For aspiring artist Amanda Walsh, who only half-jokingly goes by the nickname Zero, the summer before college was supposed to be fun—plain and simple. Hanging out with her best friend Jenn, going to clubs, painting, and counting down the days until her escape. But when must-have scholarship money doesn't materialize, and she has a falling out with Jenn that can only be described as majorly awkward, and Zero's parents relationship goes from tense to relentless fighting, her prospects start looking as bleak and surreal as a painting by her idol Salvador Dali. Will life truly imitate art? Will her new, unexpected relationship with a punk skater boy who seems too good to be real and support from the unlikeliest of sources show Zero that she's so much more than a name.
Goodreads: 4/5 stars
**ARC courtesy of publisher via NetGalley
What a great way to introduce punk. I found myself reminiscing about the days I had friends in bands, how we’d load up their musical instruments in several different vehicles and unload them through the VIP section of the club/bar. Although they weren’t punk rockers, it definitely reminded me of their great shows and the excitement of being backstage. And no, I wasn’t a groupie. I saw enough of those. lol
Amanda, a.k.a. Zero, is an aspiring artist who lives in Arizona, which is another part of the book I loved, since I grew up in Phoenix. Every time she talks about Camelback Mountain, I almost squealed.
Amanda is also into the punk rock scene. While at one of the local joints, Gothic Rainbow is playing, and she can’t help but notice the hot drummer, Mike. After initially working up the nerve to talk to him, their relationship buds into something more serious. Both Amanda and Mike don’t have the best home life, though. Together, they work through their parental problems, all while Amanda figures out what she wants to do artistically and Mike figures out what to do musically. Obviously, art and music are a fantastic duo. ;)
I will say that I held my breath at the end. I was like, NOOOOOOO! But there was redemption with the hat (I won’t give any spoilers). I wasn’t as happy with the ending as I thought I would be. But hey, that’s life, and this is one realistic piece of fiction.
Overall, if you’re looking to read something out of the ordinary, something with a little art and music thrown together in a story about awkward first love and finding one’s place in the world, then this is the book to read.