Author: Tom Leveen
Pub: 2012; Random House
Etc: Props up to Netgalley
IF this book was not inside my IPad I would kiss it and love it and hug it all over. Seriously. I have a fierce crush on this author because of this book alone. (You might remember, I read Party, Leveen's debut book in 2011).
I'm going to give Leveen one of the best compliments that I think I could give because I hardly EVER read a book and think, Man, this would rock if it became a movie. But he just has a KNACK for realistic romcom's. If John Hughes, rest his soul, could have met up with Mr. Tom it would be all *fist pump* all night long.
Let me gush less and back up why - -
Amanda is seventeen-turning-eighteen-just-graduated artist who goes by Zero because that's how she feels half of the time. (Her mom will just refer to her as sensitive. Aw moms, aren't they the bestests!) Well, sensitive or not, Amanda is DEVASTATED when she finds out that she got into the prestigious art school but didn't get awarded the scholarship. And you know, she didn't have anyone around her that could say, Girl, take out student loans...you can pay them back, like, later days. Also, her and her bestie had a falling out, which we don't really know why until about a third of the book and then you're gonna already be hooked but will want to hear more about Jenn's story. (Uh, excuse me, Mr. Leveen, if you're reading this, can you please write Jenn's story? Purty please? With snowcaps on top?)
One night right after all of this post graduation garbage, Zero is hangin' out at a club listening to some punk music when her eye latches onto the drummer. The hawt drummer with the gorgeous eyes. And she does something completely unexpected, she talks to him.
This girl already has my admiration for going to the bar by herself, but to then move over and talk to this boy from the band with all of the other band members around? Dude, I wish I was her when I was that young. Zero finds out the boy's name is Mike and he's a pretty decent guy. You know, truly wants to get to know her and find out what she's about while he's still figuring out what he's about. And lots of things happen, like Zero taking an art course and figuring out what wants to do -- and her drunk father almost hitting rock bottom while her mom figures out what to do - - and her relationship with Jenn getting back together after a rocky falling out -- and LURVE.
You see, it's not so much that there's any HUGE EPIPHANY (although there kinda is). But it's MORE like these aren't characters. They're really turning into adults young people and they're turning-into-adults-young-people-who-totally-and-completely-kick-arse.
There's some snark and some body issues and some insecurity and selfishness. There's believe in yourself and not. And then believing in someone else and not. There's PLENTY of mistakes, but then some totally hardcore resolutions. And whereas this book could have left me snuggled with my blankie and thumb wishing for an alternative, I wanted to do a happy boogey for the truism of KNOW THYSELF.
Finally, Mr. Leveen, man thank you for entering the YA scene. We gots lots of ladies to love on, but I'm always looking for yummilicious male authors that I can fangirl slobber over.