Oops sorry for my slight disappearance! School has gotten busy again and so did my youth group so I just didn’t have time last week to blog. I did, however, read, so be on the lookout for some more reviews. One of the books I read was Zenn Diagram. This rating is a little weird because I actually really enjoyed the book. However, idk if it is because I read so many great books recently or what, but I also don’t remember anything about it. I couldn’t even remember the main characters’ names until I looked it up. That doesn’t mean I don’t recommend this book because I do. I thought it was fun and sweet, just not that memorable for me personally.
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…
You have to suspend disbelief for this plot to work. I don’t think it is ever truly explained why Eva is like this, why she can’t touch anyone or anything without reading their feelings and emotions and backstories. It is just accepted that this is how Eva is, and is more about how she deals with it.
For that part, I thought that was an interesting premise. I wish more was explained about the why to make it more believable and fleshed out, but it was still unwise. Have you ever thought about how lonely it would be to never touch anyone ever? This book made me realize how much of our social interactions and relationships rely on the physical. Not even just the romantic. When you give your friend a hug to comfort them, when you kiss your mom on the cheek. We show our affection through small physical gestures, and Eva can’t do that without being bombarded with “fractals”. That is also what makes you automatically root for Eva and Zenn. Even though it is a bit of an insta love, you can completely understand why. Eva can touch Zenn without receiving fractals. He allows her to give all the physical contact she’s always wished for. It’s not wonder she falls in love right away!
Besides the main plot of the romance, I enjoyed the family and friendship side plots. Eva has three year old quadruplet siblings. I’m torn between being jealous of them (they are the cutest!) to being relieved that I can sleep. But there is family secrets to be uncovered, that affect Eva and Zenn. At times I was mad at her parents, for their wishes and reactions, but you know they only want the best for her, and just have trouble showing it sometimes. But when it matters, they are there for her.
Eva has one best friend, Charlotte, and their relationship is one I really enjoyed reading about. Everyone has struggled with balancing a best friend and a significant other, or watched their best friend struggle with that choice, and it is tackled perfectly here. The way texting everyday can easily turn into texting once a month, to nods in the hall, and suddenly you wonder when you drifted apart. The aches when you realize how much you miss them, and the joy when you come together again, grown but still the same. Their relationship was full of ups and downs, twists and turns, but bounded together by love, which I loved.
Eva is super super smart. She loves math, and being inside her head almost turns math into poetry. I also believe she is insanely strong to bear the brunt of the fractals given to her and to avoid contact with others for as long as she did for her own sanity (and their privacy). You can also tell just how sweet and caring she is. She talks about when she was younger and how she would try to help people with their fractals. Even though it didn’t;t end up the best, it came from the good of her heart. She was a very relatable character to read about, and made the story enjoyable for sure.
Zenn is a cutie. He has a passion for art, and lets that shine throughout this book. Somehow math and art are related in this book, and both made into concepts of equal beauty, which I loved. He’s also the kid whisperer, but that’s another story. He is incredibly understanding with Eva and sweet with her, and their romance together was just mushy and happy.
So don’t be turned off by my 3 stars! As I was writing this review it came back to me some more and I remembered how much I enjoyed it while reading. Sure, it was predictable at times, but it didn’t feel overdone. The characters were well developed, and there was enough side plots that it wasn’t solely focused on the romance (which is sweet, though!) If you are a fan of YA contemporaries, I would recommend this to you!
Would you like to be able to see other people’s fractals? If not, is there another “superpower”, for lack of better word, you would like to have?