TITLE: Zenn Diagram
AUTHOR: Wendy Brant
PUBLISHER: Kids Can Press
GENRE: Contemporary, Young Adult, Romance, Urban Fantasy
RATING: 2.5/5 Stars
Eva Walker is a seventeen-year-old math genius. And if that doesn’t do wonders for her popularity, there’s another thing that makes it even worse: when she touches another person or anything that belongs to them — from clothes to textbooks to cell phones — she sees a vision of their emotions. She can read a person’s fears and anxieties, their secrets and loves … and what they have yet to learn about calculus. This is helpful for her work as a math tutor, but it means she can never get close to people. Eva avoids touching anyone and everyone. People think it’s because she’s a clean freak — with the emphasis on freak — but it’s all she can do to protect herself from other people’s issues.
Then one day a new student walks into Eva’s life. His jacket gives off so much emotional trauma that she falls to the floor. Eva is instantly drawn to Zenn, a handsome and soulful artist who also has a troubled home life, and her feelings only grow when she realises that she can touch Zenn’s skin without having visions. But when she discovers the history that links them, the truth threatens to tear the two apart.
What I Liked:
- The concept, in some ways, is a little weird sounding but it was actually pretty cool. If you don't know what fractals are, google them. They're awesome. I feel that Brant pulled it off fairly well: though I think that never touching people or their belongings would be very difficult but it seemed plausible here. I liked how it was described as well, and the way that Brant described Eva's fear of her power. Because she can't fix what she sees, and she sees some pretty horrendous things.
- The latter part of the book was definitely better than the beginning. At that point I was semi-hooked and felt that the story actually flowed a lot better writing-wise. This was clearly the part of the plot that Brant had totally figured out. I think part of the reason was because I liked Zenn too. He was very adorkable, patient and trustworthy. I like complex characters and he definitely fell into that category.
What I Disliked:
- My biggest problem here was Eva herself. I found her so irritating. Brant obviously wrote her to be as 'nerdy' as possible and anti-anyone who had a social life and a normal IQ. But beyond that, she came across as so bitter all of the time and was actually really mean to her Aunt in the second half of the book. But what really got me the most was that Eva slut-shamed her own sister. Who was a child. It was a snarky comment, clearly meant to be funny but it almost made me vomit.
- Brant really loved to info-dump and generally fill the book with a lot of useless information. I think it was to highlight Eva's love for maths, but I really don't care how many pints of milk there were, or how much the shopping bill came to. The repetition was aggravating too. I get it, looking after a lot of kids is hard and chaotic. I don't need to be reminded every page.
This book has a lot of potential to be really cool. It was more than the usual contemporary YA romance, with an added element of mathematical 'superpower'. I liked the concept, and even elements of the romance were enjoyable to read. Brant did seem to have a good grasp on teenage friendships and romances. However, an frustrating MC and writing that could have focused more on character development meant that I ended up not really being too bothered about this read.