THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR THE BOOK ‘ELIZA AND HER MONSTERS’
I love a good fandom book. So when I picked this one up, I was already sold! Web comics? Fanart? Fanfiction? Yes, yes, yes!!
In real life, Eliza is known as the shy, weird girl who won’t talk to anyone at school. Online it’s a different story. Online, she’s known as ‘LadyConstellation’, creator of the incredibly popular web comic ‘Monstrous Sea’. When new guy Wallace Warland starts at school, Eliza thinks nothing of it. But when she discovers that Wallace writes fanfiction for ‘Monstrous Sea’, they become friends, and Eliza wonders whether life offline is something she is missing out on.
I adored the inclusion of the snippets of webcomic within the book, as well as the novelisation mentioned further to the end. It really made me appreciate those characters of the comic, and to get a better understanding of why they meant so much to Eliza. I also liked the slow build of friendship to relationship between Eliza and Wallace, and the build up of Wallace’s confidence. His way of communication really made me think about how uncomfortable he felt around others, their characters paired up well together. It was nice to see that when with Eliza, he would mostly write on pieces of paper until his confidence grew, but with his own friends he was a lot more talkative.
I feel a little bit like the ending was rushed, but don’t know if that’s because I could have read a lot more about the characters together. Their initial break up was understandable, and I completely sided with Wallace over the betrayal of Eliza. Keeping the information from him that she was LadyConstellation was a bad idea from the get-go, but the longer she kept it from him, the bigger the hole became. Soon, it was out of her control. The letter Eliza wrote to her favourite author, Olivia Kane, was something I thought was also necessary for her character as a coping mechanism for what she was going through, and to also understand others as at times she acted a little selfishly towards her parents, brothers, and even Wallace when he came into her life.
Personally, I would have loved to have seen even more of the Monstrous Sea comic. Maybe I would just love to see it in comic form itself, and would happily read the novelisation of it! Fingers crossed that maybe one day, we’ll be all reading Monstrous Sea.
Final thoughts: Fandom enjoyment found in a constellation. 4/5