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A buttoned-up overachiever works overtime to keep her inner nerd at bay—failing spectacularly—in Nancy Werlin’s hilarious and heartfelt return to contemporary realistic fiction. Planning is Zoe Rosenthal’s superpower. She has faith in a properly organized to-do list and avoids unnecessary risks. Her mental checklist goes something like this: 1) Meet soulmate: DONE! 2) Make A buttoned-up overachiever works overtime to keep her inner nerd at bay—failing spectacularly—in Nancy Werlin’s hilarious and heartfelt return to contemporary realistic fiction. Planning is Zoe Rosenthal’s superpower. She has faith in a properly organized to-do list and avoids unnecessary risks. Her mental checklist goes something like this: 1) Meet soulmate: DONE! 2) Make commitment: DONE! 3) Marriage: TO COME! (after college). She isn’t sure which college yet, but it will have a strong political science department, since her perfect boyfriend, Simon, plans to “save the country,” as his sister puts it, “and the planet and everything.” Zoe will follow along, the perfect serious, supportive girlfriend. It’s good to have her love life resolved, checked off, done. But speaking of unnecessary risks, Zoe’s on a plane to Atlanta, sneaking off to Dragon Con for the second season premiere of Bleeders. The show is subject to her boyfriend’s lofty scorn, but Zoe is nothing like these colorful hordes “wearing their inside on their outside.” Once her flirtation with fandom is over, she will get back to the important business of planning a future with Simon. The trouble is, right now, Bleeders—and her fellow “Bloodygits”—may just mean the world to her. Will a single night of nerdery be enough? Best-selling and award-winning author Nancy Werlin is best known for science fiction, fantasy, and suspense, but here she turns her pen to realistic fiction with broad appeal. Confirmed nerds will revel in a diverse cast, zany fandoms, and cosplaying crowds, but this is for any reader seeking a smart, breezy coming-of-age story about finding your friends—and your inconvenient self.


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A buttoned-up overachiever works overtime to keep her inner nerd at bay—failing spectacularly—in Nancy Werlin’s hilarious and heartfelt return to contemporary realistic fiction. Planning is Zoe Rosenthal’s superpower. She has faith in a properly organized to-do list and avoids unnecessary risks. Her mental checklist goes something like this: 1) Meet soulmate: DONE! 2) Make A buttoned-up overachiever works overtime to keep her inner nerd at bay—failing spectacularly—in Nancy Werlin’s hilarious and heartfelt return to contemporary realistic fiction. Planning is Zoe Rosenthal’s superpower. She has faith in a properly organized to-do list and avoids unnecessary risks. Her mental checklist goes something like this: 1) Meet soulmate: DONE! 2) Make commitment: DONE! 3) Marriage: TO COME! (after college). She isn’t sure which college yet, but it will have a strong political science department, since her perfect boyfriend, Simon, plans to “save the country,” as his sister puts it, “and the planet and everything.” Zoe will follow along, the perfect serious, supportive girlfriend. It’s good to have her love life resolved, checked off, done. But speaking of unnecessary risks, Zoe’s on a plane to Atlanta, sneaking off to Dragon Con for the second season premiere of Bleeders. The show is subject to her boyfriend’s lofty scorn, but Zoe is nothing like these colorful hordes “wearing their inside on their outside.” Once her flirtation with fandom is over, she will get back to the important business of planning a future with Simon. The trouble is, right now, Bleeders—and her fellow “Bloodygits”—may just mean the world to her. Will a single night of nerdery be enough? Best-selling and award-winning author Nancy Werlin is best known for science fiction, fantasy, and suspense, but here she turns her pen to realistic fiction with broad appeal. Confirmed nerds will revel in a diverse cast, zany fandoms, and cosplaying crowds, but this is for any reader seeking a smart, breezy coming-of-age story about finding your friends—and your inconvenient self.

30 review for Zoe Rosenthal Is Not Lawful Good

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jaye Berry

    It has been so long since I've read a book that was not only super cringe and shitty, but also problematic. Thank you for reminding me garbage is real It has been so long since I've read a book that was not only super cringe and shitty, but also problematic. Thank you for reminding me garbage is real

  2. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    I received this book from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Nope. This one just wasn't for me. Like most people, I can tell how much I like a book by how much I want to read it and am willing to forsake doing other things in order to read a book. I watched like 3 seasons of BuzzFeed Unsolved in between starting and finishing this book, so that kind of tells you everything you need to know. I honestly found the characters boring. While the inclusion of nonbinary and an ASD character was f I received this book from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Nope. This one just wasn't for me. Like most people, I can tell how much I like a book by how much I want to read it and am willing to forsake doing other things in order to read a book. I watched like 3 seasons of BuzzFeed Unsolved in between starting and finishing this book, so that kind of tells you everything you need to know. I honestly found the characters boring. While the inclusion of nonbinary and an ASD character was fantastic, their stories and the protagonist, Zoe's, was boring and predictable. There was nothing that really made the characters stand out to me, and honestly, I kept confusing them for each other. They're all the same.... blob of person. No one is particularly witty or stands out (well, okay, except for Zoe's bff, Maggie. She should have been the star of this book. It also took me like 4 chapters to figure out how Maggie relates to Zoe, so there's that). The plot of the book was boring. Girl lies to boyfriend, girl decides to keep lying to boyfriend, girl gets caught, boyfriend breaks up with her, and girl needs to figure out how to live her life without him. Shockingly enough, she realizes it's easy to do with the help of her newfound besties for life! Like. Ugh. This is the plot of so many other books. I literally skipped 100 pages of this book and was able to pick right back up where I left off. I literally missed nothing. I'm sure other people are going to love this one, but I'm definitely not one of them.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    Thanks to the publisher for providing an eARC of Zoe Rosenthal is Not Lawfully Good in exchange for an honest review. This was such a fun book and a lot of choices made really surprised me. Zoe Rosenthal is the perfect high school kid. Smart, studious, and with a boyfriend who's also bound to be going place, Zoe should be every parent's dream, but even her own parents wish she'd break up with perfect-on-paper Simon. After falling in love with an underrated TV show, Bleeders, Zoe starts secretly a Thanks to the publisher for providing an eARC of Zoe Rosenthal is Not Lawfully Good in exchange for an honest review. This was such a fun book and a lot of choices made really surprised me. Zoe Rosenthal is the perfect high school kid. Smart, studious, and with a boyfriend who's also bound to be going place, Zoe should be every parent's dream, but even her own parents wish she'd break up with perfect-on-paper Simon. After falling in love with an underrated TV show, Bleeders, Zoe starts secretly attending panels and comic conventions where she quickly makes a new, diverse (in sexuality, gender, and neurotypicality) friend group who quickly take it upon themselves to try and get the show renewed for season 3. Zoe's journey of self discovery was really fun to read and I loved the entire supporting cast. Everyone is allowed to sit down and talk about their lives for a little and it really made the book shine for me. I also loved how diverse it was because I've read so many convention themed books that are mostly all cis/het and neurotypical even though niche geeky shows tend to have the most queer & neurodivergent audiences because sci-fi shows tend to be outsider stories so the people society treats as outsiders are more likely to connect with them on a really deep level. I read an ARC and the few issues I had were one-line things pertaining to that diverse cast. Sebastian (I think?) has ASD but the way that's made clear is by having Zoe exchange two sentences with him then have the thought "autism spectrum?" which... Werlin is known for having a lot of autism rep in her books so I get wanting to make it clear to audiences from the get-go that Sebastian was on the spectrum, but Zoe drawing that conclusion after what seemed like a brief, regularly nerdy conversation felt a little odd. I'm fairly sure Werlin has a close family member with ASD so maybe there was a super obvious thing in that scene that made that conclusion logical that I just missed since I don't have the same experience with ASD that she does. One of our friend squad, Liv, introduces themselves with they/them pronouns but says something about how they don't get too bothered by she/her and Zoe narrates them as a 'they' for most of the book until bizarrely calling Liv a 'her' while Liv's talking about the only place they still use she/her pronouns is for sports because they don't want to leave their all-girls team and feel safer in gender minority spaces that are harder for them to access if they try to using their actual pronouns and considering the fact that they were not actively playing a sport, it threw me. Liv said that they weren't bothered by she/her, but that doesn't mean they like she/her and I'm honestly not sure if the one use of her was a mistake or trying to reflect her saying it didn't bother her earlier but we're going to cross our fingers that if it was a typo, that typo doesn't go to print. Anyways, this book was fun! I literally cannot complain without nitpicking specific lines! Give it a go.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Starr ❇✌❇

