Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Zero by Tom Leveen

Amanda doesn't like to be called Amanda. She'd rather be called Zero, an old nickname, because it's more appropriate. She's nothing, less than others, and pretty empty. Her life is sort of destroyed. She's not going to the art school of her dreams because they rejected her scholarship application due to her lack of technical ability. Her best friend situation is...complicated, to say the least. Her father drinks away his troubles and her mother just gets more closed off.What better time could there be to stop acting like herself? And she's going to start by talking to the really talented drummer with the amazing eyes...

(Spoiler warning, just in case)

Amanda (who also gets called Zero, Amy, and Z) is a character that I grew to have a really strong affection for. Her journey over the course of the novel as she grows and gains confidence and  her voice is a very strong story. I loved her relationship with Mike, the drummer that she awkwardly approaches after a gig. Their relationship has some very romantic parts but is also wonderfully down-to-earth. During the last few chapters, I slowed down my reading pace just because I wanted to drink in the words. Mike and Z's conversations near the end of the book are just stunningly awesome. Free of cliches, the conversations are real and at time sputtery and completely true to their characters. I think it's my favourite conversations in a teen novel since I Know It's Over.  I was originally happy that the story is told entirely from Zero's perspective, but when I finished the book I wished I knew more about the others - Mike but also Jenn and the guys in the band. But, at the same time, I don't want anything taken away from Zero's story. It's kind of a complicated relationship that I have with this book, but a really satisfying one. Definitely check it out.

Check out Tom Leveen's website for more information about him and his books.

Find it at IndieBound.

Read it with:
Party by Tom Leveen
I Know It's Over by C.K. Kelly Martin
Salvador Dali by Robert Descharnes

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