Friday, October 18, 2019

Eliza and Her Monsters

What a treat to read an original story idea, one with which many of my students will connect.

Fact to face, Eliza mirk just wants to disappear. Online, however, she is LadyConstellation, the creator of the most popular webcomic, The Monstrous Sea. Her fandom is legion and would never believe it was written by an anxious and socially awkward teenager, so she keeps her identity secret. Anyone who has ever read a book before knows this isn't going to happen.

As an author of a webcomic, author Francesca Zappia knows how this subculture works, as well as the various ways it is misunderstood by outsiders. For Eliza and her fans, The Monstrous Sea means everything, so it is difficult to understand her identity outside of it. This is so relatable for readers who are trying to establish their identities.

There's so much to love here: a unique look at a world that belongs to many young readers, a romantic relationship that exists outside of traditional gender roles, how families relate (and don't) when their interests vary greatly. I have a list of students to whom I want to hand this book, and I'm excited to check out Zappia's third novel.