    I received a DRC from Edelweiss 4 Zoe Rosenthal has her life together- she's a great planner, she's got a great boyfriend, and she's about to go off to college and start her life for real. But before she does that... she's allowing herself one small moment of being not so logical and serious. The plan is to tell one white lie and sneak off to the con where they're showing a sneak preview for the next season, and then be on her way and back to her real life right after. But con life and con friends I received a DRC from Edelweiss 4 Zoe Rosenthal has her life together- she's a great planner, she's got a great boyfriend, and she's about to go off to college and start her life for real. But before she does that... she's allowing herself one small moment of being not so logical and serious. The plan is to tell one white lie and sneak off to the con where they're showing a sneak preview for the next season, and then be on her way and back to her real life right after. But con life and con friends are kind of addicting, and something so obviously silly and unimportant is starting to feel- well, really important to her. I have a lot of conflicted feelings about this book, and it's been hard figuring out exactly where I land. It comes down to this- I liked this book, and the longer I read it the more fun I had with it. But I'm not sure if the end totally wins over the stuff I didn't love. So I think the easiest way to talk about this book is in an easy list of good and bad. On the negative side of things- there is so much exposition in this book about a tv show that doesn't exist. Now, it's difficult because you need some investment in the fandom and the storyline of the show, but in the first half of the book there is just so much being thrown at you about the show and its characters that it's hard to get through. There's also a lot of random educational moments about fandom at large that feels clunky and unnecessary. The question I found myself asking was- who is this book for? Because if it's a love letter to fandom and cons then we don't need to know minute details about how cons work and what Firefly is. And if it's not, and it's someone's first real dive into fandom life then I think they'd be scared off from the sheer heft of all this name dropping and random details. Also, this is nitpicking, but if Zoe is truly a super non-fandom person at the beginning I don't see why she'd know all the cosplay characters or call herself a "muggle", so that annoyed me. When you get past all the fandomy moments (and mini-lectures) this is a story of someone choosing to be proud of their interests and not force themselves into a box or into what someone else wants them to be. And that is a really great lesson- but one that is learned so painfully slow that I'm not sure the take away is really going to be grasped all that well by someone who might need it. (This is also another moment where I ask "who is this book for?"). Zoe's arc feels more like a limpid squiggle line the majority of the time. And because Zoe isn't all that dynamic of a character, and only sometimes a sympathetic character, for more than half the book I just really didn't like her. It's not so much that she's unlikeable, she's just not all the interesting. She gave me the feeling that you get when you want to give someone a chance and you want to help them figure out how to change for the better but it's gotten clear that it isn't going to happen and you need to disengage. Now onto the positive! This story is told from convention to convention, and because of that the pacing is really good! There is just enough room inbetween that it doesn't feel like nonstop action or like you don't know the characters beyond who they are at a con, yet it keeps things tight and interesting. I also really like the insight into what's going on while the characters are apart. That also takes me to- I love this friendship! I adore the fact that Zoe stumbles into a weird little friend group at a con because they're one of so few people interested in her favorite show, and then they're actually good to each other and stay in touch! Their friendship is cute and fun and actually realistic. I love each of these character- especially Liv- and though Sebastian's autism was dealt with in a kind of cringey way, it's still nice to see representation, particularly since fandom is full of diverse people. Along with Sebastian being on the autism spectrum, Liv is asexual, and possible aromantic, as well as nonbinary, and their twin brother, Cam, is gay. I complained a bit about the moral/lesson of the story, but besides the very slow arc that comes of it, I do love the fact that this is a story about someone finding importance in something just because they love it. This is also a story about someone figuring out how a relationship can be toxic without being abusive, and you don't see that often. Finally, a puppet fronted rock band is the single coolest thing I've ever read in a realistic fiction story and not only is it a super awesome concept, but I love how it adds more characterization to Zoe and her own arc, retroactively. This book is fun, and once you do finally get invested, it's a ride. I'm looking forward to seeing what Werlin writes next, because she can obviously write interesting characters, wonderful friendships, and eccentric ideas!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ellen Kushner

