I gave this book the benefit of the doubt for SO LONG because I thought character development would change the way she treats her family but nOOO, HER PARENTS WERE ACTUALLY IN THE WRONG ALL ALONG, AND IN TURN SO WAS I, MOTHER AND FATHER AND I ARE JUST THREE MORE FOOLS INHABITING THIS WORLD OF FURY AND NONSENSE.

Not even the fun Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland kind.

In the abundant free time Eliza doesn’t spend creating an inexplicably famous and successful web comic or ruining the lives of her family members, she’s living it up sexual tension-wise with a kid named Wallace.

I support this relationship, but only because Eliza and Wallace both suck so equally that they were probably made for each other. They treat each other like sh*t, and Wallace is so boring. Like seriously. Guys. This is your MCM?

Eliza stupidly hides the fact that she writes that massively successful web comic from Wallace, even though Wallace is a huge fan of it and talks to her about it all the time and revealed his secret online identity to her. But whatever, of course that is what would happen in a book this trope-y.

HOWEVER. Here’s the thing. Eliza and Wallace write notes to each other all the time (like straight up instead of talking). Eliza also handwrites the speech bubbles for her comic, which Wallace is obsessed with. Like photographic-memory-level-of-knowledge obsessed. Can Wallace not recognize handwriting? There’s a moment when Eliza recognizes Wallace’s after seeing it ONE TIME.

This book is dumb and I hate it.

Good mental illness rep, though. If only everything else didn’t suck so hard.

Bottom line: This book is designed to speak to its audience, and that high-as-hell average rating tells me it worked. BUT NOT FOR ME. SORRY, FOLKS.



I mean...come on.

Like...what the ever-living hell…?


Review to come
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,470 reviews9,637 followers
September 12, 2019
UPDATE: $2.99 Kindle US today 9/12/19

I got some wonderful stuff in the mail yesterday (7/3/17) and I love them! I love getting stuff from the pub etc.

I loved this book so very much!


*****There will be some spoilers because I can't help myself*****

I love the book has drawings and stories all through-out the book. They are so awesome!




I love Eliza. She's quiet, wants to be left alone in her online world where she writes her webcomic: Monstrous Sea. She has two wonderful friends online that have helped her with her business. There is Max who runs security on the trolls (we need him for GR) and Emmy who set up the merch for the comic and sales for the comic, etc. Eliza makes enough money to live off of and put her way through college. She famous and she's anonymous.

I do have friends. Maybe they live hundreds of miles away from me, and maybe I can only talk to them through a screen, but they're still my friends. They don't just hold Monstrous Sea together. They hold me together.

Max and Emmy are the reason any of this exists.

Eliza doesn't talk to people at school. Some people are actually afraid of her and she's happy with this because all she want's is to draw out her next parts for the comic during school. Then when she gets home she puts the drawings and stuff on her photoshop to get it complete and uploads them.

God, I wish I could draw and do something so freaking cool like that. Anyhoo . . .

Eliza isn't really close to her parents. They are always trying to get her to do sports and random stuff she has no interest in. They think her comic is a hobby, she never told them how famous or how much money she makes. They think she makes a little bit of money and just let her do it. I do wish that Eliza would have been up front with them and I do wish that her parents would have taken the time to actually go online and read her comic and see how famous she actually was, but none of this happened. And later on, it bites them all in the butt.

Eliza has two brothers: Church and Sully. She doesn't do much with them because they are into sports etc. She has no idea that they follow her comic and so do their friends. And when Church takes up for Eliza when her parent do something extremely stupid, I was so proud. I mean so proud. He put them in their place once and for all because sometimes parents aren't always right, even if they mean well.

I must also mention that I'm in love with Davy, their Great Pyrenees =)

Moving on.

Eliza meets the new kid at school, Wallace. He starts writing notes to her because he doesn't really like to talk. It's really super cute and he's freaking hot. Just sayin'. It turns out that he writes fanfiction for Eliza's comic!

They become close and start going out which is way beyond anything Eliza has ever done in her life! I think they are wonderful together but she never tells him that she is LadyConstellation and the creator of Monstrous Sea. I wanted to scream! He finds out when every one else does when her parents do something stupid. Poor Emmy and Max have to try to fight and keep everyone off Eliza's back and even Church cusses people to leave her alone. Eliza has a breakdown after her cover is blown and doesn't even want to finish her comic. She has to see a counselor and take anxiety meds, it's all just one big mess. If her parents would have just butted out and if Eliza would have just told them how big she is. . . so many things.

Wallace gets mad at her obviously. I mean she should have told him but it is what it is. He gets even more mad at her when she decides she's not going to finish the comic because he has an offer to get his fan fiction published. It could make his dreams come true as well. I find it strange that people can make money off other people's work but I guess that's life.

Some drastic things make everything come to a close and the world to be complete again. Eliza is even closer to her family and things are awesome with Wallace. It was a happy ending for all involved.

I really wish this book would continue or maybe a little novella of what happens with everyone later on.

This book was so awesome to me and it meant a lot on so many levels. It's a really great thing when a book can make you feel so good. Fin

MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List
Profile Image for Emma Giordano.
317 reviews116k followers
March 31, 2018
(also gonna leave this review blank for now bc I MUST FILM A VIDEO REVIEW)
Profile Image for emily .
242 reviews2,113 followers
October 1, 2018
fangirl: who are you
eliza and her monsters: i’m you but stronger
Profile Image for Maria.
65 reviews8,499 followers
March 26, 2019
3.8/5 Stars ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

“You found me in a constellation.”

― Francesca Zappia, Eliza and Her Monsters

This book was an adequate distraction from my real life right now. Which is exams, pressure, exams, kill me, exams, fuck-my-life, death. I enjoyed reading 50 pages of this every day before I went to sleep after a stressful and straining day.

We start off with Eliza, an unsociable, shy and introverted high school girl who is experiencing anxiety and depression and is closed off to the virtual world of the Internet. She is, also, the Anonymous creator of the most popular web comic Monstrous Sea which is read by millions and millions of people all over the world. Then she meets Wallace, the most popular fan fiction writer of her comic, who is transferred to her school and then everything changes.

This book didn't give me feels. This book didn't make me cling to my seat to read what happens next. These characters didn't pull me as much as I would have hoped. This feeling probably comes to me when I read a book in two or three sittings and probably this book didn't give me this intense feeling of desperation to finish it because I was reading it during a tough time. But it was probably just the book. This was a book with a great anxiety representation, amazing artwork throughout done by the author, and a very interesting storyline. But that's about it.

The only characters I liked were Eliza and Wallace. All the others just... didn't exist to me. They felt more flat than fucking flat-Earthers think the Earth is. Her parents, her brothers, Wallace's friends, his family... didn't do it for me. Eliza didn't pay much attention to people, especially in the beginning, and that's why I think her POV story didn't make me relate to these characters on no level at all.

