Publisher: Gallery/Scout Press
Zelda is a young adult with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Turning twenty-one, she learns that this disorder makes her journey into adulthood different. In this debut novel, Zelda learns the rules of love, discovers the truth of her past, and tries to write her own legend. On her quest to become legendary, her brother falls into drug-dealing and brings home a gym bag of trouble. Of course, we know that this never works out. Her brother has spent his entire life keeping his little sister safe, but now it is Zelda’s turn to save him.
Each character in this book is distinct. For instance, Gert is a sensitive drug-dealer and Ann is a brute who can take care of herself in a fight. These side characters each have their own goals that tie in well with the main character’s. Gert, Ann, and Marxy help Zelda branch out into new depths, but also bring her up when the plot drags her down. Zelda herself is blunt, funny, and her thoughts often tug at the reader’s heartstrings. Each character’s arc leads the story to wrap up like the last touch of a cherry on a sundae.
There are a few clear themes in this book. The biggest theme that guides the plot is that you write your own story. Another one that plays well with the first theme is that life won’t always be so linear. You’re led through so many loops that you can’t rely on a guide to tell you where you will go and where you will end up. As Zelda says, “the most important parts of life, the parts really worth cherishing, are the things that we don’t expect”.
The plot keeps you interested. I sat in my car long after I got home because I wanted to see what was going to happen next. We see a girl learning to grow up like everyone else, but her unique mind and narration make it interesting. There are so many twists and turns, secrets, and drama that you won’t be able to put the book down.
This author has a strong writing voice that brings a variety of characters to life. Whether you root for the rising Viking or the lowlife thug, you are sure to find a favorite. The plot is cohesive, but it takes you through a whirlwind of gripping drama that leaves you wanting more. In the end, you too will put the book down feeling like a legend. You can pick it up today at our library or you can find it on Libby.
Content warning: This book does contain a lot of sensitive topics and foul language.
Reviewed by: Melody Wolf