    I love this book like no contemporary YA has ever been loved before! It's about finding your tribe. And what it feels like when you do. And how it changes you. Nancy Werlin naturally has to invent a series for her kids to be obsessed with: Virus-hunters in space (and she wrote this 2 years ago!) - a renegade ship captained by a middle-aged Black woman and an all-female crew of physicians except for one mysterious man...and two who share one body. Just reading bits of it is thrilling! She also goes I love this book like no contemporary YA has ever been loved before! It's about finding your tribe. And what it feels like when you do. And how it changes you. Nancy Werlin naturally has to invent a series for her kids to be obsessed with: Virus-hunters in space (and she wrote this 2 years ago!) - a renegade ship captained by a middle-aged Black woman and an all-female crew of physicians except for one mysterious man...and two who share one body. Just reading bits of it is thrilling! She also goes deeper into what it means for each generation of women to see themselves in roles like Uhura, Princess Leia . . . and even Squirrel Girl. I'm laughing on one page, sighing in awe and wonder on the next.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sue

    I have been a fan of Nancy Werlin for a long time. Impossible was a particular favorite. On the surface, this is a teen romance between a world-saving and serious boy, Simon, and a secretly sci-fi loving, into cosplay and fandom, girl. But it's really more about coming to accept yourself for who you are and what really moves you. Zoe is a teen who has a serious boyfriend, Simon. Simon is very serious about saving the world, activism, and working for political candidates. Zoe thinks these things a I have been a fan of Nancy Werlin for a long time. Impossible was a particular favorite. On the surface, this is a teen romance between a world-saving and serious boy, Simon, and a secretly sci-fi loving, into cosplay and fandom, girl. But it's really more about coming to accept yourself for who you are and what really moves you. Zoe is a teen who has a serious boyfriend, Simon. Simon is very serious about saving the world, activism, and working for political candidates. Zoe thinks these things are important too, but she also likes science fiction, cosplay, and sci-fi conventions, all of which Simon finds silly and contemptible. Zoe spends most of the novel sneaking off to conventions, with only her best friend Maggie onto the truth. Zoe is also stuck on the notion that since her parents met in high school and have a happy marriage, that she and Simon will be the same. They are even going to attend the same college. Zoe meets fans of her favorite sci-fi, Bleeders, at a convention, and these people become her close friends. They see the contradictions in her relationship with Simon, and gently prod her toward her own truth. This novel also includes people of color, gay, transgender, and teens on the spectrum, who are unquestioningly folded into the Bleeders fan group. Sebastien, the teen on the spectrum, has some particularly good scenes. And Zoe's best friend, Maggie, doesn't want to go to college, but to become an apprentice electrician, which her parents are not on board with. There is also a wonderful surprise twist at the end. I devoured this book in a couple of days. A winner!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Aronson

    I was lucky enough to snag an ARC of Nancy Werlin's newest YA: Zoe Rosenthal is Not Lawful Good. From page one, I was in. Werlin tells a fantastic and super smart story of self-discovery, fandom and finding your friends. I laughed out loud many times. I also felt a lot of heart in the diverse cast of characters. They were all so real. I loved Zoe's voice, her cosplay, her mistakes, her fears and her desires. For fans of cons. For people who have never been. Put Zoe on YOUR list. I was lucky enough to snag an ARC of Nancy Werlin's newest YA: Zoe Rosenthal is Not Lawful Good. From page one, I was in. Werlin tells a fantastic and super smart story of self-discovery, fandom and finding your friends. I laughed out loud many times. I also felt a lot of heart in the diverse cast of characters. They were all so real. I loved Zoe's voice, her cosplay, her mistakes, her fears and her desires. For fans of cons. For people who have never been. Put Zoe on YOUR list.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Angela

    Zoe Rosenthal is Not Lawful Good is a fun book for those in the know about fandoms and the conventions attended by science fiction/fantasy fans. As a high school senior, Zoe hides her love of the new television show, Bleeders, from her boyfriend and family, only letting her best friend in on the secret that she is traveling to a Con. While there, she meets up with a group of other young adults (high school seniors/early college) and forms friendships that impact her life in ways she could never Zoe Rosenthal is Not Lawful Good is a fun book for those in the know about fandoms and the conventions attended by science fiction/fantasy fans. As a high school senior, Zoe hides her love of the new television show, Bleeders, from her boyfriend and family, only letting her best friend in on the secret that she is traveling to a Con. While there, she meets up with a group of other young adults (high school seniors/early college) and forms friendships that impact her life in ways she could never predict. As the group worries that their show will be cancelled, they step up participation in Cons and fandoms to promote the show. All while Zoe's life at home is spiraling out of control. Will Zoe leave the Bloodygits or will she finally make stop trying to be who she believes she should be for others? This book was enjoyable for the most part. I liked the characters, although at times some of them seemed immature. I feel that this book will appeal to a very specific audience because, although the issues that Zoe faces are universal, the language of Cons and fandoms is foreign to those who aren't part of those circles. I loved the references to some of my favorite shows, however if you have never watched Firefly (for example) you won't understand the context. The book also feels a bit overly politically correct in its inclusiveness and use of pronouns. At times this felt forced instead of natural.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Olivia