The romance was very cute and fluffy, I really enjoyed how awkwardly they started off and how they were writing everything in little notes but after it became canon it got lost to me. It's one of those ships that you're dying to happen but when it does, you're totally uninterested by it. But they shared a deep relationship and I'm so glad they found each other. We all closed off people who love books, tv shows, movie e.t.c. too much need people like this in our lives.

I hate the everything-is-turning-out-amazing-and-nothing-is-wrong-and-everything-was-shit-as-fuck-throughout-the book-and-then-after-a-while-everything-solves-itself trope. And it happened here, in some way. I don't want my characters to struggle, but I'm a realist. And I enjoy realistic endings and situations in books. And I don't enjoy when literally everything is upside down and glum and sad and depressing and then it all just... poof! Gone! And I'm not talking about financial problems which can be solved with a good new job or anything but emotional ones. This book didn't leave this taste entirely to me but it did in certain aspects. And I didn't enjoy that.

This novel was very much like Fangirl, plot-wise but also not much . They were written in the same format, both the protagonists were young white straight girls who were popular on the Internet, both of them had anxiety, each chapter we got a snippet from their work e.t.c. This might be an unpopular opinion, I don't know... I enjoyed Fangirl more. It had its flaws and they were many but the characters gripped me more. Characters do it for me in books, if I don't desperately till I fucking die love the characters, or if I don't furiously want to kill any of them till they bleed right in front of me, the book feels neutral to me. The plot might be legendary but if the characters are bad or if I don't relate to them, my dick won't move. I need to receive these strong feelings from books. I'm an all or nothing kind of person, nothing to do about it.

And now off to what I enjoyed... I adored the world of Monstrous Sea , I love it when writers explore more worlds within one book of theirs, I adored the fandom aspect, the artwork throughout, the little text messages Eliza had with her online friends. It was a very interesting and quick paced YA contemporary and it kept me a nice company. I would truly recommend it to people who love YA contemporary books. And till the next one... K BYE!
Profile Image for She-who-must-not-be-named .
180 reviews1,189 followers
January 29, 2022
Like life, what gives a story its meaning is the fact that it ends. Our stories have lives of their own—and it’s up to us to make them mean something.

I am reeling with a tempest of emotions of what transpired in this book. This story was everything I wanted it to be and I couldn't wish for more. It took me longer than usual to finish this book because I held onto every page, every paragraph, every word, and every syllable refusing to let go. My love for this book hit a crescendo, and there is not one thing I want to change about this book.

Eliza Mirk is a teenager with anxiety issues, a loner who thinks she is barely a footnote in anyone's life. But online she's Lady Constellation, creator of a famous webcomic called Monstrous Sea and a God who creates currents in her own world. No one knows that Lady Constellation is Eliza.

LadyConstellation is the hero who defeats Eliza Mirk once a week and celebrates with her many admiring fans. She is beloved by all, even the villain because without her the villain wouldn’t exist.
I am LadyConstellation.
I am also Eliza Mirk.
This is the paradox that can never be solved.

In high school, she meets Wallace who also has a knack for her webcomic, only he doesn't know her identity too. He is the only person who understands her and a bond develops between them. But when her identity is revealed, she finds her resolve to weaken, and everything she built for herself starts slipping away.

I loved the book (I probably already mentioned it, and I will continue doing so), not because I relate to Eliza or anything. I don't. If anything, we're totally different. But that didn't stop me from rooting for her.
I loved the book because it was magically realistic. The depiction of Eliza's hatred for school, problems with her family, social anxiety, Wallace's ability to empathize with comic characters more than real people felt completely raw and real.

I like that Eliza and Wallace complement each other really well. They are aware of each others' flaws and accept them wholeheartedly as they open up and let each other in. They see eye-to-eye on a lot of things and are fluent in the language of Monstrous Sea . Thanks to Wallace, Eliza gradually comes out of her shell and makes new friends, and meets new people.

I also love how her online friends stick out for her which makes them more real than any real person she's ever known. Whatever I write about this book will only seem less to me and unworthy of even half of what this book has to offer.

The blurb was so vague, I thought the story would be confined to cute romance with a lot of awkward moments and misunderstandings, but it extends much more beyond all that, signifying a lot about friendship and love and also shedding light on social issues like anxiety, depression, and suicide.
All in all, this book is mired with wonderful yet heart-rending moments intricately orchestrated into a tale that will forever be embedded into the deepest recesses of my heart.
Thank you, Francesca Zappia

"I am Eliza Mirk, daughter and sister and friend.
I am Eliza Mirk, mother of a fandom.
I am Eliza Mirk"
Profile Image for Samantha.
417 reviews16.7k followers
May 31, 2017
I just binge read this in a day. No regrets. 4.5 stars.

As someone who isn't the biggest fan of contemporary, THIS is the kind of contemporary for me. It's a celebration of fandom and online life. It's like Fangirl on steroids. It deals with mental health, and negativity online beautifully. AND, one of the fandoms the protagonist was a part of is actually a real serial novel the author puts up on Wattpad and Tumblr. So cool. This is a love letter to fandom and I ADORED it.
Profile Image for Elle (ellexamines).
1,084 reviews17.5k followers
August 18, 2018
I understand that it's a teenage thing to say parents don't get it, but they don't get it. It's not their fault they were born two and a half decades before me, but would it kill the to ask me what I'm doing on the phone before they assume it's something pointless?
This is maybe one of the best contemporaries I've ever read. I mean, I read it in three sittings within the same five hours. Francesca Zappia: you're doing amazing, sweetie.


What good is a career that makes you money if you hate yourself every day you do it?
This book is about how teenagers get dismissed. Let me explain. Teens are vehicles for drama rather than being real people. Our feelings aren't feelings - they're drama, or teen angst. But what's the real difference when both of us are people, humans with emotions and feelings and moods and lives? It's rare to see the feelings of teenagers validated to this degree, explicitly treated as relevant by the narrative.

If I have my phone out talking to you or my online friends, they think I'm ignoring them, or being disrespectful, or whatever. And it's like, no, I'm in the middle of a conversation. If you saw people talking to each other face to face, you wouldn't interrupt them and call it disrespectful, would you?
The other thing I really loved thematically was the emphasis on online life as being a positive thing for some teens. See, here's the thing - having a community online has had a positive impact on my life. I mean, before I started using the internet in maybe 2014, I was pretty much the most antisocial kid ever. I had approximately three friends and two feelings. And then came the discourse, the banter, the memes, and the friends. And I got life experiences. All jokes aside, my real life is much more engaging, humorous, and brave because of experiences I've had on the internet. And I've yet to see that acknowledged in any YA books I've read thus far. I think this is a book I would recommend to parents as much as teenagers, just for how immersed I was in Eliza's experiences.
“Worth as a person is not based on any tangible evidence. There's no test for it, no scale.”

