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Zoe Rosenthal is Not Lawful Good    by Nancy Werlin order for
Zoe Rosenthal is Not Lawful Good
by Nancy Werlin
Order:  USA  Can
Candlewick, 2021 (2021)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Nancy Werlin's Zoe Rosenthal is Not Lawful Good is an engaging and heartwarming YA coming of age novel about a young woman's struggle to understand how she wants to live her life, as opposed to living to please others.

Zoe is very organized and lives by to-do lists. She has the perfect boyfriend, her soulmate Simon, who wants to make the world better. He spends all his spare time volunteering with a state senatorial campaign, and Zoe usually joins him. They plan to go to the same college and marry afterwards.

However, there's one thing Zoe keeps from Simon - her fascination (amounting to obsession) with the SF Bleeders series, about a team of scientist traveling through space, intent on eradicating the terrible virus that threatens all humanoid life. Fans call themselves Bloodygits and Simon's sister Maggie is one of them.

As the novel starts, Zoe has lied to Simon, claiming to be unwell, and is taking a flight to Dragon Con in Atlanta, where a Bleeders premiere will be showing. There, she gains a taste for cosplay and fandom, quickly making nerdy friends very different from Simon. The story builds from there as Zoe's deception - and trips with fellow Bloodygits - continue.

Of course she has to face the music eventually, but along the way Zoe has learned who she is apart from Simon, and what really matters to her. Zoe Rosenthal is Not Lawful Good is a remarkable coming of age story - as a Trekkie in my teens, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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