Book Review: Zenn Diagram by Wendy Brandt

Foreword: I had received a free copy of Zenn Diagram from the publisher to do a review on it. This kindness in no way affects my opinions or how I viewed the book. This review is to be honest and to have my own opinions on the matter.

2/5 stars

What if you could not touch anyone? What if you got information from the people you have touched when touching them? Eva has the ability, or "curse" as she likes to call it with tons of math and fangirl moments naming it, to touch people and know their past with fractals, visions from a person directed from their feelings. This all changes one day when Zenn needs help with math and the only person who can do that is Eva. Eva likes Zenn, and soon finds out Zenn likes her back with a kiss. What about her ability, if you may ask? Zenn is immune to her touches, so they are free to touch each other back and forth. Their relationship grows until Eva learns something daunting about the connection of her and Zenn's families. Eva must find out how to deal with knowing everyone's pasts and feelings while still dealing with high school and the soap-opera drama following her relationship with Zenn.

Discussion:

When I first picked up Zenn Diagram, I enjoyed it. A girl who likes math but can't touch anyone in fear of finding out too much about a person from their feelings. Sign me up. It sounded like it had some sci-fi or fantasy elements with a lot of contemporary mixed into the batch. This book really was just about a cheesy romance with poor communication skills, though. Nothing exciting really happened until the daunting backstory was revealed, which is when Eva's parents died in a car accident due to Zenn's father, Mike, caused due to drunk driving. This is why Zenn's father is nonexistent until the middle of the book when he is introduced to the reader since he was stuck in prison for twenty years due to killing someone with drunk driving. Zenn and Eva both have tragic backstories, so I guess they are perfect for each other.

The main relationship is so cheesy that even if someone scotch-taped a piece of paper to Eva's and Zenn's backs with the word cheesy on it, they would not even notice. The same goes for the book since it is so full of tropes and insta-love. It has all the "troubled girl meets troubled boy and they are very happy together until something troubling occurs" trope in there. Also, there is so much insta-love between Zenn and Eva beginning since the first time they met. When Eva first starts to tutor him, she falls in love with him at a drop of a hat and a few cheesy pick-up lines. Don't even get me started on when Zenn "makes" Eva some "tea," or sex if you really want to know. Their relationship seemed too rushed and too corny for me to believe, and I am especially disappointed in this aspect of the story since I have never met anyone who would do what Zenn and Eva had done only after knowing each other for such a short amount of time and since the romance is a big part of this story.

Also, there are poor communication skills that need to be fixed in this story. Zenn and Eva have a pretty honest relationship, but that does not mean they are completely open with each other. They are the complete opposite of open since they are very private people and seem to only disclose information to each other and others when they need to. They do not talk about each other withdrawing from the scholarship competition for each other, nor the tragic accident that both ruined their lives. The poor communication skills also arise when Eva pushes away Charlotte since Charlotte got popular boy Josh as a boyfriend and started hanging around his friends. They do not communicate with each other except for a slight "Hey" to be nice until they finally reconcile and decide to be friends again.

I also got mega déjà vu from this story,too, since it sounded like Tahereh Mafi's Shatter Me. The cheesy romances plus the factor that the love interests are immune to their scary abilities start the similarities between the two books. The only difference is the type of ability since Juliette from Shatter Me has the ability to kill people with her touch while Eva has the ability to seek information from the person whom she touches.nbb

To conclude, the writing style was good, except for when the word choices felt too immature, especially with the tea thing. Other than that, the puns were hilarious and I loved how Eva could put some of her royal nerdness into her thoughts throughout the story. Zenn Diagram was enjoyable for me for the beginning, but I do not like how it played out. I like this book due to the many themes it presents; other than that, it just seems like another contemporary romance book I could have lived without.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this book review.

Love,
newbookcats

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