This is just... so important.


Aside from mental health handling, this is really just a fantastic book. First of all, there's the mixed media. I loved the little posts spread throughout the book of Eliza's comic - I'm super interested in seeing the full thing now. If you liked those too, you can find a full written version of the webcomic here! I also thought the text-speak was way more realistic than usual.

What's most important in a good contemporary for me is having interesting, well-developed characters. And here, I can definitely say that the character work is fabulous. Eliza's perspective as a girl with anxiety was superbly realistic and enjoyable. She's fantastically developed and her character arc felt especially real to me.

And I loved the romance!! The love interest, Wallace, is super cute, and I loved their relationship development. It felt authentic and honest and romantic all at the same time. It's hard to write a romance so honestly, but this is just one of the better YA contemporary romances I've ever read.

VERDICT: One of the best contemporaries I've read this year, with fantastic themes and characters. Oh god, I just want everyone to read it? please. read this.

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Profile Image for High Lady of The Night Court.
135 reviews5,056 followers
May 3, 2019
"Like life, what gives a story its meaning is the fact that it ends. Our stories have lives of their own—and it’s up to us to make them mean something."

I think a part of me just died because this book is over. I don’t think I can process what is happening right now. I love this book so much I don’t think my heart is beating anymore. I’m still screaming my head off internally.

This book dealt with so many social and emotional issues with such clarity and depth I don’t think it gets better than this. The author put every word so perfectly and expressed every nook and corner of this masterpiece so eloquently it shouldn’t be possible. The story is a work of art I am enamored with and I vow to never forget it.

Eliza Mirk is the girl who is always invisible, the person who never talks to anyone else and lives in her own world, her life is a mess.But online she is LadyConstellation the creator of a web series that went viral. She created a comic called Monstrous Sea and at this point draws like a professional. Now, there’s a new boy at her high school, Wallace, who also happens to be her most famous fanfiction writer and the only person in this school who understands her. She doesn’t tell him she’s LadyConstellation she tells him that she draws fanart and chooses to hide her true identity.

Eliza battles with herself on issues of self worth and hides herself behind LadyConstellation. She has never tried to express herself as Eliza Mirk, she has only been LadyConstellation, the mastermind that created the most famous webcomic in existence and has never tries to be or understand herself as just Eliza.She is an introvert to the point where she can barely talk to another person. She hardly views herself as another human being amd chooses to lose herself in her work. And when I say lose herself I’m not exaggerating it takes physically pushing her off a chair to bring her feet back to the ground. She thinks that happens merely because she is dedicated to her work but she doesn't realise that she is subconsciously doing it to extract herself from the world into the world she created but to an extent in which she forgets to pay any attention to herself. I think she chose to express herself in the only method she found agreeable, through her art. Her emotions drive her to create something which reflects her feelings at the time. Eliza created her ideal world to escape into and drew it out.

Her parents also don’t know the extent of her online life. She actually makes enough money to make a living out of her online comic. Her parents think its just a hobby and have never paid it much attention to it. I was infuriated with her parents in many parts of the story for not trusting and believing in their own daughter. They undermine her work so much and they just write her work off as a silly hobby that will get her nowhere they don't respect the fact that she is so dedicated to her work. They just assume that her art is nothing, just writing this makes me angry so I shall say no more.

She has two friends online who help her manage her website and these people know her not as LadyConstellation but as Eliza Mirk and they are really close even if they do talk only online. Their conversations itself show us how clearly they could all be best friends with perfect compatibility even though they have physically never met each other.

I love her brothers. Throughout the book, if you observe carefully both her brothers are so mature and have the most amazing personalities two people can have. To understand the weight that lies behind each of the words they speak we must stop looking at the situation through Eliza’s eyes and start looking at it like a bystander and then the reality of how marvelous these kids are hits you in the gut. They are not at all like Eliza, personality wise, but still found ways to understand her and accept their older sister for who she was in ways even her parents were negligent about.

This book was not quite what I expected. I think the blurb set this theme of a cute contemporary with socially awkward people and a cute romance but there is so much going on in each of their lives, it’s a lot to process. The romance itself is a minor part of the book taken back by how much emotional and mental growth and destruction happens in this story. Each facet of this book has so much to learn from and holds quite a lot of wisdom.

I hope I did this book justice in this review, it was a mind blowing experience and I couldn’t love it any more than I do right now. If you enjoy contemporary I definitely recommend this book to you. I give this book 5 stars.
Profile Image for Warda.
1,154 reviews18.5k followers
December 4, 2017
[4.5 ⭐️] My heart has been wrung out. I woke up with my heart feeling so full and being in pain. I need to drown my sorrows in ice cream. Haagen Dazs Strawberry Cheesecake, preferably.
Gosh, this was so relatable!

Pretty sure you all know what this is about, but just in case you don't, it's about Eliza and her world. The Sea Monsters. The fandom she's created and chose to write anonymously about. Her art. Which in turn becomes her life. She's more active online than she is in the real world. She's more herself online, more at ease and anything outside of that bubble makes her uncomfortable, agitated and feel slightly overwhelmed.

I mean, I related to this on a spiritual level.

It did take me almost half-way to fully connect with it, but from then on, I was falling in love with it deeper and deeper. Page by page. Eliza is such a wonderful character. Her journey throughout all of this - which I'll leave out since YOU SHOULD GO AND DISCOVER IT AND READ IT - was intense, and agonising and healing to follow. I adored it! I understood her and I felt like I was uncovering parts of myself to myself.

Whilst reading, there were moments of just intense connection. ‘Yes, I understand your anxiety. I know why you want to hide. I empathise with how you want to escape reality all the time and crawl into your safe space, because happiness resides there.’ It just felt all so enlightening.

I smiled, laughed, teared up and felt the hurt through Zappia's words. The ending did feel slightly rushed. Or maybe I didn't want it to end and was craving for more, but I can absolutely see myself reading this again. When this pain heals that it.

Profile Image for Francesca Zappia.
Author 11 books3,768 followers
July 10, 2017
UPDATE 7/10/17: I've had a lot of people ask what they can do to support and show demand for full, published versions of Monstrous Sea and The Children of Hypnos. The first Children of Hypnos book is currently available to read on Wattpad, and can be found here: https://www.wattpad.com/story/9547883...

Monstrous Sea now has a short teaser also available on my Wattpad. Unfortunately for right now, it's ONLY a teaser, but it would really help me out if you read, voted, and commented on it, and it would go a long way to getting the full version published! Here's the link: https://www.wattpad.com/story/1155937...

Thank you all so much!


UPDATE: If you preorder Eliza and Her Monsters before 5/30/17, send proof of purchase & mailing address to elizapreorders@gmail.com and get a bookplate, bookmark, exclusive art, and more! Pics/details here: https://www.instagram.com/p/BTR3ATeh8...


