Lindsay S. Zrull
Goth Girl, Queen of the Universe
Bounced between foster homes since the age of seven, Jessica knows better than to set down roots. Most of the kids at her new Michigan high school think she’s a witch anyway (because, you know, goth). The only one who gives her the time of day is geeky Oscar, who wants to recruit her fashion skills for his amateur cosplay group. But Jess is fine showing off her looks to her Insta fans—until a woman claiming to be her biological mother barges into her DMs.
Jess was claimed by the state when her bio mom’s mental illness made her unstable. While their relationship is far from traditional, blood ties are hard to break. There’s only one problem: Jess can’t reunite with her mom in New York City without a bunch of paperwork and she worries her social worker will never approve the trip. That’s when she remembers Oscar’s cosplay group, who are aiming for that big convention in New York…
So Jess joins Oscar’s team—with every intention of using them to get to her mom. But her plan gets complicated when she discovers that, actually, cosplay is pretty great, and so is having friends. And Oscar, who Jess thought was just a shy nerd, can be as gallant and charming as the heroes he pretends to be. As the big convention draws near, Jess will have to decide whether or not chasing a dream of “family” is worth risking the family she’s built for herself.
Publication Date: July 19, 2022
"Zrull, whose author bio indicates she was herself a foster kid, delves with remarkable grit and heart into many sensitive issues, including mental health and body positivity... These geeks will warm even the coldest, darkest hearts." —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"Electrifying, heartwarming, absolutely fun! Goth Girl, Queen of the Universe is an anthem for the outcasts! Packed with off-the-wall character chemistry, Zrull delivers a special, moving debut that readers will come back to in their bleakest and brightest moments." —E.J. Schwartz, author of Before We Were Blue
“Jess’s story is fun, poignant, and lovingly crafted for nerds everywhere. Come for the costumes and the geek references; stay for the sharp heroine, the friendships, and the lasting theme of acceptance.” —Francesca Zappia, author of Eliza and Her Monsters and Made You Up
“Goth Girl, Queen of the Universe celebrates the joy of cosplay and offers an exploration of identity, mental health, friendship, and a slow burn romance that will have you ripping through the pages.” —Navdeep Singh Dhillon, author of Sunny G's Series of Rash Decisions
“An exquisite, heartwarming story of identity, self-acceptance, and found family. It’s impossible not to fall in love with Jess and her delightfully ragtag crew of friends and found-family. Zrull weaves together the weighty and the witty as beautifully as anything Jess could craft in the Costume Lair. This book is a treasure worthy of a Goth Queen.” —Kate Watson, author of Seeking Mansfield and Shoot the Moon
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Lindsay S. Zrull is a former foster teen and current book nerd. She graduated from the University of Michigan with a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science and earned a second Master’s degree in Creative Writing from Harvard Extension. Goth Girl, Queen of the Universe is her first novel. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram @LSZrull.
Tags: YA, Contemporary, Disability/ND (mental illness rep)