    See my full review here: https://www.yabookscentral.com/yafict... ZOE ROSENTHAL IS NOT LAWFUL GOOD is a fun YA contemporary about embracing what you love and finding your people. Zoe has snuck away from the world she built for herself for a weekend to attend a Comic Con similar event where the Season 2 premiere of a show she loves, Bleeders, will be shown early. Her plan is to get there and get back before anyone- particularly her seemingly perfect boyfriend, Simon, notices. Simon is out to save t See my full review here: https://www.yabookscentral.com/yafict... ZOE ROSENTHAL IS NOT LAWFUL GOOD is a fun YA contemporary about embracing what you love and finding your people. Zoe has snuck away from the world she built for herself for a weekend to attend a Comic Con similar event where the Season 2 premiere of a show she loves, Bleeders, will be shown early. Her plan is to get there and get back before anyone- particularly her seemingly perfect boyfriend, Simon, notices. Simon is out to save the world with plenty of condescension and self-import, working for a senator's campaign. As her parents met in high school and are her dream couple, Zoe is convinced that Simon, also her first boyfriend, will be forever. Her future plans are all built around him and what he wants to do - he would hate it if he knew that she was a fan of something as banal as a TV show. Thus, the secrecy. Once there, Zoe finds her people - other fans of the show Bleeders, called Bloodygits. However, she and they are surprised to find that there aren't that many other vocal fans - and if that is the case, the show may be in danger of not being renewed. They decide to band together to spread the word about the show and get other big fans hooked on the show by attending other, similar conferences. That is, if Zoe can keep it all a secret from her boyfriend. What I loved: The book was ultimately a sweet story of friendship and embracing all the things you love. Zoe is in an unhealthy relationship, but she seems to be the only one who hasn't figured it out yet. The book includes some important realizations about relationships and the importance of being yourself in them. The descriptions of the show, fandoms, and the conventions was really fun, and I appreciated the infusion of humor throughout. The friendship found through this group was overall really great, and I loved the way they showed up for and supported each other (with a notable exception). I also appreciated the rep with an enby character, a gay character, and a neurodivergent character. There were also some interesting added themes of the lack of female rep in sci-fi and the pros/cons of the reps that have happened as well as the lack of network support for female run shows. What left me wanting more: I found Simon to be problematic throughout, and it was hard to imagine why Zoe was so set on him. I think it would have helped if the reader could have seen more of their history or the times in between conferences, as it was hard to buy into the relationship (but maybe it was more about the idea of Simon for her anyway). There were also a couple problematic things towards the end that were not fully addressed, particularly a betrayal within the friends group that was mostly glossed over (that should not have been OK so easily, in my opinion, as it was quite exploitative). Final verdict: ZOE ROSENTHAL IS NOT LAWFUL GOOD is an entertaining read about embracing the things you love and finding your people. Would recommend for fans of THE BOOKWORM CRUSH, FANGIRL, and ADORKABLE. Please note that I received an ARC from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    This one is a 3.5 for me, and I would imagine that many teens will relate to the plot and the protagonist. Zoe Rosenthal is an inveterate planner and list-maker. She has the rest of her life after high school graduation all planned out. She and her boyfriend Simon Murawski have a list of possible colleges that they are checking out, and although Zoe is uncertain about what she plans to major in, she figures that she'll sort that out as she goes. But despite her presumed straight arrow ways, Zoe This one is a 3.5 for me, and I would imagine that many teens will relate to the plot and the protagonist. Zoe Rosenthal is an inveterate planner and list-maker. She has the rest of her life after high school graduation all planned out. She and her boyfriend Simon Murawski have a list of possible colleges that they are checking out, and although Zoe is uncertain about what she plans to major in, she figures that she'll sort that out as she goes. But despite her presumed straight arrow ways, Zoe secretly books a flight from Boston to Atlanta for a science fiction convention in order to see the second-season premiere of Bleeders, a sci fi program with strong female characters and scientists. She doesn't tell Simon about the trip since she knows he would make fun of her and regard it as a waste of time. But what was supposed to be a one-time venture into the science fiction convention world becomes much more when Zoe meets several other fans of the show. These Bloodygits are serious about their fandom and loyalty to the show, wearing costumes and trying to emulate their favorite characters, and determined to raise the show's profile after rumors swirl that it might be cancelled. Zoe is caught up in all these plans, and Simon remains clueless, being caught up in the election campaign of a woman running for state senator of Massachusetts. Readers and Zoe's new Bloodygit friends will quickly realize that Simon and Zoe are not a match made in Heaven and that Zoe has given up or hidden important parts of herself in order to please him. More than once, she plans to tell him the truth but then backs out. When the gig is finally up, the revelations unfold in hilarious fashion with a surprise or two for the judgmental Simon. This book was a hoot to read. I laughed a great deal as I moved through its pages because the author captures cons and their attendees so effectively while making a strong statement about identity and trying to please others at the expense of oneself. And honestly, if our friends and our loved ones can't accept us as we are or allow us the space to be ourselves or let us play make-believe roles once in a while, then they probably don't have our best interests at heart. Despite Zoe's love for Simon, he doesn't appear in the book until almost the final pages, and she spent so much time defending him to her friends that it seemed to be a case of protesting too much. As I read this book and noted that even her parents were unsure about her relationship with Simon, I wondered if Zoe would have ever realized that he wasn't the one for her or if she'd have kept stuffing her feelings down and making lists and plans had she not taken that first flight to Atlanta and ventured forth to embrace her inner nerd.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Marian

    Once more I long for half stars. I'd go with a solid 3.5 or even 3.75 if we had quarter stars. Zoe Rosenthal Is Not Lawful Good is much like fandom itself- sometimes hilariously funny, sometimes heartwarming, and sometimes painfully annoying. Luckily the annoyance is usually fleeting or something you know will payoff at some later point, but it is still there. Zoe herself is the type of person who believes life is best managed with a very specific bullet list and that one can section off pieces Once more I long for half stars. I'd go with a solid 3.5 or even 3.75 if we had quarter stars. Zoe Rosenthal Is Not Lawful Good is much like fandom itself- sometimes hilariously funny, sometimes heartwarming, and sometimes painfully annoying. Luckily the annoyance is usually fleeting or something you know will payoff at some later point, but it is still there. Zoe herself is the type of person who believes life is best managed with a very specific bullet list and that one can section off pieces of themselves without too much fuss. So when she decides she absolutely must attend Dragon Con in order to see the world premiere of the second season premiere of her favorite show, she absolutely believes she can keep this field trip from her boyfriend Simon. Alas, as anyone who has ever gone beyond tiptoeing into fandom can attest, it is impossible to keep spillover from happening. Zoe finds her people at Dragon Con and gets heavily involved with her fellow Bloodygits (fans of Bleeders) in an effort to help save the show. The Bloodygits hop from con to con and we spend almost all our time with Zoe at these cons or the planning to get to said cons, so her life beyond them and beyond trying to hide everything she's doing from her boyfriend kind of fades into the background. For me the big problem is Simon. We almost never see him, but because Zoe is so invested in her perfect relationship and keeping Simon from finding out about this side of herself, we hear a lot about how she feels he'd react to her new fixation. Simon sounds exhausting to the degree that other than being a perfectly handsome boyfriend and a box checked off on Zoe's to-do list, it's hard to care about the impending implosion of their relationship. Part of me had hoped that he'd be a little less judgemental about the show and more upset about the "technical kidnapping" of his little sister (not as bad as it sounds) but yeah, no. Zoe pegged his reaction correctly, though she was thrown a curve ball about something else. The Bloodygits were fun and I loved that Zoe did have a couple of local friends who supported her (and the show) and especially loved that her parents just seemed to want the best for her. Liv and Cam's parents were also love and in general the book reminded me of some of the best parts of fandom. I received an ARC of this book and this was the honest review. Huzzah.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Christina Getrost