I didn't do this for Made You Up but I'm doing it here because maybe someone will find the explanation helpful.

Eliza and Her Monsters is a pretty personal story for me. I wrote it in the hopes that it could help other very introverted and anxious creative types and those who feel the keen double edge of fandom and life online.

There are two other stories inside this one. The first is Monstrous Sea. That one's obvious. Monstrous Sea is my oldest story and, full disclosure, my favorite; I gave it to Eliza because it made her feelings about it real. Unfortunately, only the very tip of the Monstrous Sea iceberg is visible in this book, and it's not available to read anywhere. (Yet.)

The second is Eliza's favorite book series, The Children of Hypnos, which is a real thing I wrote and am currently putting up on Tumblr and Wattpad (https://www.wattpad.com/story/9547883...). There are new chapters every Monday and Friday @ 1pm EST, and if you like the idea of nightmare hunters, strong friendships, or creepy weird dream nonsense and ridiculous anime weapons, you should check it out.

If you have any questions, always feel welcome to ask them on my profile. :)
Profile Image for Melanie.
1,172 reviews98.2k followers
October 10, 2018

“You found me in a constellation.”

Friends, I loved this story. And if the ending was a little different, this would have been such an easy five star read. I love books centered on creators on the internet. While reading this, I was constantly reminded of one my favorite books of all time, Radio Silence by Alice Oseman. Which, I’m not really sure if here is any higher praise than to be compared to that book.

But basically, this book is all about putting yourself out there, carving yourself a little home on the internet, and feeling like you belong, even if your life offline isn’t the easiest to understand. And this book follows two characters very invested with the same fandom

Eliza Mirk - AKA: LadyConstellation, creator of one of the biggest webcomics online, Monstrous Sea.

Wallace Warland - The new boy that just joined Eliza’s school halfway through senior year. Oh, and Monstrous Sea’s biggest fanfiction writer.

“You wrote back…”

Eliza and Wallace’s paths inevitably cross, and he begins to share with her the fanfiction transcribes of the webcomic she has secretly created. And these two meeting offline was one of the most heartwarming things I’ve read all year, even though Wallace has no idea just how much Eliza is invested in this fandom. I think there is just something so beautiful about how accepting and understanding they were of the times that it’s hard to talk, or that it’s almost too much to talk. Honestly, seeing them write back and forth together, side by side, gives me more feelings than I have words for. But I loved it and thought it was so very beautiful.

This book is a love letter to the power of healing that friendships can truly have. Yet, also the healing power of fandoms and celebrating your love for something with others. The magic of finding a person you can be yourself, your true self, no masks, no fakeness, no lies, it’s something that I can’t put into words. But seeing Eliza and Wallace experience that was perfection.

But this is a story about art and how sharing your art is truly like sharing a piece of your heart. And this book really talks about how scary that can be! Yet, also how your art can inspire so many others’ art and it really can create such a beautiful cycle.

And not to bring up Radio Silence constantly, but this book also touches upon how school isn’t for everyone, no matter what people try to make you think. That there isn’t some magical step program of getting good grades in school that will lead you to an amazing university on a full-paid scholarship, which will obviously lead you to the perfect job where you will become filthy rich and experience nonstop happiness! People have so many paths they can choose from, and so many paths that are right and wrong for them. And that’s beautiful and that’s okay.

“She drew so many monsters that she became a monster herself.”

Overall, I loved this book. Fandoms and having an online presence are things that I think I’ll always enjoy reading about, because it’s something very close to my heart. I will say that Wallace’s behavior at the end of this book, and the reason why he wanted Eliza to overcome it all, was just off-putting. But besides that, I loved this book. It made me soft, and warm, and ever so thankful to every single person who reads my reviews and interacts with me. Seriously, you all make me feel so blessed every single day and bring me more happiness than I can measure.

Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Tumblr | Youtube | Twitch

Content and trigger warnings for suicidal thoughts, talk of past suicide, panic attacks, abandonment, minor bullying, talk of past loss of loved ones, grief depictions, and depression depictions.

❤ I read this for Contemporary-a-thon!
Profile Image for destiny ♡ howling libraries.
1,662 reviews5,142 followers
July 31, 2018
I went into this book expecting greatness, honestly. A book about fandoms, anxiety, and being a child of the internet? You already know I can get behind all of that. Plus, a romance that forms through written correspondence? MY LITERAL FAVORITE TROPE? Sign me up! … Unfortunately, though, Eliza wasn’t quite everything I hoped it would be.

“I made Monstrous Sea because it's the story I wanted. I wanted a story like it, and I couldn't find one, so I created it myself.”

→ Eliza Mirk ←
Eliza herself was the reason this was a 3-star read for me instead of a 5-star one. Literally, every single problem I had with this book? Eliza. Don’t get me wrong, she’s not unredeemable – she portrays fantastic anxiety rep that I related really well to, and her affinity for the webcomic she has created and its subsequent fandom reaches levels of love that I think a lot of us can understand. She’s immensely talented and a perfectionist to the point that she feels like she needs to work on her creations constantly, which is also a feeling I can get behind (hello, type A personalities!).

“Broken people don't hide from their monsters. Broken people let themselves be eaten.”

→ miscommunications & angst ←
I don’t want anyone thinking I’m over here holding teen characters to unfair standards. I genuinely don’t mind when YA protagonists get irrationally angry at their families, or don’t want to spend time with their siblings, or lash out at friends and love interests… usually. Eliza, unfortunately, takes it to a new level.

Her parents are a little bit inept and don’t have great communication, but it felt like the portrayal of their relationship was, in a sense, saying, “It’s okay to treat your parents like trash no matter how hard they try, because even if they try to understand you, they’re never going to!” We’ve all seen bad parents in YA, but the Mirks aren’t. They mess up, and they’re human, but they’re trying, and the biggest issue is, hands down, a lack of communication. While Eliza’s behavior is perfectly common for teens – especially those struggling with mental health issues – it doesn’t feel like it’s addressed or correctly quickly or well enough to justify its intensity.

“You found me in a constellation.”

→ Wallace Warland ←
The brightest spot in this book? Wallace, hands down. He’s the sort of character that you peg as the love interest from the moment he walks on to the page, but it’s hard to guess that he could be so adorable and wounded. He struggles from tremendous amounts of grief, as well as PTSD, and it manifests through his inability to speak out loud around most people (which is where the “written correspondence” trope gets its chance to shine). He is caring, kind, and so lovable, and honestly deserved better than some of the mess that Eliza put him through.

There is a scene towards the end of the book – I won’t spoil it, but if you’ve read it, you know the one – where Eliza gives Wallace a terrible scare, and his reaction had me unexpectedly sobbing because he is so desperately afraid of his past repeating itself before his eyes. He was easily the character that I connected the most to, emotionally, and by the time I turned the final page, I just wanted so much more time with him.

