Eliza and Her Monsters
Booklist Reviews 2017 April #2
*Starred Review* Eliza's eponymous monsters are twofold: they are the stars of her viral webcomic, but they are also the anxiety and depression that keep her identity as the webcomic's creator shielded behind a wall of anonymity. As LadyConstellation, she has written and illustrated Monstrous Sea, inspiring a devoted online fandom worldwide. At school, however, she's just cripplingly shy Eliza Mirk: an average student who prefers a digital social life to a real one. She meets her match when Monstrous Sea fan-fiction writer Wallace transfers to her school and is too shy to even speak out loud. Through simple, tender notes passed back and forth, the two form a fast bond. But Eliza keeps her identity as LadyConstellation a secret even from Wallace, a decision that could cost her his trust forever. In her sophomore novel, Zappia (Made You Up, 2015) gracefully examines Eliza's complicated struggle with anxiety, depression, and even suicidal thoughts, as she recognizes, "The thought is still there, but the seriousness of it comes and goes." In addition to a vibrant fictional fandom akin to the Simon Snow following in Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl (2013), this is peppered with detailed illustrations from Eliza's webcomic, drawn by Zappia herself. A fervent celebration of online fandom, sure to leave readers craving an actual Monstrous Sea comic. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2017 Fall
Socially inept high-school senior Eliza Mirk is the anonymous creator of a super-popular fantasy webcomic. New kid Wallace is a fan. The two begin a tentative friendship, and soon they're more than friends. Eliza agonizes over how to confess that she's not just a fellow fan but actually the comic's creator. Interspersed with Eliza's often funny first-person narrative are chat logs, text messages, art, and snippets of Wallace's prose. Copyright 2017 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2017 #3
Socially inept high-school senior Eliza Mirk is a nobody at school. But online she is LadyConstellation, anonymous creator of the super-popular fantasy webcomic Monstrous Sea. Adorable, even-more-awkward new kid Wallace turns out to be a fan--and a well-known fan-forum moderator and fanfiction writer at that. The two begin a tentative friendship through handwritten notes at school and chats and text messages at home (Wallace doesn't talk much), and soon they're more than friends. Eliza agonizes over how to confess that she's not just a fellow Monstrous Sea fan but the comic's creator; this secret and a few of Wallace's own threaten their sweet and hard-won romance. Everything comes to a head just before graduation, when LadyConstellation's true identity is leaked. To what extent has Eliza been complicit in her own isolation, and how can she reconcile her now very public persona with her introvert's need for privacy? Interspersed with Eliza's relatable and often funny first-person narrative are chat logs, text messages, Eliza's lovely art, and snippets of Wallace's prose, reflecting the teens' multi-platform means of communication. Like Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl (rev. 11/13), this is a love letter to online fandom and to the profound sense of belonging found in others who share your particular passion, whether as creators or fans, in person or on the web. katie bircher Copyright 2017 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.
PW Reviews 2017 March #4
Eliza Mirk, 18, has a secret—one that only her immediate family knows: she is LadyConstellation, the creator of the hugely popular webcomic