The Zee Files: ALL THAT GLITTERS
Teens go through many difficult changes in their lives. Some handle them and others find themselves in difficult situations just trying to deal day by day. Zee is smart and talented in the field of music and she and her best friend Chole have their coming 9th year mapped out. But, when Zee’s father throws a wrench in her plans and says they are moving to London, her whole world collapses and she must deal with new friends, teachers, classes in a boarding school that are more structured, difficult and requires more time to study. She needs to process what is happening and yet as time goes on and she realizes that something must change within herself before she can truly be Zee.
Her father announces they are moving, and she now must deal with not seeing her friend Chole and her best friend Ally moved to Paris. Coming home for the weekend allows her to meet with Ally in Paris, enjoy their time together and her mom, joins them at lunch and treats everyone to shopping. What more can you ask for? But Zee faces many changes and obstacles when returning to school. Everyone is focused on the biggest event of the year, the talent show, the Creative Arts festival. Zee wants to present an original song, and yet her two best friends that were in the band in the other school, Archie and Jasper, seem to not really support her choice of song, performing in front of a huge audience without her bandmates in London requires courage and confidence.
Throughout the novel Zee faces changes in her relationships with her parents, her classmates, teachers and within herself.
Zee is smart but her grades seem to be suffering, her attention span wavers between classes like life science and music which she enjoys and English and Algebra where she tends to daydream, let her mind wander off and then finds herself the object of the teacher’s attention. Throughout the scenes in each classroom, the teachers seems to single her out, and yet never asking if she has a question of needs something reexplained. She is limited time with her friends, misses Chole and Ally and has created the Zee Files to stay in touch. Zee is honest, never gets in trouble and yet she faces the same things teens face. Her best friend Jasper seems interested in Izzy who is taking photos for the Arts Festival and she feels alienated. Pictures of every student should be included and yet she feels she will be left out. Jasper and Izzy do a photo shoot for the festival and Zee cannot understand why their time together has disappeared. Archie is another close friend and texts seem to go unanswered. Her roommate Jameela is not always supportive, critical of her music choices and the words to her song that she wants to perform at the arts festival. Jameela is full of herself and has her own ways of practicing her dancing, dealing with her instructor and while trying to focus on her schoolwork Zee is falling short.
The shocker comes when her father shows up at the dorm room, takes her out for a meal and she learns she received a letter from her teachers stating she is not doing as well as she should be.
Zee is faced with many conflicting emotions as both Jasper and Archie veer in different directions and losing Chloe and Ally because of her move and Ally dealing with her parent’s breakup, Zee must come to sone compromises.
Plus, her father’s new job, her mother’s involvement with her new club and the nanny taking care of the twins plus hoping to create a song for the arts festival.
With comments coming from her roommate and both Archie and Jasper, Zee is conflicted about what song to sing until a journal from her old school and looking at pictures and more from California the right words appear and Zee hears it in her head and things turn around for her. When you hear her song you will understand how important it is to be who you are and not what others think you should be.
The show was interesting as Tim starts it off, her roommate next with a fabulous dance and then Zee. What did everyone say? What surprise was there that she did not expect?
What happens at the end that creates a new chapter in her life? How will she deal with this in the future? Zee is smart in her own ways. She is thoughtful, sensitive and kind . She tries hard to focus on her schoolwork and with the help of Dr. Banks she becomes more positive, centered and more Zee. Author Tina Wells helps Zee teach other teens how to deal with many issues everyone faces growing up, but she does it in a positive way. Perfect for teenage discussion groups, guidance counselors and parents to talk about some of the issues that teens face that are similar to that of Zee.
Fran Lewis just reviews