Title: Eliza and Her Monsters
Author: Francesca Zappia
My Rating: 2.5/5 stars
Online, Eliza is LadyConstellation, the screen name behind the creator of the world-famous web comic, Monstrous Sea. However, she leads this life of anonymity because offline, Eliza is quiet, anxiety-ridden and terrified.
Then she meets Wallace, who she finds out is one of the most famous Monstrous Sea fan-fiction writers around, and she struggles to tell him her true identity. Instead, she befriends him, quietly reading the fan-fiction that he gives her to beta read. She fangirls about Monstrous Sea with him. They grow closer.
But obviously, it’s never that easy, is it?
There were a lot of things to love about Eliza and Her Monsters. I love any book that represents fandom culture accurately and this was definitely a lot of fun. I used to write fan-fiction years ago so this was also very interesting to read for that reason.
Wallace was a sweet, in-depth character and it was fun to see the relationship between him and Eliza develop.
Sadly, I found myself frustrated with Eliza for much of the book, for simple things. Not knowing the basic interests of her younger brothers. Being angry at her parents for not understanding her life but refusing to tell them that she’s a world-famous web comic creator. Her unpleasant attitude. And for someone who struggled with anxiety and low-self esteem, she had quite a high opinion of herself, basically looking down on everyone she went to school with.
I don’t fault Eliza for her mental illness. I completely understand and suffer from anxiety sometimes myself, although definitely not as extreme as hers. What I don’t understand is being so thoughtless and self-centered that you won’t just try to get to know your own family. I just couldn’t get on board with her character.
Also, was definitely not a fan of the time when Wallace got angry with Eliza for being unable to finish her series just so he could further himself and his own career. When he literally just chapters ago was saying he wouldn’t fault an author for not finishing a book if it caused them misery or pain. Nice going, Wallace.
This was a page-turner and I definitely was into the story. Unfortunately, there was a disconnect between me and the main character that just really kept me from enjoying this more.