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 accidently shared with the world, everything she’s built—her story, her relationship with Wallace, and even her sanity—begins to fall apart.
I’m back with another review of a popular book that everyone and their dog has recommended to me. First let’s talk about Eliza. She’s counting the days until she can go to college and escape her small-town high school. She spends her time talking to her friends online and making her comics. I thought hers was an interesting and important story to tell. Not everyone finds their friend group in high school and not everyone finds their friends in real life. As a part of the bookish community, most of us know this from firsthand experience. It’s hard to find others that share the same interests, so too expect kids to always find friends in high school is unreasonable. With the rise of the internet, it’s been much easier to find those people we have things in common with, to find our people. Parents may not understand this because that’s not how they grew up. I think this is so important because Eliza’s parents clearly didn’t understand and didn’t really try that hard to understand either. This is something that happens every day in the real world.
“Broken people don’t hide from their monsters. Broken people let themselves be eaten.”
I think Eliza was a character I could relate to with her writing. She had a story that she just needed to share with the world. She had a passion to tell this story that was inside of her and that’s something I understand. The only thing I didn’t like about Eliza was the way she treated her parents. Yes, I think they could have tried harder to understand her and take more time to learn about the things she enjoyed, but she was pretty harsh toward them and her brothers. I think she could have taken more time to explain or even show them what she was doing and maybe they would have been a little more understanding.
“The things you care most about are the ones that leave the biggest holes.”
Eliza and her Monsters was full of a trope that drives me crazy. The miscommunication or not communicating trope. She could have talked to her parents, explained how much she loved what she was doing and that she was making enough money to pay for college. They obviously didn’t understand how important her art was to her. Additionally, with Wallace. There’re always problems when one character keeps a huge secret from another. You know it’s going to blow up in their face and all you can do it wait for it to happen. I understand why it was used, it’s just one of my lesser liked tropes.
“What’s the point of being alive if you don’t do what makes you happy?”
Overall, I enjoyed this book. I think it had some interesting conversations and important themes inside of it. But there were some things I didn’t like. I had fun reading the story. I’m a sucker for books that tell a story within a story and this one did that in such an interesting way.
Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.