The eBook for Zenn Diagram is 222 pages so it was a very quick read for me; I finished it in a day. It’s a super-cute contemporary that has its quirks and an underlying secret that will leave you shocked.
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, and her feelings only grow when she realizes that she can touch Zenn’s skin without having visions.
Ok, so first I’m going to start off by sharing with you some sentences from this book that I thought to be problematic. This is just my opinion, so if anyone feels differently about any of the, I would love for you to leave a comment or drop me an email with your thoughts. Ok so here goes:
“Once in a while a vision will start like an algo and then go all Jekyll and Hyde on me.”
So from studying Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde at university, I gathered that the book was about Jekyll who had a split personality and Hyde was the side to himself that was dangerous in society and was demonised. I’m not sure that used split personality disorder as a passive joke is funny…
“How a C is good enough for anyone, I’m not sure I’ll ever understand. But somehow he will be satisfied by his own mediocrity”
How is getting a ‘C’ grade bad? Just because she is a maths genius, doesn’t mean everyone is dumb because they’re not at college level straight away… I got a B in maths; does that make me mediocre? No.
“occasional coat of mascara when I’m feeling nutty. I mean, I’m not Amish, after all.”
Is she calling Amish people crazy? If so, I really really don’t think that’s funny.
“Which makes me think I might consider bearing his children immediately.”
We’re 41 pages in… You shouldn’t be thinking about bearing anyone’s children at this point…
“The car slows politely. Then it slows more, pulling up next to me. My stomach drops and I wonder if anyone will hear me scream when the rapist yanks me into his car.”
Yeah, because being kidnapped and raped is hilarious
“I mean, I am a quarter Asian, after all.” (When Zenn is talking about himself being an honour-role child)
The “I’m-asian-therefore-i’m-clever” trope is getting really old…
“What the hell did he do? Murder a few people? Run a drug ring? Sexually abuse some kid?”
Again, I didn’t realise that murder or sexual abuse was something that you could just make a flippant comment about…
Am I being too critical? I don’t know… Please let me know what you think… But when I was reading them, they really shouted out to me that they were wrong.
Anyway! On with the review! Apart from those 7 sentences above, this was a really cute, fast-paced, brilliant read. I was so caught up in the romance and the back story of it all. I did feel a little bit cliche when *minor spoilers* Eva didn’t get any fractals when she touched Zenn and yet again, Zenn was the ‘troubled’, ‘mysterious’ teenager, but those things can easily be looked past. I thought Zenn was such an interesting character and I especially loved that he was really interested in art.
Eva was relatable. I felt for her when Charlotte ditched her for her new friends and a guy because I know how it feels when your good friend just suddenly finds a new friend and you constantly feel like the third wheel, so you just remove yourself from the situation. Some people have reviewed this and said that Eva was stupid for being angry at Charlotte when she got new friends but I disagree. Eva wasn’t angry because Charlotte made new friends, she was angry because Charlotte completely and utterly DITCHED Eva for her new friends that she had only known for like… 5 seconds. That hurts. A lot.
“The university websites are wonderful, all the text written in an informal, laid-back voice that makes you fall in love with them. They say things like, If you are admitted to *insert school name here*, we will make sure that you can afford to come to *school name* and We will help meet every single cent of your family’s demonstrated need. Um, yeah. Right. Maybe if I sell my soul. How can they possibly promise that?”
– Wendy Brant, Zenn Diagram
I also enjoyed that Eva was a super maths geek! It was awesome to see two main characters passionate about something, and something that made them want to go to college. I loved Eva’s family as well! I thought that – even though they were secondary characters – they were thought out really well and you felt like you knew their characters really well (almost like getting a fractal!)
Speaking of fractals… What an interesting concept! I’ve heard about getting visions, but seeing colours is really interesting – it’s almost like seeing a person’s aura. I’m also very intrigued as to what caused Eva to get these fractals… Is it what she thinks it is? (I’m not going to say because of major spoilers!), or is it something completely different? I don’t know… What do you think?
Overall, even though this book had its moments – as aforementioned – that just didn’t sit right with me, this book was a brilliant read. It captured my attention from the very first page and threw me into the world of Eva and Zenn.
Disclaimer: this book was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review