"Eliza and Her Monsters" - Francesca Zappia

“Eliza and Her Monsters” by Francesca Zappia is one of the most incredible young-adult contemporary novels that I have ever read. The story is so fluid and everything in it fits together so perfectly. Zappia has written some truly amazing characters that are deep and full of life— characters that make you feel like you’re sitting next to them. It’s been a while since I’ve gotten that feeling about a book, but I missed it tremendously. Throughout the novel, I was never left confused or felt that it was lacking in some way. It’s well written and truly complex, but not too hard to understand. I’m impressed by the fluidity and the character development presented by Zappia. Sometimes when reading young-adult fiction, I become bored with dull characters that don’t develop or change, but Zappia’s characters are exceptional. I felt so many emotions when reading through “Eliza and Her Monsters.” I felt butterflies in my stomach, frustration, sadness, and happiness. Although sadness and frustration seem to be negative emotions, it’s easy to see that Zappia knew exactly what she was writing and how to make her audience feel that way. I think that this book is so fun and relatable for anyone who maybe struggled a bit through high school. It gives people hope that you can cope with anything if you use your creativity, motivation, and heart to find the things that make you happy. My favorite aspect of Eliza was her confidence. I found it easy to relate to her feelings of loneliness, isolation, and being misunderstood by people who just didn’t get her art. However, these feelings of being alone are completely shattered and Eliza finds something new in herself. Something that she loves and can be proud of. It’s a feeling that many people strive for and because Eliza feels like such a real character, Zappia makes this confidence feel possible.
This book did a lot of things for me. After being unable to write for many months, I finally found it in me to add more to the stories that I’ve been working on for so long. Eliza inspired me to do that. Her devotion to Monstrous Sea made me realize how much I miss being passionate about my own creations. You can find "Eliza and Her Monsters" in the young adult area of the library.

-Maddie, Roswell Public Library, New MexicoEliza