Jennifer's Reviews > Zenobia July

Zenobia July by Lisa Bunker
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really liked it
bookshelves: mg-realistic-fiction, mg-lgtbq

After I realized this book was written by the same author as Feliz Yx, I almost put it back, but then decided I was curious to see if the writing was any better, and I was pleasantly surprised.

Thankfully, Bunker did not repeat her mistakes. In Felix, there was way too much going on, with too many side stories detracting from the central story, and she tried way too hard to include as many LGTBQ+ representations as possible and did not do it well. I found her portrayal of Felix's grandparent as gender fluid to be particularly problematic, showing them to follow a schedule, presenting as male 3 days a week, as female three days a week, and one day hiding in their room naked; I'm pretty sure it doesn't work that way.

While Bunker again included many LGTBQ+ characters, Zenobia is a trans girl, her aunt is a lesbian, she has a friend who is non-binary and another who is a trans boy, and a family friend is a drag queen, she integrated them into the story in a much more natural way with representations that were more authentic. The story was more focused, following Zenobia as she adjusted to a new life, presenting as a girl and becoming more confident and less fearful. There was a bit of a side-story with a mystery of who was hacking into the school website and posting racist memes, but again, it fit in well with the main story and made sense, rather than just feeling thrown in like an extra appendage as in Feliz Yz.

I enjoyed seeing Zenobia grow to trust her aunts love, acceptance, and support, form a solid group of friends, and eventually begin to gain confidence in herself as she let go of all the doubt and fears.

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Reading Progress

October 16, 2019 – Started Reading
October 16, 2019 – Shelved
October 16, 2019 – Shelved as: mg-realistic-fiction
October 16, 2019 – Shelved as: mg-lgtbq
October 16, 2019 – Finished Reading

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