As I was reading Tom Leveen's Zero, the chorus from Saved by Zero by The Fixx was stuck in my head. I don't know the song at all, other than the chorus, but I couldn't help but think that the words running around in my mind were a perfect fit for this YA book, due out next year. I have run up against a lot of books recently that haven't held my interest for more than a page or two. Then I found Zero on netgalley.com, figured out how to read it on the itouch and I was saved! A book that got my attention from the start and held it until that last page, thank you, Zero! I liked it so much that even though it isn't due out until April of 2012, I pre-ordered it from Ingram for the library. This will be one I'll enjoy recommending to folks. I read Leveen's first book, Party, last year and as I reread the review now, I am glad that as I wrote it, I got a little kinder. Here it is, more than a year since I read Party and I still remember it. That's saying something.
Ah, but I have rambled. Zero is a neat-o book. We have our main character, Zero (Amanda to many, Amy to her mom) a budding artist, full of teen angst, a lover of Dali, a daughter of an alcoholic, a gal who is a champion at self-depricating humor. She has recently lost a scholarship shot to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and finds herself stuck in Phoenix, headed for community college. She's had a major falling out with her best friend. Her parents fight all of the time. Her dad drinks himself into a coma. And then....there he is...on the drums in a punk band named Gothic Rainbow, Mike. And there is love.
But not sappy love. And not love with easy answers. And yet not love with the usual make-up/break-up and do it all over again, kind of stuff that is in mostly every other teen book about love.
Zero's character is well written and she just reads REAL and so does their relationship.
I couldn't predict the outcome, so that was bonus, too.
Great book and I hope to read more by Leveen in the years to come!
What's Going On Here?
There are SO MANY wonderful book review blogs out there and I can't compete with them, that is for sure. So this is not a book review blog. This is just a way for me to organize what I have read so that I can be better at matching the right book to the right person. The blog title comes from the brilliant mind of the most talented woman who ever lived, Ms. Judy Garland. The full quote is, "Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of someone else." That is what I hope to do here and in ever aspect of my life.