“Maybe that’s normal. The things you care most about are the ones that leave the biggest holes.”

→ Monstrous Sea ←
One of the things I found most interesting about the book, I have to mention here: the art and snippets from Eliza’s webcomic, Monstrous Sea, that we get to see here and there throughout the story. The art was so fun, and it was a really nice touch that made the webcomic feel like a real-life thing – I half-expected that I would be able to go to the URLs listed and find a full, thriving forum there for a fandom I’d never known existed. The storyline snippets, on the other hand, I thought were a little dull, and didn’t form a cohesive enough mini-story to bother with trying to follow closely, but I’m happy I got the physical formatting for the illustrations alone.

→ final thoughts ←
All in all, if you enjoy books that reference internet fandoms and online friends, as well as some really solid anxiety rep, I highly recommend this book, unless you have a problem with angsty, self-absorbed main characters. If you think that’s a feature that you’d find yourself unable to get past, as I know is the case for many people, I’d pass on this one.

You can find this review and more on my blog, or you can follow me on twitter, bookstagram, or facebook!
Profile Image for jessica.
2,535 reviews32.7k followers
August 30, 2018
i havent read a book with so much extra content since ‘illuminae.’ this totally makes me want to get into webcomics. like, how cool do they sound?! and then i need to find me a wallace so we can fangirl together. serious couple goals, right there.

i really liked the main story of this book, but my attention was completely drawn into the webcomic eliza created. there was so much beauty in the storyline and illustrations - i was so enthralled by it all. even though i would have loved more than the little glimpses given, i thought it was pretty well balanced. the comics offered great support, but didnt eclipse the main story.

i could relate to eliza on so many levels - this book is definitely one for the introverts out there. its a really cool thing when a book is about something youve never experienced, but you relate to the character, so you feel really connected in something you know nothing about.

i really wish this wasnt a standalone because i would read the crap out of this series. this was such a fun and sweet and interesting story!

ps. if anyone know any good webcomics, send recommendations my way!!

4 stars
Profile Image for ✨ A ✨ .
427 reviews1,732 followers
December 22, 2020
Why? Why did I take so long to finally pick this up?

“I found you in a constellation.”

Eliza is the creator of the popular webcomic Monstrous Sea, online she is known as LadyConstellation. Nobody knows who LadyConstellation really is and nobody knows that Eliza Mirk is LadyConstellation.

The real world isn't as interesting to Eliza as the online one is. She doesn't know how everyone else IRL makes it seem so easy. She's shy, has social anxiety, is an introvert and finds making conversation with people hard.

She finds refuge in her art and in sharing her webcomic with a community that loves and appreciates it.

For the first time Eliza meets a real life Monstrous Sea fan. Wallace is the new boy who doesn't speak. A beloved trope of mine is when two outcasts become friends. But even with Wallace Eliza doesn't share all of herself, that being the fact that she created Monstrous Sea.

But this time it’s true, and the truth has a way of holding on. Truth is the worst monster, because it never really goes away.

Eliza and her monsters started out slow but once I got into it I was hooked. I read Zappia's first book Made You Up a few years ago and it become one of my favourite books ever. I was worried I wouldn't enjoy her second book, and my friends.... I can tell you that I worried for nothing.

Even though Eliza and I are very different, there was still so much about her I could relate to and I could see a bit of myself in Eliza. I think many people get lost in the online world. But a lot of times it is where we find people who are like minded and who understand us better than our IRL people.

Her friendship with Wallace was just so beautiful. Both of them have their own problems, but they relate to each other in a way no one else has before. I was so happy when their friendship slowly morphed into a relationship. I just love them so much *sniffles*.

Eliza's relationship with her family is strained, with bad communication. I thought this story really represented that situation well. Where the parents don't really make an effort to know what their child loves or understand their interests.

I just thought this book was such a brilliant example of a situation that many other people find themselves in. I would definitely recommend this book to all introverts.

This book lingered with me days after I finished it and it even made me evaluate my own life. It made me happy and it made me cry.

While I know nothing about webcomic's and have read literally only one graphic novel, the way Zappia wrote about Monstrous Sea— Eliza and all her fans love for it— made me want to check out a webcomic. If you somehow managed to get to the end of this review and you have any recommendations please let me know in the comments or leave a link. I'm completely clueless 😂.
This book has been on the tbr for way too long 📚.

Buddy reading with Insh 🍂
757 reviews2,346 followers
October 28, 2017
Eliza and Her Monsters wasn't a book I was hoping to love because I really didn't like Made You Up and thought they would be similar. But this book was just so highly praised and loved by everyone that I had to check it out. Everyone was a sobbing mess over it. So here I am, finished with it and sobbing because @all my mates, I get you all.

This book is just so hopeful, relatable and heart wrenching that I'm still thinking about it!!!! Honestly??? I didn't know what emotions and feelings were until I read this book and Letters to the Lost (totally not promoting an amazingly awesome book I loved to y'all!!!)

From the blurb, it sounds like a cute, cheesy and geeky novel (which it kind of is), but it's so much more than that. This book shines light on how online friendships/sites are healthy, normal and POSITIVE FOR PEOPLE!!!!! Encouragement for choosing your own careers, doing what make you happy even though your peers or parents say otherwise. Positive sibling relationships and anxiety.

This book? It's awesome.

Eliza Mirk is a famous teenage author of a comic online called Monstrous Sea. Online she is super famous and known as Lady Constellation, but in real life???? no one really knows her. She's shy, quiet and keeps to herself and is just Eliza Mirk. no one knows she's the famous Lady Constellation and she wants to keep it that way.

Then she meets, Wallace (my son!!!) who writes amazing fanfiction for Monstrous Sea and together they share their love for writing, art and Monstrous Sea. It's all great until her identity for Lady Constellation is revealed and she fears everything will fuck up.


Online friendships are amazing: Eliza Mirk spends most of her time online writing and chatting with her friends of different ages who she has met online!! She talks with them, tells her what goes on in her life and is happy with them just like a person would be with a friend who they can physically meet. Online friends are real friends. I also love how people of all ages are friends here. We have a fourteen year old, a twenty one year old (I think) and a seventeen year old who are so close with each other.

Do what makes you happy. Never be pressured to do something you don't want and fuck the haters. Wallace has a dickhead step father who I would love to punch in the face. He's always telling Wallace that his writing is "just a hobby" and he should get a proper career, one that would earn him money. Honestly, I say, do not listen to people like Wallace's step father. If writing makes someone happy and that's what they want to do for their careers? They should do that. People shouldn't stop doing what they want to please others, like @all the haters, fuck off and let us our thing.

The characters are precious human beings that deserve everything pure in the world. Nerds are just as cool as anybody else, we have a people here who love writing fanfiction, we have a person here who love writing comics and drawing, annoying, but amazing younger brothers, introverts!!! and a lost, but loyal and caring family.

