Review: Francesca Zappia – Eliza And Her Monsters

Approximately a year ago, I heard about Eliza And Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia for the first time. The book sounded quite interesting, but not that interesting that I had a great desire to read it immediately. In fact, the book has gotten a Dutch translation since mid June now and I finally managed to pick it up. In English, since I borrowed it from the library and that was a really good decision. Unfortunately, my first thought turned out to be right.

Review: Francesca Zappia – Eliza And Her MonstersEliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia
Published by Greenwillow Books on May 30, 2017
Pages: 385
ISBN: 0062290134
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two-half-stars

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.


Let’s start with something positive. At first, I thought that this was going to be a very enjoyable read. I managed to finish 1/3 of the book the same day of starting it. The writing was smooth and the pacing was fine. However, it all went downhill for me after that 1/3.

I struggled to pick it up. I managed to read for like five minutes and was already losing interest. I was quite bored, because literally nothing happened besides one little thing which I can’t tell you right here and now. Basically it was Eliza all being a self-centered person and anxious mess. This is NOT an attack on people dealing with anxiety, because that is a really serious issue to deal with. However, i wish Eliza did more to fight back. She hid from everything and everyone. Her parents, her brothers….. Dude, she even didn’t know one single thing about her brothers! About school, soccer and so on. She didn’t even care about them, while they cared about her. She didn’t even give them the chance to show Eliza how much they cared about her. Ugh, Eliza annoyed the crap out of me. I really don’t get how someone can be so self-centered and even selfish.

This was really a big turning to the nope point for me. I even considered throwing this book on the DNF pile right away and never look back at it. However, I managed to finish it, although it was a great relief to read the last page. I mean, I finally could read something more appealing to me. I have to admit that the thing I was hoping for for both Eliza and Wallace happened, but it felt SO rushed and undermined. I would have liked to see this, and the event that leads up to this turning point, sooner in the book. Not at about 3/4 of the story. This is a missed opportunity in my opinion since this would have done so well for character development, which was really rushed as well. I wish we could have seen more in depth growth of both main characters and with the really fast pacing near the end, there was not much space left for it.

The book is not bad, absolutely not. In fact, if you’re having to deal with mental issues such as anxiety, it’s a great representation. However, and maybe I have to call myself lucky for that, I couldn’t identify myself with none of the characters. Really not. I’m not familiar with mental health issues such as anxiety or depression. Yes, I know the basics, but I can’t identify myself with any of it since I haven’t experienced it. To be honest, if you don’t experience this yourself, it’s nearly impossible to understand what it feels like. I mean, you know bits and pieces, but you can’t look into the person’s mind and really understand. This was the problem with Eliza And Her Monsters for me and unfortunately this highly influenced my rating.

Oh I totally forgot about the comic. It was nice to see Eliza’s passion for Monster Sea, but I didn’t get it? The comic I mean. And to be honest, Eliza lost herself too much in it. But maybe this is part of her mental issues, I don’t really know. However, comics are not really my cup of tea either, so this was another thing I couldn’t identify with.

Again, this is not a bad book, but not for me unfortunately. I’m doubting between 2.5 and 3 stars, but my ratings leans closer to 2.5 apparently.

two-half-stars

2 gedachtes over “Review: Francesca Zappia – Eliza And Her Monsters

  1. Kristina zegt:

    oh no.. I have a huge hype for it, im sad to hear you didn’t enjoyed…

    However, having anxiety myself .. I totally did act like that once upon a time and avoiding everything. You get so scared shitless and have no idea how to fight back. Which I agree can get a little annoying looking from an outside person who don’t understand why someone can act like it on purpose xD
    As you said, it’s really hard to understand all the underlaying of thoses illnesses when you don’t have them.. as even us who have it, it’s hard to explain it all at times, so you need to feel it for yourself. Maybe this book gave you a bit of a “sneak peak” at it ?

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