review by Alicia Zhang, age 13
Zenn Diagram by Wendy Brant
In the book Zenn Diagram by Wendy Brant, the lives of two extraordinary teenagers come together to form a cohesive storyline like no other. One of these characters is seventeen-year-old Eva Walker, a math genius who can see a person’s secrets and story—in the form of fractals—with a touch of her hand. The other is Zenn Bennett, an art prodigy—and rather handsome, too. When she meets him at a tutoring session, his jacket holds some of the strongest emotions she’s ever experienced, yet she feels nothing when she touches him. Together, in a budding romance tale, the two unravel the story piece by piece. However, neither are ready for the truth when it finally comes out.
First and foremost, I admire how Brant bends gender stereotypes. Contrary to the typical romance novella, the girl is the logical math nerd whereas the boy enjoys visual arts. Eva is a wonderfully fleshed out character, selfless, yet not a pushover, and smart, but modest about it. Zenn has been dealt an awful hand in life, but refuses to let anyone pity him. Their relationship may seem like an unusual one, but it doesn’t feel forced, a reason why I detest the romance genre in general. They are connected with a genuine emotional bond, and though it starts with Eva being a bit shallow, it soon develops in the face of many challenges.
There are some reasons why I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I did. For one, the romance starts off clunkily. Eva is uncharacteristically shallow, swooning over his good looks. The progression of their character arcs and their relationship throughout are phenomenal, but the first quarter or so of the story may be considered bland and boring. There was little plot that wasn’t tied into the romance some way or another, and I felt I needed something else to focus on which wasn’t relationship-oriented. Yes, there is an underlying subplot which intrigued me, but it still felt too connected to the romance. Only towards the end did it get exciting, and I found myself unable to put it down until I finished it.
In conclusion, this book is good for anyone searching for a sweet, well-developed romantic book. Brant’s incorporation of Eva’s “supernatural” ability to a book which otherwise might have been categorized as realistic fiction adds a little spice, and the ending is very touching, while still being a plot twist. 3/5 stars.
Find this book in our catalog: Zenn Diagram
Catalog Number: YA FIC BRANT,W