Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Book Review: Zero by Tom Leveen @tomleveen

Zero is a typical coming-of-age story of a teen during a really difficult period. But, typical is not a bad word in this case. The characters are edgy, and Leveen has written a realistic story that tugged at my heart.

Zero (a nickname she gave herself, which gives you an idea about her self-esteem) has had her world fall apart. After graduation, she and her best and only friend have a falling out. We aren't sure what happened until much later in the book, but we are given hints that this was very traumatic.

She also got accepted to her dream school, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, but then doesn't qualify for a scholarship, so now she can't go.

And, her father is drinking heavily and he and her mother do nothing but scream and shout when they are at home together. Little bit of stress?

Zero goes to see a band in a club and is instantly attracted to the drummer because of his eyes. She actually strikes up a conversation (not typical for Zero) and slowly a relationship begins.

I liked the romance in Zero. This isn't you typical insta-love. Mike (the drummer) has recently had a breakup, and Zero has never had a relationship before and is understandably hesitant. But Mike seems to know what to say and do to get Zero to think about herself and make plans for the future.

Zero is a talented artist and a huge fan of Salvador Dali. Dali quotes begin every chapter, adding to the charm of Zero.

I would never have guessed what caused the disagreement with Zero and her friend Jenn. This was a unexpected and unique twist.

All of Zero's issues come to some sort of resolution, although not the way you might guess. This isn't a "happily ever after" perfect ending, but it's pretty hopeful and realistic. Zero makes a big decision at the end, and even though I knew which was the BEST decision, I kind of wanted her to decide the other way. That makes an ending enjoyable!

About that cover -- maybe I missed it, but I don't remember anyone having a Mohawk in the book. Just sayin'.

Teens who enjoy contemporary romance stories, and especially those interested in music or art, should be handed Zero. It's not an earth-shattering book that will stick with me forever, but it is definitely worth the read.

Published by Random House, April 24, 2012
Copy won from RandomBuzzers
296 pages

Rating: 3.5/5

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  1. I'm not a big fan of contemporary romance, but this one does sound good and Zero sounds like a unique protagonist. I really like Salvador Dali-- saw some of his works in Paris, and they were so incredible (!!), so I think the Dail quotes sound very neat, too. Great review!

  2. Mike sounds like a great love interest, and the romance sounds well done as well.
    Happy reading,
    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog


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