    This book makes me want to go to another DragonCon! It made me nostalgic for my congoing days and the camaraderie that you find among fellow fans of your favorite show. It's a great story about an overachieving girl who learns to loosen up and unleash her inner nerd, and be proud of it. Zoe sneaks off to attend the early premiere of her favorite show, "Bleeders" (a sci fi show about women doctors in space seeking the cure to a horrific bleeding virus), at DragonCon. She doesn't tell her boyfrien This book makes me want to go to another DragonCon! It made me nostalgic for my congoing days and the camaraderie that you find among fellow fans of your favorite show. It's a great story about an overachieving girl who learns to loosen up and unleash her inner nerd, and be proud of it. Zoe sneaks off to attend the early premiere of her favorite show, "Bleeders" (a sci fi show about women doctors in space seeking the cure to a horrific bleeding virus), at DragonCon. She doesn't tell her boyfriend Simon, because she knows he won't understand why she's a fan; he is super serious about saving the world and volunteers for a state senate campaign, and doesn't spend time on so-called "frivolous" hobbies like tv. She usually feels the same way, and thinks this will just be a quick fling with fandom and soon she'll leave it behind and get back to planning their life together. (She's only looking at applying to colleges that they can attend together; she intends to marry him someday.) But, she has more fun at the con than she intended, makes several new friends who share her love of Bleeders, and ends up secretly going to multiple cons throughout the year, claiming to be visiting colleges instead. She also gets blackmailed by Simon's younger sister, another Bleeders fan, into bringing her along. As Zoe's lies grow more complex and convoluted in order to maintain her fannish lifestyle, something's gonna give--will it be her relationship with her boyfriend or her newfound fandom family? Is Simon really the one for her if he doesn't agree with her choice of hobby? Great story about fandom, with some funny scenes involving cosplay mishaps and other shenanigans, and a nice diverse multigender cast. I liked that from the outset Zoe gives her pronouns when meeting new people and the cons are all very gender-inclusive; one of Zoe's new friends is "enby" (nonbinary) and it's just an ordinary thing. There's also a nice scene with Zoe and friends talking to older adult fans and getting advice on relationships and cons. Werlin created a believable world for her fictitious tv show, complete with showrunner and character bios and plots the fans argue over, and of course the obligatory fun name for its fans, "Bloodygits." Love it! I read an advance reader copy from LibraryThing's Early Reviewers program.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Brooke

    This was a cute read, it just wasn't exactly my cup of tea. I know other people who would absolutely LOVE this book, so I don't want to dismiss it. There were parts I liked and parts I didn't, but I know so many out there will love this. Zoe Rosenthal is a huge planner - to-do lists and checklists are her backbone. Her boyfriend, Simon, is a very accomplished student who is working for a political campaign in high school and is "lawful good" on the character alignment chart. When Simon's little s This was a cute read, it just wasn't exactly my cup of tea. I know other people who would absolutely LOVE this book, so I don't want to dismiss it. There were parts I liked and parts I didn't, but I know so many out there will love this. Zoe Rosenthal is a huge planner - to-do lists and checklists are her backbone. Her boyfriend, Simon, is a very accomplished student who is working for a political campaign in high school and is "lawful good" on the character alignment chart. When Simon's little sister introduces Zoe to a new underrated show, Bleeders, she becomes obsessed. But she has to hide her obsession from Simon since he thinks it's silly and not important. She ends up sneaking off to Comic Con conventions, making friends with fellow "Bloodygits" and hiding a whole part of her life from the boy she wants to spend her life with. I really related to Zoe in that I am a huge planner and have a million notebooks and planners and am obsessed with checklists. I really saw myself in Zoe as a Jewish, type-A, organized girl who obsesses over a lot of things. I also loved how inclusive it was. Zoe is Jewish, Sebastian is on the autism spectrum and Liv is non-binary. YA books these days are so much better in terms of inclusivity than when I was a teen, and I always wish I had books like this to read when I was younger. Zoe mentioned her experience as a Jewish person who has faced antisemitism briefly, and the other characters also briefly talked about their experiences and bullying they've faced. But for the most part it was just a bunch of people happily living their lives, and I adored it. There were so many themes in the book that it felt a little not cohesive to me. It focused a lot on the plot of the show that Zoe and her friends were obsessed with rather than the actual storyline with the characters of the book. I wish it focused more on detail of Zoe and her "Bloodygit" friends rather than the show of Bleeders, but again, that's just me, and I know someone will love reading about the science fiction show. Ultimately, this is a story about self discovery and learning that you should always do what makes you happy, regardless of what people think. Zoe learns that if someone is going to judge her for something she's passionate about, that someone may not be a person she wants in her life.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Hayley

    Who is the real Zoe Rosenthal? Is she the dedicated cosplaying, con-attending Bleeders TV show fan? Or is it the serious student and girlfriend of straight arrow Simon? Well, the reader only gets to see the first Zoe as she attends her first con to see the Season 2 premiere of Bleeders and then goes to several other cons over the next year with her new friends as they dedicate themselves to securing a season 3 for their beloved show. Of course, we see hints of the second Zoe, and as she avoids t Who is the real Zoe Rosenthal? Is she the dedicated cosplaying, con-attending Bleeders TV show fan? Or is it the serious student and girlfriend of straight arrow Simon? Well, the reader only gets to see the first Zoe as she attends her first con to see the Season 2 premiere of Bleeders and then goes to several other cons over the next year with her new friends as they dedicate themselves to securing a season 3 for their beloved show. Of course, we see hints of the second Zoe, and as she avoids telling Simon where she is and what she’s doing, we begin to see the chasm between the two Zoes. What will happen when her two worlds meet at Bean Con? Identity is a popular theme for YA novels as it speaks to a time in a teen’s life where who they are is still plastic and they’re trying on new identities and deciding who they’re going to be. Ms Werlin takes this further by looping gender and sexual identity into the story. One of Zoe’s new friends identifies as nonbinary (or enby) and asexual, and the others are all very strict about giving their pronouns when they’re introduced. Bleeders is a nonconforming scifi show as it is is run by a woman of color and the cast is almost all women of color playing scientists and doctors too. Is that why Zoe loves it? At least partially, but also because it’s a gripping story about a fast-killing and fast-spreading virus that’s taking over the universe (if there’s a metaphor in there, I missed it haha). This is all presented in a light-hearted and funny novel. Zoe is extremely precise - she has a bullet-list journal which is a good device for keeping the reader up to date with where she is as she goes to each con - but she recognizes this in herself and understands its limitations. The rest of her Bloodygits, as Bleeders fans refer to themselves, are all well-developed and charmingly quirky characters, adding layers to the identity theme. It’s not hard for the reader to see where the novel is headed - how will Zoe emerge when her two identities meet? But it’s a pleasure to go with her on her journey of self-learning and self-recognition.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Corinne Edwards