I wouldn't 100% call myself an introvert, but there are times where I don't want to socialize, get shy and want to be left alone and it's portrayed 100% accurate.

Anxiety is a thing, people. I have a lot of anxiety and I start worrying and getting scared over the smallest things that get me all worked up. It's something Eliza experiences and it's fucking relatable. This portrayal of anxiety isn't the main focus of the story, but the way Zappia blends it so casually into the story is just brilliant.

Siblings are amazing and sometimes they can be unbearable, but let's be real we can't live without our siblings. Church and Sully are amazing younger brothers. They are annoying and sometimes Eliza wants to get rid of them, but they understand you when your parents can't and they help speak up for you and are always there for you.

●Eliza's family??? Not the most perfect one there. They have their arguments and disagreement, but at the end of the day, they care, love and support each other and are always there for each other. They aren't the best family out there and that's okay because many families aren't perfect.

●Andd omg guys there's really cool art in this book and little snipets of Monstrous Sea. It's just really amazing

●Something else I want to talk about is my own experience online. Not everyone has had the best experiences online and reading this book really bought up my bad online experiences. I genuinely got really upset and sad while reading this because I kept on thinking about it . But I've also had a great time online and I wouldn't stop it for anything.

Also, somebody find me in a constellation please and thank you.
Profile Image for Ashley Nuckles.
190 reviews7,246 followers
August 4, 2017
4.5 STARS!

September 30, 2020

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I lied. I said this was a book that I was either going to love or hate, that there was no middle ground... and yet here I am, in the middle ground. A lying liar, pants on fire. You see, there were things about ELIZA AND HER MONSTERS that I loved-- and things that I despised. Things that made me literally clench my teeth in fury because I was so irritated at this book and its characters. This is a very frustrating and personal read for me. A lot of times, when I post critical reviews of books like these, I get rude comments saying, "Well, this book wasn't written for you." Not that that invalidates my feelings about the book, but I get where they're coming from (rudeness aside). When you're reading about a specific group and you're not part of that group, you don't truly know what it means to be a part of that group.

My review for ELIZA is about as #ownvoices as it gets. I used to struggle with social phobia, and I'm a content creator with anxiety. When I was in high school and college, I used to serialize my writing online. Part of the reason I have the following I do today is because a lot of my fans doing that followed me over to Goodreads and other social media sites. Like Eliza, I wrote the stories I wanted to read about but couldn't find, and I found a community that I got really active and involved with. I wouldn't presume to say that I'm as popular as she is, but I know what it feels like to have a readership that you have obligations to, and the pressure of creating content in a semi-professional way for consumers.

Like Eliza, all I wanted to do was write. I stayed in my room a lot and just wrote, sometimes for hours. I wanted to write professionally because my self-esteem was terrible and I didn't think I would ever be able to become good at anything else. Also like Eliza, I had a well-meaning family who I treated like absolute shit and villanized because they tried to push me out of my comfort zone, which made me feel threatened and afraid. I lashed out against the people who loved me because I felt like they "just didn't understand"-- but I didn't really make an effort to help them understand. Like Eliza, I just basked in my own sense of imagined injury, and poured myself into my art.

So here's the problem I have with ELIZA, and from what I've read of the other reviews, it's a problem that many people share. The anxiety rep is on point and so is the anger and the unpleasantness. But I never really feel like Eliza is ever called on her bratty behavior and her maladaptive habits. Having a mental health problem is not a free pass from personal accountability. Eliza's parents were at fault for not reaching out to her in a way that Eliza could feel comfortable with, but a lot of that was because Eliza never let herself be approached or made any attempt to get help or healthy or self-care. She used Monstrous Sea like a crutch, and put all her weight on it, so when it inevitably smashed, she came tumbling down because she had no other support systems in place. I could definitely see why Eliza's parents were so frustrated: she had no interest in college, didn't want to find a job, resisted going to the doctor or getting healthy, and balked at all social interactions including her family.

That is not healthy and when a hobby gets to the point that it becomes a crutch, it's time to step back. I stopped writing for a while because I felt like I had let it become an obsession. Now I feel like I've stepped back enough where I can look at it objectively and let myself enjoy it without taking offense to criticism, or feeling like I've poured my soul into it. It's something that I do for fun and enjoy, and that others enjoy as well, but my entire sense of self doesn't hinge on my creations.

There's a line in here that people shouldn't kill themselves for their art. It's spoken by Wallace, the love interest in this book. Which is REALLY FUCKING IRONIC considering what he does to Eliza after she has a mental breakdown. When he finds out someone is willing to pay him for the fanfic that he has written for Eliza's work, he DEMANDS that she finish, even though she is clearly in no psychologically healthy place to do so. SO, okay, apparently people shouldn't "kill themselves for art-- UNLESS it's of personal benefit to fucking WALLACE." Excuse you.

It's a shame, because up until that point, I really liked Wallace... but after that, there was no going back. SPEAKING OF GOING BACK-- what Eliza did to Wallace with that "scare" scene. Was. Fucking. Sickening. Up until that point, I was seething a little about the rep-- but mostly because it hit close to home and was making me think hard about a lot of my own behavior when I was Eliza's age. But after that scene... well, there was no going back. It felt like another scene of mental health being used as a "pass." Oh, I'm sorry I hurt you-- I'm not well. I'm okay now. Are you okay? WE'RE COOL. Like... considering what Wallace told her, that was such a breach of trust. And maybe she did it because he breached her own trust but man-- TOTALLY UNCALLED FOR. Yikes times infinity.

I liked the art scenes in the book but I thought the fantasy blurbs that came with them were wooden and lame. It reminded me of the fic scenes we got in Rainbow Rowell's FANGIRL, another anxiety/fandom rep that I took serious issue with. Eliza is slightly easier to relate to than Cath, who was just a hideous stereotype of every negative assumption people make about people with anxiety, wrapped in wish fulfillment fantasy and tied off with a big ol' bitch bow, but she is certainly no more likable. My favorite moment in this book was when she realizes what a twatwaffle she's been to her brothers after she learns that they have interests!!! and are actually people like her!!!

Jesus Christ, Eliza. How self-centered can you get.

I'm not sure if it's intentional, but I think that self-centered element is another part of anxiety and depression that isn't often talked about but it's hard to focus on others when you feel bad inside. Eliza feels crappy and dwells on that, so she doesn't really think about her family or her friends as having any problems, and the way she used her friends as personal therapists was kind of unhealthy, too. I felt like the book was trying to show that when she texts her friends during her breakdown and they don't write back because they're busy!! having lives!! but this also was never really addressed, and I think it is something that really is important. Healthy relationships where care is reciprocated.

