Book Review: Zero by Tom Leveen

Rating: StarStarStarStar

Genre: Young Adult > Contemporary | Realistic Fiction

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.


Would you read Zero based on the cover alone? I won’t. Not enticing enough. But I did pick it up (my NetGalley TBR list has to be trimmed, anyway) and I am so glad I did! The cover didn’t do justice to the entertaining story inside it. And no, Mike has no mohawk.

Amanda a.k.a. Zero has *wait for it* zero confidence in her paintings. All it took is a rejection for scholarship on her ultimate dream school (for Arts). That college says she has little “technical excellence” to qualify for a free ride. Whatever that means, Zero said. Now she can’t concentrate on her paintings, more so when she sees her parent’s marriage falling apart. With everything going down in her life, there’s nothing to lose if she asks a punk drummer out, right? and so it begins!

I don’t know how many times i laughed while reading Zero‘s hits and misses with Mike. It was awkward, silly, and downright funny. Oh, the throes of teenage love. Haha! Zero’s hilarious in a sarcastic way and i loved that about her.

I abhorred Zero’s treatment to her Mom, though. So rude. Was i like that when i was her age? It was irritating to read her obtuse remarks and snarky replies to her Mom. Smacking Zero would be so satisfying!

And it’s hard not to fall for Mike, because he’s actually nice and decent, not what i expected from a skater boy. He makes senses, too. Plus he’s sweet and supportive to Zero. =) Yeah, i think i’m crushing on him. *blushes*

It all worked out for Zero in the end, but not without heartbreak. The ending was bittersweet, but it was realistic. At least Z had the sense of pursuing her dreams again, despite losing the one that made her happy and brave to pursue it (again). And I actually like her best friend Jenn after everything that is so weird about their friendship.

Hey, if have time to read Zero, please do. It’s a fun read, especially if you’re into getting past the awkwardness of anything… well, awkward in your life. *winks*

Publisher: Random House Children’s Books

Imprint: Random House BFYR

Pub Date: 04/24/2012

Thank you NetGalley and Random House for granting my galley request.


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