    3.5 stars Zoe has become obsessed with the new science fiction television show Bleeders. Obsessed enough that she'd lie to everyone she cares about and sneak down to Atlanta to go to a comic con where she can watch the premiere of season 2. THAT obsessed. After that, though, she's going to buckle down and apply to college with her perfect boyfriend Simon and live a Purposeful Life. And a purposeful life can't involve cosplay and television show obsessions, right? Except at the con she meets fello 3.5 stars Zoe has become obsessed with the new science fiction television show Bleeders. Obsessed enough that she'd lie to everyone she cares about and sneak down to Atlanta to go to a comic con where she can watch the premiere of season 2. THAT obsessed. After that, though, she's going to buckle down and apply to college with her perfect boyfriend Simon and live a Purposeful Life. And a purposeful life can't involve cosplay and television show obsessions, right? Except at the con she meets fellow Bleeder lovers that start to feel like her PEOPLE. And all of a sudden one lie turns into lots of lies and Zoe isn't sure who she really is anymore. Luckily, she's got her bullet journal to help her sort out her priorities. It's all gonna work out. She's sure of it. There are so many people who will relate to Zoe's love of Bleeders. I myself have had seasons where my obsession with the continuation of a story (in my case, the anticipation of Harry Potter number 7) can connect you completely with strangers. I appreciated that the cosplay world is presented with authenticity and without judgement. I thought the bullet journal literary devise worked well. I liked the things that Zoe figured out about herself throughout the book but it was hard to watch her make so many ridiculous and frankly dangerous choices without a lot of consequences. It felt a bit over-the-top politically correct in a way that sometimes felt a little pedantic but it was nice to see a range of colors and genders. The idea of "lawful good" struck me as interesting and I liked that angle of the story, that our choices and way of looking at the world exists on a sort of continuum (my son, a D&D player, saw the book on the table and explained it to me before I'd even read it!) I didn't fall in love with it but I think there are a lot of teen readers who will find a little piece of themselves in here somewhere, hopefully learning along the way that it is better to be true to yourself and what you love than to the idea of you that someone else has.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Nora

    There aren't that many writers whose books I will pre-order without even knowing anything about them. I really vibe with Nancy Werlin. The way she writes truly speaks to me. My favorite kind of story is one that presents itself as a light-entertainment potboiler (in this case a YA novel) but also throws in being profound, just because why not, that's how life is. This book is that kind of story and it is also about that phenomenon--the main character becomes a foaming fangirl of a science fictio There aren't that many writers whose books I will pre-order without even knowing anything about them. I really vibe with Nancy Werlin. The way she writes truly speaks to me. My favorite kind of story is one that presents itself as a light-entertainment potboiler (in this case a YA novel) but also throws in being profound, just because why not, that's how life is. This book is that kind of story and it is also about that phenomenon--the main character becomes a foaming fangirl of a science fiction TV show, against her will, because of the meaning the show brings to her life. It was a treat to have a non-binary secondary character, who is maybe also aro/graysexual. Actually, there was more than one non-binary character. I loved the group of nerdy friends, and there was just the right amount of their conversations to remain interesting. The characters talk about how an absent/offscreen figure can also be a character in a story and whether that figure should finally appear. There is an offscreen character in this story, the main character's well-intentioned but stifling boyfriend, and I was interested to see if we would ever actually meet him or not. I finished the book fully satisfied, yet wishing it wouldn't end. Here's the part where I review the acknowledgements page: Nancy Werlin thanked a long list of people, everyone except her agent. I thought I knew her agent was Ginger Knowlton, who was my dream agent when I still thought I could get an agent. (I don't even remember why; I know I saw her on some panels.) So I did some light digging and it turns out that now Werlin is her own agent! If anyone ever looks down their nose at me for not having an agent, I will deliver the devastating retort that notable author Nancy Werlin doesn't have one either, and the rude person will beg my forgiveness.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    Zoe Rosenthal Is Not Lawful Good is a bullet journal loving teen's ode to fandom and friendship. It captures the fun and connection fandom inspires and will make you want to go to your closest con immediately. Zoe has her life plan all figured out and is well on her way to checking off each goal. She already has Simon, the boyfriend she knows will be her future husband, a comparative list of universities they can attend together, and a commitment to support Simon as he works to save the country a Zoe Rosenthal Is Not Lawful Good is a bullet journal loving teen's ode to fandom and friendship. It captures the fun and connection fandom inspires and will make you want to go to your closest con immediately. Zoe has her life plan all figured out and is well on her way to checking off each goal. She already has Simon, the boyfriend she knows will be her future husband, a comparative list of universities they can attend together, and a commitment to support Simon as he works to save the country after college. She also has a secret love of Bleeders, a new sci-fi series about a crew of doctors trying to find a cure to a deadly disease, that she's determined to hide from Simon who views shows like this as a waste of time. Zoe sneaks off to Dragon Con to attend the world premiere of Bleeders season 2 and soon finds her carefully made plans spiraling out of control as she makes fandom friends and creates an epic plan to save Bleeders from being canceled. Zoe Rosenthal is such a fun read that I can see people really enjoying. It has the obvious fandom hook, but it's a great story even for people who have never been to a convention or been involved in a fandom before. I laughed out loud several times while reading - including Sebastian's bleeding hijinks, the cat model drama, and of course the reggae song. It's also a solid story about friendship, trying to figure out life after high school, and discovering who you are independent of anyone else. The bullet journal format really worked to enhance to the story. The frequent lists break up the overall narrative and provide humorous insights into Zoe's state of mind and planning and the doodles were just plain fun. I also loved that the story is broken up into episodes and scenes instead of the usual chapters. Overall, Zoe Rosenthal Is Not Lawful Good is a book that I am happy to recommend.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Chris G.