I said more than I meant to say about this book but it made me feel a lot of things pretty strongly. I wouldn't read it again because I feel like the overall message in this book hurts more than it helps, and I kind of hate that Eliza was never taken to task for all the bad things she did and Wallace basically got off scot-free for being a raging shit weasel. The last 20% of the book ruined everything that was cute about their interactions in the first 80% and Eliza's treatment of her family even cast a shadow over that. So, that's my #ownvoices perspective. Not all rep is created equal, so maybe you'll see yourself in her more favorably than I did. But if you're going to tell me that I read the book wrong, or that it wasn't written for me, we can chat later via 1-800-GIRL-BYE at never o' clock.

2.5 stars
Profile Image for Tweebs♥️ .
184 reviews837 followers
June 16, 2017
"You found me in a constellation."

*packs my stuff*

Y’all can find me in a constellation because I'm outta here.

What is Earth??


Who would’ve thought that picking this book up would make me forget the answer to 1+1. Who would’ve thought that picking this book up would make my skin clear. Who would’ve thought that picking this book up would make me hear colors. Who would’ve thought that picking this book up would make me question why no one gave me a "warning"


- a statement or event that indicates a possible or impending danger, or problem.

✓Impending danger? My soul being shattered
✓Problem? Someone should've told me what I was signing up for??

In other words:

Never felt so unprepared in my whole life

That's what reading this book feels like.

Seriously, I never knew I lacked anything in my life until I read this. Krytonite? Yo Superman, forget that. This book is your new weakness. It was like Francesca Zappia knew exactly what to write in order to kill me. Well, you know what, she succeeded.

Reasons why you guys should read this book

1. The plot is the bomb dot com.

○ It's about Eliza Mirk who is the creator of this famous web-comic called Monstrous Sea. She goes by the name: Lady Constellation. She has millions of fans and followers online who practically worship her. But in real life, she's the opposite. She's an introvert, friendless, and weird. She never told anyone in her life about the fact she's the mastermind behind the web-comic.

○ Oh, the cool thing is, the author included art of the comic inside the book. Can we have a moment of silence? because yes. I love this. I love the art. Thanks for blessing our eyes.

2. The characters

○ I loved every single person in this book but let's be real. My two favorites are Eliza's younger brothers: Sully and Church. They are so precious and I want to adopt them.

○ Eliza mirk is my spirit animal. She prefers the presence of online friends rather than actual real people. I related to her so much to the point where I started to think that Francesca Zappia was writing my biography. I just loved how real she was. 10/10 for best character development.

○ Wallace, who is the love interest, is meh.It's not because of his name....okay it's because of his name. He was a great character, yeah I loved him and the romance between them because it was so cute. But when we get to a certain part in this book, I questioned him so hard like I was left thinking to myself, "what's wrong with this dude??"

3. Portrayal of Mental health

○ yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes

○ I appreciate the fact that the mental health was the focus but it wasn't "the focus", if you get what I mean?? The author didn't go overboard.

○ They were other issues that were tackled within this book and I just love how the author handled it perfectly.

I have a lot of love for this book and I'm going to stop here because I'm 100% sure I could go on forever listing reasons why you should read this. I highly recommend y'all read this.

Francesca Zappia, please create more lovely books like these. Thank you very much :))

You can find this review and my other reviews at Booksprens
Profile Image for emi.
446 reviews1,078 followers
March 6, 2022
500000/5 stars

He had found her in a constellation.

Hey warning. There’s spoilers. I forgot to mark them. Also I kinda get lost in thought with this review a bit so I kinda get off track but whatever. Thanks for reading and have a good day. Heart emoji and all that.

Do you know what? Let’s just get personal here why don’t we?

I was just shy of 19 years old when I read Eliza for the first time. I just finished my first year of college, where I had made a grand total of zero friends so far. I had decided to move into a new dorm room to see if I could get a fresh start. Make a friend. But the two girls that lived there already wanted nothing to do with me. I think part of it was because I didn’t know how to talk to them because I have this little thing called social anxiety. I tried to make conversations, but I never know how to talk to people so the words I said didn’t do any good. Those two girls had made it clear to me that they weren’t going to be my friend, (because in all honesty, I do suck). Instead, I locked myself in my dorm room and read and read and read. I worked three days a week and talked to some people from Goodreads and that was about all the socialization that I had. College wasn’t the best time of my life up until that point. (Don’t worry though. It did get much better a few months later (right after the 3 year reading slump I'm still in started) when I got a new roommate who didn’t care that I suck. We went to Disneyland and got matching tattoos. I went to her baby shower this weekend-she’s doing great.)

So, when I read Eliza three years ago, it was one of the first times when I really saw myself in a character. Eliza was just a year younger than I was. Her friends and her life were online, just as mine had been. She was as passionate about her art as I was about writing book reviews (I wrote book reviews a lot back then). The way she described her thoughts and feelings reflected the same way I thought. Her thoughts would spiral just as mine always did. Her social anxiety reflected what mine was.

Then add in a plot and characters that I came to care a lot for in the 400 pages. I was proud of Eliza for the webcomic she created. My heart broke for Wallace when he wrote that email for his dad. I related to Emmy when she described how much she hated her teachers. Almost instantly, I was in love with this book. This book was a small beacon of hope to me that things change. Things get better even when it feels like everything sucked.

This book has always been filed away in my mind under "phenomenal read" I'm 21 now. It's been almost four years since I graduated from high school, which seems like so much longer than it really is. I used to read 100 books a year. For the past two and a half years, I’ve maybe read 30. And the past few years of my life, ever since I read Eliza, things have changed dramatically. Both for the good and the worst. That three-year slump hit. I moved back home from college. I took a break from schooling. I started working full time at a car dealership. My childhood dog died. My dad died. I got a niece (who's watching me type this and is really trying to either help me write this or eat my laptop. Who knows?). I started school again. And, most importantly, I finally get to see my one true love, Harry Styles, in concert in 133 days.

I mentioned this because, when I randomly picked up Eliza again yesterday, I was worried that I wouldn’t love it as much. My social anxiety isn’t as bad lately as it has been in the past. I am at a different state of life than Eliza was at this point. Maybe I won’t relate to her as much as I used to? What if that is the reason why I loved this book so much and all that is gone?

But the answer is no. I still found myself in Eliza’s thoughts. I loved following her to school and her home life and seeing the world through her eyes I loved getting to know more about her webcomic and how much she loved it. I love watching her slowly open up to someone new. I saw myself in Eliza in a way that I’ve never see myself. While I read, I didn’t feel as alone as I still feel sometimes when I don’t know how to talk to someone or why I keep thinking about the worst-case scenario even though nothing bad even happened.

I love the writing. I love the plot. I just love this book.

And even this time around, I’ve connected to other characters that I didn’t really connect to the first time around. After the death of my own dad, I understand Wallace’s desire to not speak. Being slightly older than 19, I understand her parents desire a little more than I did when I first read this. I get why they want her to open up a bit more. They care.

