Book Review: Zero by Tom Leveen
I got this one as an e-book from the library. It was one of those quick and desperate selections– I was out of books at home, needed something to read, and Zero was available.
It’s actually a pretty great multidimensional YA novel. Our protagonist Zero, a punk rock painter, has just graduated from high school and been accepted to the art college of her dreams. Great! Until her lack of technical painting skill prevents her from getting the scholarship that she would need to pay the tuition. And then everything kind of crumbles. She realizes that since she can’t pay the tuition she’ll be stuck in Arizona with her parents, attending community college in a place she can’t stand. Her mom is desperate and overbearing and her dad’s alcoholism is getting worse and something has gone really wrong with her relationship with her best friend Jenn.
What propels from this premise is a really nice sort of coming-of-age novel. Our hero Zero typically has something clever to say, which means that as a reader, you’re stuck on her. She possesses a realistic combination of inconsistent self-esteem and artistic brilliance that I felt was really well crafted. There are lots of Salvador Dali quotes, good descriptions of punk shows, and a great over-all essence of what that weird post-high school not quite a kid, not quite an adult time can be like.
Find a copy HERE