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Book 43: Zero by Tom Leveen

Title: Zero
Author: Tom Leveen
Page Count: 294
F/NF: Fiction
Genre: Young adult contemporary

Rating: 8/10

Summary from goodreads:
For aspiring artist Amanda Walsh, who only half-jokingly goes by the nickname Zero, the summer before college was supposed to be fun—plain and simple. Hanging out with her best friend Jenn, going to clubs, painting, and counting down the days until her escape. But when must-have scholarship money doesn’t materialize, and she has a falling out with Jenn that can only be described as majorly awkward, and Zero’s parents relationship goes from tense to relentless fighting, her prospects start looking as bleak and surreal as a painting by her idol Salvador Dali. Will life truly imitate art? Will her new, unexpected relationship with a punk skater boy who seems too good to be real and support from the unlikeliest of sources show Zero that she’s so much more than a name.

I found the characters realistic. They were flawed but not so much so that they were comical. Besides, even when Zero completely messed up, she was still believable – if frustrating at times. I could also understand why Zero felt the way she did about her family. And I enjoyed reading things from Zero’s point of view. She reacted just like I did in certain situations, which was nice to see, but she also reacted in ways that I don’t think I ever would, which was also nice to see because it kept things interesting.

The art teacher was interesting. A bit clichéd at times, but still different. I’ll just say that the ending wasn’t quite what I expected, which was partly annoying and partly a relief. I can’t really say more without giving away the ending, so I’ll just leave it at that. I’ll just say that this would be a refreshing read after reading something like, say, Twilight.

I wouldn’t say this book is a must-read or anything, but I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I think teenagers will be able to relate well to it. I’ve been keeping my eye out for books to include on my classroom bookshelf once I become a teacher, and this will definitely be one of those books.