    Zoe and Simon have been dating since junior year, and now that they are seniors they are planning on college together. Zoe’s parents met in high school and that’s what Zoe wants for herself; she loves Simon and the stability of their relationship. She’s just the right match for Simon, who is intellectual, serious and has an intense commitment to social justice. So when Zoe finds herself loving a new TV series called Bleeders, following the adventures of seven multicultural doctors who are pandem Zoe and Simon have been dating since junior year, and now that they are seniors they are planning on college together. Zoe’s parents met in high school and that’s what Zoe wants for herself; she loves Simon and the stability of their relationship. She’s just the right match for Simon, who is intellectual, serious and has an intense commitment to social justice. So when Zoe finds herself loving a new TV series called Bleeders, following the adventures of seven multicultural doctors who are pandemic fighters on a space ship, there’s no point in sharing any episodes with Simon - he would consider it a waste of time. And there’s no reason to tell Simon when she heads off to a Con in Atlanta, hoping to meet others in the Bleeders fandom. There are five other cosplaying Bleeders fans at the Con and after a rocky start, they have intense, delightful fun getting to know each other and obsessing over the show. Over the course of senior year, Zoe meets up with her new friends at several other Cons, and they patiently point out that if she has to keep what she’s doing a secret from Simon, perhaps their relationship needs another look. Although readers will understand almost right away that Zoe and Simon don’t belong together, Zoe’s journey to understanding is full of delight and humor in the midst of painful self-realization. All will cheer Zoe’s when she finally understands: “I had wanted certainty about my future. But what I needed was possibility.” EARC from Edelweiss

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jackie

    Zoe Rosenthal is starting senior year of high school off right...top grades, great student, and with the best boyfriend ever, Simon. They have their futures mapped out...same college (if they both get in the same one), graduation, then marriage. They are alike in every way...well, except for maybe one teensy-tiny, itty bitty difference. Zoe loves Bleeders, a sci-fi show with its requisite spaceships, viruses, and special effects. Simon is all about politics, saving the world, and real life solut Zoe Rosenthal is starting senior year of high school off right...top grades, great student, and with the best boyfriend ever, Simon. They have their futures mapped out...same college (if they both get in the same one), graduation, then marriage. They are alike in every way...well, except for maybe one teensy-tiny, itty bitty difference. Zoe loves Bleeders, a sci-fi show with its requisite spaceships, viruses, and special effects. Simon is all about politics, saving the world, and real life solutions to problems. Yet, Zoe has a secret. She is on her way to DragonCon to mingle with other Bloodygits with all its cosplay glory! Simon must never ever know. Of course, as we all know, those kinds of secrets tend to fester. And, fester, it does. Zoe meets a core group of other Bloodygits. As the months go on, they attend more and more events...and Simon must never ever know. HA! Zoe Rosenthal Is Not Lawful Good is just plain delightful. I had a vague notion of what cosplay, fanfiction, and fandom was all about, but this story really put it all in perspective for me (I am old, after all). The characters really shine and the plot has a few surprises at the end. And so, in the end, it's about listening to your inner voice, self-discovery, coming-0f-age, being true to yourself, and confidence. Zoe finds all those things and more. Enjoyable.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jenn

    I look longingly at cons. They're a very rare thing in Ireland anyway, and with things the way they are I don't think I'll want to be in a room with hundreds of other people for a while. So it's a good thing there are books like this one to fill the gap. Zoe is a recently converted fan of the streaming show Bleeders, a mostly female run and acted show. She's decided to indulge herself, for just one night, at a con, her first ever. One night will definitely be enough to get it out of her system - I look longingly at cons. They're a very rare thing in Ireland anyway, and with things the way they are I don't think I'll want to be in a room with hundreds of other people for a while. So it's a good thing there are books like this one to fill the gap. Zoe is a recently converted fan of the streaming show Bleeders, a mostly female run and acted show. She's decided to indulge herself, for just one night, at a con, her first ever. One night will definitely be enough to get it out of her system - even if the people she meets are so friendly and welcoming, and the costumes so amazing, and there's another con a few months later. This is the one and only time she's going to lie to her boyfriend like this. Definitely... This novel is a love story to cons and to the fans who attend. I had as much fun as Zoe identifying the different fandoms and groups, and learning about the differences between different cons and different groups. Zoe's friends are a great group; I want one just like them, please. Because we only ever saw Simon in Zoe's description - the guy wasn't even in the novel until the very end - it's hard to know if he would have understood if she'd told him, or not. It's hard to get a grip on a character you don't actually meet, but I do think Zoe made the right decision at the end. I loved this. It's just a lovely, light hearted, enjoyable read. Fantastic.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Evelyn

    DNF @30% I can totally see why people would love this! It is all about being a huge fan about a show, going to cons, and cosplaying as the characters! There were loads of references to this show but also shows we do know! (star trek, Harry Potter, etc!). Which I know some people really like, I just don't enjoy reading this.. There was a whole chapter just describing an episode of the show.. Besides me not really enjoying the topic of the book, there were also some things that did not make sense t DNF @30% I can totally see why people would love this! It is all about being a huge fan about a show, going to cons, and cosplaying as the characters! There were loads of references to this show but also shows we do know! (star trek, Harry Potter, etc!). Which I know some people really like, I just don't enjoy reading this.. There was a whole chapter just describing an episode of the show.. Besides me not really enjoying the topic of the book, there were also some things that did not make sense to me. Zoe's beyfriend does not know she is a fan of this show, and she hides it from him.. There is some explanation about why he 'hates' this show, but I still think there is no reason why he is hating on this show so much.. I jusy thought it was really weird she had to hide it from him. She also goes to this con, but misses the plane on the way back. She is all like 'me life is over' blah blah, but then just goes around end enjoys the rest of her day, not even trying to catch another airplane ASAP. And then in the next part she is just back home?! Unfortunately this was just not for me..

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jesse Ruth (Oracleofmadness)

    This book was such a great read. Zoe Rosenthal learns about herself in this story, goes through phases on not accepting who she really is until finally she completely embraces her Fangirl self. She is dating an attractive and self important young man named Simon who she seems to believe is the epitome of what she thinks of as correct behaviour. He feels strongly about what exactly is important in this world: politics, the economy, and the environment. Zoe realizes throughout this book how impo This book was such a great read. Zoe Rosenthal learns about herself in this story, goes through phases on not accepting who she really is until finally she completely embraces her Fangirl self. She is dating an attractive and self important young man named Simon who she seems to believe is the epitome of what she thinks of as correct behaviour. He feels strongly about what exactly is important in this world: politics, the economy, and the environment. Zoe realizes throughout this book how important friends are, particularly friends that accept her for who she really is, which in this case is a Bloodygit, a fangirl to a show that she loves. I loved reading each episode of Zoe going to different comic cons, usually very sneakily, and truly experiencing the world past her hometown and her boyfriends ideals. This is such a fun read. I had a blast reading about all the different fandom drama and costumes. It's funny, heartwarming and a great way to to escape a little while and let your inner fangirl loose.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    This was such a fun lighthearted romp through fandom. I devoured it as quickly as I could while still being somewhat responsible for things. This book resonated with me because I have similar feelings about conventions. I went to my first one and was surprised how welcoming and friendly everyone was. I found people to be just as helpful as Zoe did in her first one. I described it later to my then boyfriend, now husband, like a big family reunion. We're all there because we share the same nerd lo This was such a fun lighthearted romp through fandom. I devoured it as quickly as I could while still being somewhat responsible for things. This book resonated with me because I have similar feelings about conventions. I went to my first one and was surprised how welcoming and friendly everyone was. I found people to be just as helpful as Zoe did in her first one. I described it later to my then boyfriend, now husband, like a big family reunion. We're all there because we share the same nerd love so you can talk to pretty much anyone. Which is helpful, because you'll likely be stuck in line with those anyones for a large part of your time there. And while now two young kids make it a lot harder to go to cons, its still something I love doing. While yes, the story may be predictable, its delivered in a funny way and it was an enjoying read.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jenn

