Zoe Rosenthal Is Not Lawful Good by Nancy Werlin

Book Review #544

Title: Zoe Rosenthal Is Not Lawful Good

Author: Nancy Werlin

Publisher: Candlewick Press

Genres: YA, Contemporary

Format: Hardcover

Source: Pansing

Publication Date: April 6, 2019

Pages: 352

My rating: 2 stars

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.

Zoe Rosenthal Is Not Lawful Good by Nancy Werlin is a story of Zoe who is a fan of a scifi tv show, getting pulled into the fandom and making new friends along the way. Unfortunately, this book isn’t for me because I just find it has more disconcerting stuff as compared to the good.

First of all, I just couldn’t really get into this book no matter how much I tried to. It has more or less similar plot line like some other books out there. Perhaps I may even have to say that it seems way overdone. Some of what Zoe has said and done in this story is kind of offensive and that’s not okay. I’m just going to list one of the things that just screams problematic and she really straight up just called someone autistic right in front of them like how is that even fine? And this is just the tip of the iceberg, I assure you there’s so much more than that.

Anyone who is reading my review right now, please do not pick up this book. There’s nothing much for you to see here and honestly its such a waste of time. Sometimes, the author would just cram so many details at once but excuse me, no one needs to know every costume every person attending the convention is wearing and other times, the pace is just very slow too. Just the characters going on and on about their fandom and stuff. Also, the fact that Zoe had to keep lying and hide what she likes most is just ringing alarm bells for me. Its clear as day to me that the relationship isn’t going to work out.

I really couldn’t and refuse to recommend this book as it is just a mess. Its fair to say that I will not be reading any other books by the same author or will it tempt me to pick up more titles by Candlewick Press except for one more book I have left to review. After this, I really am so done with this publisher. Good riddance!

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