ZENOBIA JULY BY LISA BUNKER | BOOK REVIEW

Zenobia July shows us the importance of love, compassion, finding ones’ place in the world and helps to elaborate the complex topics.

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Zenobia July is another one that the main topic of interest is gender, yet I think there was some work that could have been done more when it comes to gender issues and how we could do better as human beings, the story follows a diverse cast of characters in high school, each trying to figure out who they are which I loved seeing the whole process, the messy thoughts.

SYNOPSIS
Zenobia July is starting a new life. She used to live in Arizona with her father; now she’s in Maine with her aunts. She used to spend most of her time behind a computer screen, improving her impressive coding and hacking skills; now she’s coming out of her shell and discovering a community of friends at Monarch Middle School. People used to tell her she was a boy; now she’s able to live openly as the girl she always knew she was.When someone anonymously posts hateful memes on her school’s website, Zenobia knows she’s the one with the abilities to solve the mystery, all while wrestling with the challenges of a new school, a new family, and coming to grips with presenting her true gender for the first time. Timely and touching, Zenobia July is, at its heart, a story about finding home.

Publisher – Viking Books for Young Readers
Publication Date – May 21st, 2019
Series – Stand-alone
Genre – LGBT/Contemporary

The struggle and all in such a unique and realistic way.

In addition to Zen being trans, there are her aunts (a married same-sex couple, who never were labelled as lesbian/bi/pan/whatever), a drag queen, a non-binary character, and another trans character.

While there were a lot fewer hurtful comments and situations than normal with a few characters having trouble accepting Zen’s identity, it’s made clear that she is who she is and her experience made her more understanding towards what others are going through.

We were more or less shown the struggle Zen is going through In being a girl, acting like one or behaving like one with an inexperience aunt, there was mention of Zen’s past which clearly involves a bunch of religiously-based trans-phobia and enforced gender norms, and the adolescents reacting to gender identity all with a hint of emotional abuse from Zen past before she came to her aunt.

On The Blog: Read the review of These Witches Don’t Burn.

I felt like Zenobia July could have handled the quarrel between the friends, much better, while others were pretty much amazed by the Zenobia hacker skill, I was not as it was so unrealistic in the way she handled and controlled another character in the game which didn’t do it for me and at the beginning of the book. I felt like the writing was a bit difficult to follow up.

“How can they not know? It just keeps happening that nobody sees and so I’ve kept going, but I’m always waiting for the hammer to fall, and I hate having this hammer over my head. I hate it”

Zenobia

Zenobia July shows us the importance of love, compassion, and finding one’s place in the world and helps to elaborate the complex topics understandable to any age while spreading a very positive message.

It is one of those books that definitely has the potential to have a profound impact on a reader’s life while thinking about their view of society and the world in general, we can also find a lot of complicated family relationships and oh yes there was Uncle SPRINK (a drag by the way).

Almost everything was tied up a bit too easily I will say it was expected for a middle-grade book although the ending was a bit rushed.

In general, the story is pretty adequate and well elaborated for a middle-grade book while telling us that remaining strong and never in doubt of yourself and also help you get over the many struggles in your path.


Let Chat

  • Do you think the book ‘Zenobia July’ could have handled the conflict better?
  • When it comes to coming out book what is your favourite part? And What do you believe could have been done better?
  • Can you recommend any coming-out books?

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