Zenn Diagram by Wendy Brant
Publisher: Kids Can Press
Release Date: April 4, 2017
Genre: YA Contemporary & Romance
The more I touch someone, the more I can see and understand, and the more I think I can help. But that’s my mistake. I can’t help. You can’t fix people like you can solve a math problem.
Math genius. Freak of nature. Loner.
Eva Walker has literally one friend—if you don’t count her quadruplet three-year-old-siblings—and it’s not even because she’s a math nerd. No, Eva is a loner out of necessity, because everyone and everything around her is an emotional minefield. All she has to do is touch someone, or their shirt, or their cell phone, and she can read all their secrets, their insecurities, their fears.
Sure, Eva’s “gift” comes in handy when she’s tutoring math and she can learn where people are struggling just by touching their calculators. For the most part, though, it’s safer to keep her hands to herself. Until she meets six-foot-three, cute-without-trying Zenn Bennett, who makes that nearly impossible.
Zenn’s jacket gives Eva such a dark and violent vision that you’d think not touching him would be easy. But sometimes you have to take a risk…
Thank you to Edelweiss and Kids Can Press for the eARC!
I am super excited to review this book because it was incredibly awesome, and it is the first ARC that I have been approved for!! Zenn Diagram by Wendy Brant focuses on Eva, an exceptional math student, and her ability to feel another person’s feelings just by touching them.
The main character, Eva, is basically a math genius and frequently tutors her classmates. I am also a math nerd, so I LOVED all of the math references! Eva frequently thinks in math terms and it was very relatable. She also has an insane ability to feel and understand another person’s feelings by touching them or something they own (like clothes, their phone, calculators).
Eva also has a wonderful sense of humor, and her voice is entirely unique. She is used to being alone, yet she is charming and witty. Unfortunately, she is an outcast, as most people view her opposition to touching things as a fear of germs. Aside from that, Eva is going through everything a typical high school senior would. She is trying to figure out where she wants to go to college and how to apply for scholarships. As a student myself, I can relate one hundred percent. I know exactly what it’s like to be confused and scared about going off to college or deciding what to do for the rest of your life. That is part of what makes this book so good: it is familiar and entirely relatable. I always want to be able to understand and connect with characters, and Eva was certainly all that.
Zenn is the featured love interest, and he is basically perfection. He’s an artist, and has a unique, complicated backstory. (I’m not telling more as to avoid spoilers!) I will just say that his family is not the greatest, yet he works incredibly hard to keep everything together. Zenn is all admirable qualities, and he is very caring toward Eva. As far as potential romances in YA, Zenn is pretty great!
Then there’s Eva’s best friend, Charlotte. I really admired her character’s progression throughout the story, even though she is not the main focus. We see Charlotte stray from Eva a little bit, but they find their way back to each other, realising that a best friend is far more important than popularity or a boyfriend.
I adored Eva’s family! By no means were they flawless, but that is what made them so realistic. I could easily imagine them as a typical American family today. Eva has four preschool aged siblings, two brothers and two sisters, all quadruplets. Let me just say that they were adorable and I would have loved to have them as my siblings! Eva’s parents were always very caring and understanding, especially with her circumstances involving her aversion to touching things.
Writing & Plot
As I mentioned earlier, I really enjoyed Eva’s voice. It is light and fun and easy to follow. Everything is described in a way that makes her world seem like a place that could easily be a short drive away. It is somewhere that is not too different from where I live, like her life could be that of anyone that I know. I love being able to imagine a story as something that could realistically happen (aside from feeling feelings through touch). Brant’s writing really allowed me to do that, and I’m very glad that it did!
Being a contemporary/romance, there’s not whole lot of major plot-twisty things going on, but there were a few moments where I was genuinely shocked by the events. The book covers the events of Eva’s life throughout her first semester of senior year, and much of what happens is her typical life. Now, we do get to some things that are completely new to Eva. She is hanging out with Zenn, and she usually avoids anyone who isn’t Charlotte. And Eva begins to learn some crazy things about this strange boy, Zenn. There is some MAJOR game-changing info revealed that I most definitely did NOT see coming. As far as plot twists go, this is probably one of the best that I have read.
I really enjoyed Zenn Diagram! It is nerdy, sweet, and completely relatable. I fell in love with all of the characters, and they all had such interesting lives. Their story is heartfelt, inspiring, and conveyed joyously. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves YA contemporary/romance and anyone looking for a sweet, fun read!