Happily Ever After Book Nerd Recommendation
Zenn Diagram by Wendy Brant
Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Eva has the ability to pick up emotions and impressions when her hands touch people or their personal items. Because of this she really only has 1 friend and her life is pretty lonely. When she meets Zenn, a new student she begins tutoring, she finds she can’t resist thinking about him though she knows a relationship would be impossible. As Eva and Zenn spend more time together, Eva wants what she’s never had before, a chance at a relationship just like everyone else.
I absolutely love this book and the writing was a big factor in that because everything just flowed really well and it kept me hooked from the very beginning. The writing and pacing was all very natural and the speech and actions of the characters all real for teenagers dealing with these types of issues. I also liked that even though this has a paranormal element — Eva’s ability — it feels very settled in the contemporary genre. Wendy Brant does an great job of making the more fantastical elements just fit with the story and making it seem like this is something that could actually be happening in the real world.
Interlocking warm fingers, the brush of fingertips against a palm. It seems like such a tame and G-rated gesture, but to me it would be everything.
Eva and Zenn were the driving force behind why I loved this book so much. They were both such amazing characters individually and together. Eva has this ability that has so strongly affected her life and made connecting with other people so hard. But Eva rarely wallows in self-pity and instead she finds ways to make her abilities work for her by tutoring other kids in math. She has a life plan to go to college and study her abilities and try to find a cure. She’s a very dedicated and mature young woman and I really enjoyed her as a narrator. Zenn is the perfect young adult hero because though he’s had a rough upbringing he’s still responsible and kind. He might seem like a bad boy at first but really he’s just very self-contained and dedicated to his work outside of school. I loved how mature Zenn was considering he’s working several jobs, paying rent, and caring for his mother. A teenager doesn’t do all of that “adult” work and then just act like an immature child in the rest of his life. These characters were just so real and I credit that completely to Brant’s writing.
Their romance is pretty rooted in young love and the need to always be around each other and constantly be thinking about each other but it was thankfully missing the overly sappy element that sometimes shows up in YA. I can actually believe that these 2 could make it in the real world as a couple. One thing I love is that Brant gives us a real explanation for why these two fit together so well and why they can be together despite Eva’s ability. It’s hard to explain this without giving away some big spoilers so just trust me when I say that this isn’t the stereotypical YA relationship where a character is “special” and therefore “the one”. Instead, Brant has given us a real, and unique, reason behind Eva and Zenn’s connection.
5 out of 5 stars
Being a math genius is not exactly a ticket to popularity for seventeen-year-old Eva. Even worse, whenever she touches another person or their belongings, she gets glimpses of their emotions, secrets and insecurities, making her keep her distance from everyone. So when Eva realizes she can touch Zenn, a handsome and soulful artist, without getting visions — only sparks — she finds herself drawing closer to him. But then she discovers the history that links them, and the truth threatens to tear the two apart.
Readers will swoon over Zenn and connect with Eva, the most fully drawn prodigy in teen fiction today.
Published by KCP Loft on April 4, 2017