    Zoe has it all together. She's got a great boyfriend and they're planning their future colleges together and volunteering for a local political campaign. But Zoe has a secret. She's an uber-fan of this new science fiction show. She knows her boyfriend won't approve, so she sneakily heads down to Atlanta for Dragon on so she can see the first episode of the newest season a week early. While she's there, she makes some fantastic new fans in the fandom. This book has such a fun collection of divers Zoe has it all together. She's got a great boyfriend and they're planning their future colleges together and volunteering for a local political campaign. But Zoe has a secret. She's an uber-fan of this new science fiction show. She knows her boyfriend won't approve, so she sneakily heads down to Atlanta for Dragon on so she can see the first episode of the newest season a week early. While she's there, she makes some fantastic new fans in the fandom. This book has such a fun collection of diverse characters with a cute story that anyone who's been to a convention will enjoy. Overall, this one was good. But it suffered a bit from too many characters. In particular, the little sister and the best friend I had trouble keeping apart. It wasn't until 2/3 in that I knew which one was which.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Donna

    Zoe, a secret fan of a new SF show, Bleeders, finds her tribe after attending a convention. 4.5 stars I really enjoyed this book! The pure angst of most YA books makes me cringe but in this one the 'angst' was channeled into discovering SF fandom, and conventions, and making new nerd friends so I was all in. I would totally watch "Bleeders" if it existed and I understand the want to get your show in front of people's eyes so it's not cancelled. I liked the diversity in this book which was a solid Zoe, a secret fan of a new SF show, Bleeders, finds her tribe after attending a convention. 4.5 stars I really enjoyed this book! The pure angst of most YA books makes me cringe but in this one the 'angst' was channeled into discovering SF fandom, and conventions, and making new nerd friends so I was all in. I would totally watch "Bleeders" if it existed and I understand the want to get your show in front of people's eyes so it's not cancelled. I liked the diversity in this book which was a solid part of, but not the focus, of the plot. Zoe knows she's done a bad thing by hiding her love for her SF show and conventions from her oh-so-perfect boyfriend, but she just can't give them up. The ending of the book was sharp - there are consequences for actions, and Zoe has matured, and all is good in the world of fandom.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sarah | RosebudMode

    Thank you to Candlewick Press for sending me a copy of this book to review! Zoe Rosenthal is not Lawful Good makes me wish I could go back to the days of conventions and "geeking" out with people who just get you to your core. I loved seeing the evolution of Zoe from the beginning as someone who felt like she was shedding this part of her life to someone who fully accepted her fangirl side. While the main character is a senior in high school, I would most likely recommend this book to someone a Thank you to Candlewick Press for sending me a copy of this book to review! Zoe Rosenthal is not Lawful Good makes me wish I could go back to the days of conventions and "geeking" out with people who just get you to your core. I loved seeing the evolution of Zoe from the beginning as someone who felt like she was shedding this part of her life to someone who fully accepted her fangirl side. While the main character is a senior in high school, I would most likely recommend this book to someone a bit younger as the themes and values seemed a bit younger to me. However, I do think this is a great read for anyone who wants to feed their "fangirl" side.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Natalie

    I really liked all the fandom parts of this novel--Werlin nails the atmosphere of a convention and there's some very sweet moments about the friendships and connections that can form as a result of loving the same thing--and the relationships that the main character builds with fellow fans. However, the part of the novel focused on Zoe's relationship with her boyfriend doesn't really work, mostly because the boyfriend almost never appears on the page. We see so little of their relationship that I really liked all the fandom parts of this novel--Werlin nails the atmosphere of a convention and there's some very sweet moments about the friendships and connections that can form as a result of loving the same thing--and the relationships that the main character builds with fellow fans. However, the part of the novel focused on Zoe's relationship with her boyfriend doesn't really work, mostly because the boyfriend almost never appears on the page. We see so little of their relationship that it's hard to understand why she thinks it's worth preserving and it exerts little, if any, emotional weight.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jules Bertaut

    Borrowed an ARC of this book which is how I've read it already. This book is great! Zoe was such an anxious overachiever type, OMG. And the boyfriend was so much ... a depiction of that kind of guy. I like the way their relationship arc went. Also the plot of finding yourself/your people is a. great and b. great for YA. The book felt pretty white, but there was good diversity in other respects (sexual/gender identity, neurodivergence). Also I really wish the TV show in the book, Bleeders, was rea Borrowed an ARC of this book which is how I've read it already. This book is great! Zoe was such an anxious overachiever type, OMG. And the boyfriend was so much ... a depiction of that kind of guy. I like the way their relationship arc went. Also the plot of finding yourself/your people is a. great and b. great for YA. The book felt pretty white, but there was good diversity in other respects (sexual/gender identity, neurodivergence). Also I really wish the TV show in the book, Bleeders, was real, because I would absolutely watch that.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Nicole Lintemuth

    I really enjoyed this one. Zoe has some very firm ideas of what her future will look like, and watching her learn that things don't always go as planned is very enjoyable. I loved the cast of characters, I enjoyed Zoe's growth arc, and I found it to be a very engaging read that I didn't want to put down. I really enjoyed this one. Zoe has some very firm ideas of what her future will look like, and watching her learn that things don't always go as planned is very enjoyable. I loved the cast of characters, I enjoyed Zoe's growth arc, and I found it to be a very engaging read that I didn't want to put down.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Nicole N. (A Myriad of Books)

    Actual rating: 1.5 stars Thanks to Candlewick Press for sending me a free early copy in exchange for an honest review. Content warning: antisemitism I really did have to force myself to finish this. Not what I had anticipated and I didn’t really care for the MC at all. Full review to come.

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