Eliza and Her Monsters is one of those books that reminds me why I love books so much. It reminds me of what I’ve been missing lately when I don’t read. I posted when I started this book that I just needed quality content in my life and I meant it. I needed something that I knew would make me happy.

In conclusion, book is good. A good representation of mental health imho. Eliza is great. Wallace is great. Must read.

Anyways, sorry about getting a bit personal. I know you don’t really care. Sorry this review isn’t very detailed about the book either. Also, sorry there’s no gifs. I couldn’t find ones to fit. Thanks for reading. Byeeee.
Profile Image for April.
146 reviews259 followers
February 27, 2018
I haven't related more to a character since Cath in Fangirl.
Profile Image for ♛ may.
806 reviews3,796 followers
June 1, 2017
So, what is it that makes Eliza and her Monsters such an incredible book? Besides the fact that it was written by the Queen, herself ?? there are a lot of reasons. . .

- #1: The Characters
- Not only is there lots of diversity
- We have Eliza herself as a comic artist
- A guy who writes fanfiction
- Annoying as hell little brothers
- The introvert life
- A reasonably dysfunctional yet caring family
- The fandom life literally consumes their regular life
- There’s nothing more I can ask for
- #2 Accurate Mental Illness Representation
- Its not overbearing
- Its mentioned in snippets that are natural and seamless to her personality
- I learned years ago that it’s okay to do this. To seek out small spaces for myself, to stop and imagine myself alone. People are too much sometimes...I take a moment of silence and think: I am here. I am okay.
- Eliza is an introvert and faces the daily bouts of anxiety that a lot of us go through without it being exaggerated
- Or overwhelming to the plot
- #3: Internet Friends
- Internet friends are HILARIOUS
- Even funnier than regular friends
- I would know since I have sooooooo many
- *sigh* oh right we’re getting off track
- Internet friends are perfect
- And Francesca portrayed that sooooo well. . .
- “Monstrous Sea Private Message:”
emmersmacks: So how was the turkey??
emmersmacks: Seeing as the only turkey I got was the soupy stuff they serve in the student center
Apocalypse_Cow: you could’ve asked me this in october. you know, when we canadians celebrated our thanksgiving. it was overcooked, thank you.
emmersmacks: Okay sour goose
emmersmacks: Lets hear from the less salty side of this trio

- Im living for these moments
- If I have my phone out talking to my online friends, they think I’m ignoring them, or being disrespectful and it’s like, no, I’m in the middle of a conversation. If you saw two people talking to each other face-to-face, you wouldn’t interrupt them and call it disrespectful, would you?”
- #4: Little Brothers
- Little brothers can be the worst thing in the world
- Or the best thing
- Or they can be both
- At the same time
- It doesn’t have to make sense, little brothers defy all logic
- Sully and Church was 10/10
- Annoying little brothers who ruin your life
- But also precious smol humans
- #5: Art
- IS
- !!!!
- I have nothing more to say than this.
- Im all out of feels
- Francesca Zappia, you’ve ruined my life so many times and somehow I end up loving you more for each time you do it.
- Plz keep ruining my life
- Im counting on you
- Sincerely
- Your biggest trash fan

Broken people don’t hide from their monsters. Broken people let themselves be eaten.

5 stars!!!




Buddy read with #2 Chessie Trash((bc i'm #1))


4/30/2017 update

we're down to O N E fricken month, i cant wait this long plz i need this omg someone save a soul and give this to me

((i got rejected by edelweiss i've never felt betrayal this strong))


Oh look, the queen is publishing another booK AND LOOK AT THAT COVER. Damn, imma be sitting here anxiously till I get my hands on this BEAUTY!
Profile Image for Reading_ Tamishly.
4,297 reviews2,290 followers
January 15, 2022
I picked up this book after years of waiting waiting for the right moment. I have picked it up twice in the last two years, didn't feel like it each time but never thought of giving it up without giving it a good try.

And it's so freaking worth it! This is one of the best YA fiction I have ever read. I totally agree with those who have been recommending this book through their booktube channels, bookstagram and at Goodreads. This one is so worth the hype!

This book is close to 400 pages but never did I feel the need to skip even one word. And if I did skip one word, I had to go back and reread the sentences all over again (I won't lie there were times I have had to re-read pages all over again like 4-5 times because reality intervened now and then).

✨ My thoughts while I was reading the first few chapters:

Well, this seems like an average YA book but let's see.

Another few chapters later:
The writing is good. I don't need to pee or eat or sleep. I just want to go on reading.

✨ Towards the middle of the book:

I need a Wallace in my life.
Eliza's parents are annoyingly real.

✨ I was sobbing out of nowhere. Nothing intense. But there were moments that made me put down the book and just sob.

There were three of such instances:
The first because someone shares their darkest secrets. It hurt me really bad.
The second when out of nowhere someone you thought you didn't know they cared showed you actually they cared like they could shield the whole world to protect you and do the same at any cost. I was genuinely surprised!
The third because of intense loneliness while seeing how the character was going through the same.

✨ Towards the end of the book:
This is one of those rare books which get better and better as the book goes on. To be honest, I have never enjoyed the second half of a book so much as this one's.

✨ The ending:
I didn't expect it to be so wholesome and comforting. Something clicked and I knew I was going to be alright.
I am going to love to love this book because it deserves all the love.

#Highlights of the book:

I am pretty sure it's the writing that made the book so appealing to read in one sitting.

The realistic family dynamics as well as the friendship (Eliza's friends are awesome!)

The siblings!

And yes, the online webcomic series thing!
(I could relate so much to this!)
One thing that stood out the most is that the author didn't go on and on about this webcomic series. I really appreciate the way parts of it were mentioned in almost all the chapters but it didn't overshadow the characters or the storyline. It's important as everything about this book is about this webcomic series but the author has written the book so well that it didn't make me feel that the book is just mere talk about some talented teenager's webcomic series or that everything in this revolved around it. Believe me I would not like the book if it was.

The representation of anxiety issues/therapy and grief have been handled really well I would say. It's subtle but it delivered.

My favourite character is Sully. I don't want to say much about this character. In the end, Sully mattered to me more than any other character.

And there's one email and then there's one letter in this book which might probably change your life.

They make me want to believe in life again. Yes, this book is really good.
Profile Image for tappkalina.
650 reviews401 followers
July 12, 2022
When a 5 star book goes straight down to 1 star at the end.

I am pissed and always will be.
Because it supposed to be my new all time favourite book, and until the end it was (anxiety and depression were my best friends at that time so I felt literally everything), but then that asshole said something. If you read it you know what I'm talking about.
And I was like, girl, if you forgive him, this book will be dead to me.
And she did.
So I tried to delete this book from my memory, but I have so strong love for the girl and her struggles and so much hatred toward the end that I bought a physical copy just to rip the final pages off and pretend that those don't belong to the story.
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