Werlin, Nancy

Zoe Rosenthal Is Not Lawful Good

(2) YA Zoe Rosenthal is a rule follower and a planner, attached to her bullet journal (whose pages are interspersed). She's a devoted girlfriend, hoping to attend the same college as her boyfriend. And she's a fan of the sci-fi TV show Bleeders, a women-led vehicle about a virus that turns each victim, briefly and graphically, into "a bleeding sack of skin." Such a fan, in fact, that in an out-of-character move, she secretly flies from Boston to Atlanta to attend a comics ­convention that is screening the season two premiere. When it appears that the future of Bleeders is in jeopardy, Zoe's new "Bloodygit" friends agree to keep attending cons to promote the show and try to save it. And Zoe continues to lie to her parents and boyfriend in order to join in. The novel highlights the unique atmosphere of the con--a ­community in which "anybody belonged who wanted to be here"--and brings its ­attendees, in all their passionate, cosplaying glory, to life, including Zoe's friends: Sebastian, who's on the autism spectrum and who (hilariously for plot purposes) faints at the sight of blood; Cam and Liv, affable twins who are gay and nonbinary, ­respectively; and Meldel, an enthusiastic fanfic author and reformed bully. Their influence helps Zoe to discover her ­spontaneous side and imagine a different, less-scripted future for herself, in this joyful story of fandom, friendship, and finding common purpose.


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