What started off as an interesting story about a girl with an inexplicable ability to sense other people’s experiences through touch quickly became a generic YA contemporary novel.
Zenn Diagram is about a self-proclaimed math nerd named Eva Walker, who can sense other people’s struggles and feelings simply by touching them. She’s always had this power even when she was little where she gets visions, fragments, and glimpses (which she calls fractals) of what other people are going through. At first, she tries to solve them like a puzzle and help her friends in any way she can. But as she grew older, the fractals became more intense, dark, and personal that she decided to distance herself from her friends. That is until Zenn Bennett came into the picture. Eva soon realizes that Zenn is the only person she can touch without getting any fractals and she becomes determined to find out why.
This book’s premise is the reason I picked it up in the first place. It sounded like it would tackle Eva’s power in great detail and go on an in-depth character study about how it affected her and those around her. Sadly, none of those happened in the book. The characters were flat but had great potential for multi-dimensional development. The religious background of Eva’s family could have played a greater role as well as the erratic behavior of Zenn’s parents. The writing was fine, nothing remarkable. But the biggest let down for me was the lack of exploration of Eva’s condition. Imagine the possibilities of overlapping YA with science! The book would have had its edge over other books in the bookshelves right now if the author had not decided to take the worn-out path of teenage rebellion, hormones, and angst.
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars