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3.69  ·  Rating details ·  765 ratings  ·  146 reviews
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 des ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published April 24th 2012 by Random House Books for Young Readers (first published April 1st 2012)
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Average rating 3.69  · 
Rating details
 ·  765 ratings  ·  146 reviews

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Sep 12, 2011 rated it liked it
I couldn’t actually find a quote that I loved that wouldn’t spoil things so I’m going to quote a quote.

“Love, I said, strangely resembled certain gastric sensations… producing an uneasiness and shudders so delicate that one is not sure whether one is in love or feels like vomiting.”- Salvador Dali.

Initial Final Page Thoughts.
Phew. I’m glad it ended like that. I thought I was going to get stabby…

High Points.
Zero..ish. Mike. Awkward first love. Dali. Coffee shops. Band t-shirts. Golden record
What can I say? It's a book that bears repeat readings.

Also found here:

Where do I begin?

Maybe by pointing out my (quite limited) experience with truly great YA books? Or by lamenting the horrible, horrible trends in popular literature? Or maybe wishing for a time where more YA contemporary was written?

How about I begin with this story and how completely awesome it is? Or maybe with two characters who are just so loveable, so awesome, so absolutely fantast
Jun 27, 2012 rated it liked it
Amanda has always gone by the nickname Zero--an apt description of her self-esteem. When she gets accepted into a prestigious art school, her "nothing" status at last seems a thing of the past. Amanda is planning to spend her last summer at home hanging with her best friend, making art and going to see her favorite local bands. What could go wrong? How about not qualifying for a necessary scholarship.

Just like that the best summer ever has become Zero's worst nightmare. She's stuck in remedial a
May 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
"But we're only going around once, you know? I mean, we're not going to be able to do this when we're twenty-five, thirty. Forty. If we're gonna screw up, let's do it now while we still can."---Mike

I have never been so JEALOUS, completely drenched in jealousy, for a book character's life or lives as I am of Zero and Mike. Youth hands people a blank slate, or for the sake of Zero and Salvador Dali's love of art, a blank canvas to paint their lives any which way the wind blows them. Young people a
Aug 03, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc-galley
Based on its cover, I was expecting a darker heavier YA. Surprisingly, Zero is sweet… not that it was all sweet all the time since her a dysfunctional family and uncomfortable friendships are a big part of it… but it’s mostly about a girl figuring out what’s best for her. Amanda is Zero. Her nickname alone should be enough to clue you in as to what she thinks of herself. And it’s this fact, above all, that bothered me… and apparently her as well. Reading her work out what she was worth and what ...more
Thank you to NetGalley for providing the ARC.

ok.. 4.5 star, maybe just 4 for the lack of an exciting plot.

**spoilers ahead, ye be warned..oh, and also heavy sarcasm. I'm not a sexist, I swear**

I'm warning you right now. I'm going to use profanity in this review. Those who know me know I'm not much of a potty mouth. Except when I'm driving, but that's a whole different story.

I'm going to call bullshit to this so-called 'Tom Leveen'. Bullshit, Tom. Bullshit.

There is NO WAY you are a man. You hav
Mia Searles (The Muses Circle)
More of my reviews can be read on my blog: The Muses Circle

My Review: It's been awhile since I've given a book a 5 star rating, but after careful consideration, I honestly couldn't find anything wrong with the story nor anything I would change ZERO was the kind of book that once started, I literally couldn't put it down which shocked me. I guess I forgot what that felt like!

Amanda, aka Amy, aka Zero is a recent high school graduate whose plan for a fun summer before going away to the art school
Michelle (Pink Polka Dot Books)
Dec 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: tbr-2012
Amanda AKA Zero's summer is off to an awesome start. Her scholarship to art school (and ticket out of Arizona) didn't come through, her best/only friend Jenn and her are going through a.....thing, and her home life sucks.

After meeting and falling for a drummer in a punk band, Zero decides to take more control over her life and her future in art. She suffers from extremely low self-esteem and it doesn't help that her dad has a drinking problem which has turned her house into a war-zone. As Mike's
Feb 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance, new-adult, music
I thought I had this book pegged by the cover, which is so punk rock and artsy. I made some snap judgments about the book, thinking it would be a little dark and gritty for my taste. And while there is a fair amount of art and punk in the book, it is at its core a sweet story about a relationship and finding self worth. As I may have mentioned before though, I am a sucker for YA books about music so I jumped at the chance to check out Zero. Throw in an artistic, self-deprecating new adult protag ...more
Beth Dawkins
Mar 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
Amanda or Zero, as her friends call her, has graduated high school and got into the art school she wanted, but she didn’t get a scholarship. On top of that her parents have been having issues, and she had a falling out with her best friend, who she planned to spend the summer with. Things seem depressing until she meets Mike, a drummer in a band. The two instantly hit it off.

I was not a fan of the book when it started out. Zero is whiny, and I didn’t feel like she had much of a reason to be unti
Dec 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Zero is a typical coming-of-age story of a teen during a really difficult period. But, typical is not a bad word in this case. The characters are edgy, and Leveen has written a realistic story that tugged at my heart.

Zero (a nickname she gave herself, which gives you an idea about her self-esteem) has had her world fall apart. After graduation, she and her best and only friend have a falling out. We aren't sure what happened until much later in the book, but we are given hints that this was very
Sep 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
I recommend Zero.


Would you read Zero based on the cover alone? I won't. Not enticing enough. But I did pick it up (my NetGalley TBR list has to be trimmed, anyway) and I am so glad I did! The cover didn't do justice to the entertaining story inside it. And no, Mike has no mohawk.

Amanda a.k.a. Zero has *wait for it* zero confidence in her paintings. All it took is a rejection for scholarship on her ultimate dream school (for Arts). That college says she has little "technical excellence" to q
Beth Cato
May 05, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
Zero is a novel that took me completely by surprise. I expected it to be a typical teenage coming-of-age story - and in some ways it was - but it turned out to be so much more than that. When we meet Amanda, or Zero as she prefers, she’s a timid girl trying to figure out what to do next. She’s lost her college chances, her best friend and has family problems aplenty. This all seems fairly standard fare, but Tom Leveen manages to give a refreshing take on the situation that helps Zero stand out ...more
Uh oh! Looks like Tom Leveen may very well be becoming one of my favorite teen authors. I loved his first book, PARTY, and found this one to be just as memorable and enjoyable. Seventeen-year-old Amanda "Zero" Walsh, a recent high school graduate in Phoenix, Arizon, is a talented artist who is disappointed that her plan to attend and art school in Chicago fell through. While dealing with this, she struggles with the state of her troubled family and the fall-out she's had with her best friend Jen ...more
RaeLynn Fry
Mar 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
By: Tom Leveen
YA Contemporary
April 24, 2012
Rating: I have to give it an R because of the open-door sex scene that happens. Otherwise, it would have only been a strong PG for language
Coffee Beans: 4.5/5
Spoilers: Some, but in order to protect the innocent, character names have been omitted
Favorite Line: Ever notice how much thing guys can eat? So not fair. (ebook, pg 108) When you're painting, you can see noise. Taste sound. Ten trillion neurons fire in your mind and trigger the fine muscles i
Oh my goodness did this book completely annoy the crap out of me. Normally when I finish a book I like to sit with it, and think about it for a little bit before compiling my thoughts into a review... However this book bugged me so incredibly bad I could not sit around thinking about it any longer after finishing the last page. Now, let me start off by saying that the writing in this book wasn't bad, it was actually pretty okay if you're looking at it from a structured and gramatical stand point ...more
Jul 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
My first impression of Zero, the character, as well as "Zero" the book: Snarky, sarcastic, and thoroughly teen drama.
Second impression (one chapter later): OMG, this is ME! Without the art angle (mine was theatre) or the punk angle (mine was goth), but it's ME!

Here's the thing:

I didn't know Tom Leveen existed until Phoenix Comicon 2014 (that would be this last June). Never heard of him, never heard of his books, didn't know he did seminars and classes, nada. But... I'm a writer, I want to be a b
DeAsia N.L Zellner
Jan 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
First, the narrator pulled me into the story. Second, this is a perfect book to read. I would have to purchase this book in paper back but I absolutely loved this storyline. Zero is one of those girls that you would love to hang out with. Great book!
usagi ☆ミ
One of the most refreshing contemporary YA books of the year so far, hands down. I really enjoyed this one, guys, because it's definitely not your usual YA contemporary tale. "Zero" deals with a few issues, but the one most important that YA doesn't seem to talk about even though it's kind of a big deal - if your biggest college dream falls through, what do you do next? "Zero" talks about what options are left, and the quarter-life crisis that Zero herself deals with a few years early, and I'm h ...more
Karla Nellenbach
Aug 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing

Amanda "Zero" Walsh expected the summer between high school graduation and college to be easy and relaxed. She'd do nothing but go to clubs with her BFF Jenn, paint, and just be a lazy teenager while counting down the days until she could make her big escape to Chicago and art school.

When needed scholarship monies are denied, her friendship with Jenn collapse because of an event that Zero can only describe as majorly awkward and her parents' relationship takes a turn for the nasty, Zero'
Educating Drew
Nov 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2011, ya-love
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. To
Mar 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Amanda Walsh's a.k.a. Zero's life has made a turn for the worse. Her parents are still arguing, her dad is still drinking way too much, she wasn't able to get scholarship money to go to her dream school, and her and her best friend are just not talking.

She loves the artist Salvador Dali (think clocks) after she was introduced to him by her all time favorite art teacher well Teacher period Mr. Hilmer who always told her she was doing a good job on her artwork. She doesn't like her body but it doe
Richard Simon
Dec 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Other reviews here have summarized this book far better than I ever could, I am just going to tell you what I think about it.

This is an amazing book. So far this is my favorite book written by Tom, and I think I hate him for it. He brought me into the life of an everyday teenage girl with normal problems and made me care about her. Worst part is I want to know what happens next, and he is not working on the sequel.

Aug 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
As I was reading Tom Leveen's Zero, the chorus from Saved by Zero by The Fixx was stuck in my head. I don't know the song at all, other than the chorus, but I couldn't help but think that the words running around in my mind were a perfect fit for this YA book, due out next year. I have run up against a lot of books recently that haven't held my interest for more than a page or two. Then I found Zero on, figured out how to read it on the itouch and I was saved! A book that got my at ...more
Cheyenne Teska
Feb 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed, for-review
If I hadn't been chosen to be an Ambuzzador for Random Buzzers, I'm not quite sure if I'd have heard of this book. That being said, I'm so thrilled that I got the chance to read it. More than anything else, Zero is a story of finding yourself, and it's inspired me to get more of what I truly want out of life. Even if you're not quite into contemporary books, I assure you that this is one book you'll want to try out.

The first thing I wanted to note was Leveen's seemingly effortless way of writing
Apr 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I picked this book up one day over the summer when I had about four hours to kill at the library and I figured, eh why not? Living in Arizona sounds almost desirable just from reading this book, and I live in Arizona! Zero is about a recently graduated girl named Amanda Walsh aka Zero. SPOILER ALERT : she loses her best friend Jenn after going home with her at the end of Graduation and getting drunk.. Hmmm. It was kind of funny to me how that happened!
Goodness gracious, I just fell in love wit
Miz Lizzie
Okay, here's the thing. This isn't my usual kind of book. I've never (even as an actual teen) had much interest in comtemporary gritty teen novels. But this one really kicked-ass. Amanda a.k.a. Zero is a wannabe artist. She secured an acceptance to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago but not a merit scholarship, which leaves her stuck in Phoenix for the summer after graduation with no future plans, a best friend she's not speaking to, and parents who are imploding. Having already hit bott ...more
What to say about this book. It is hard to know where to start simply because I loved every aspect of this book.
I got this book by applying to be an Ambuzzador and luckily my application was accepted. I will say they couldn't have picked a better book for me then Zero.
Appearance wise I thought "Finally! A love story for the punks. It isn't a fairy tale Ken and Barbie one." Being what society often classifies as ' punk' since I have piercing's, listen to loud music and at one point have had my ha
Jessica Anne Willette
Dec 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Zero, which is written by Todd Leveen & narrated by @jyetter.narrations, had my emotions all over the place. Throughout the entire book, I was cheering for Zero. I was hoping that she would have all of her dreams come true and be able to make it through each of the obstacles she has to face. I love how this book was written about a girl who's dream after graduating was to go to art school even though it seemed, in the beginning, she was afraid it would never happen. It was a reminder that even i ...more
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Arizona Author Ac...: Zero 1 3 Aug 19, 2013 01:16PM  
Creative Reviews: Book Review: ZERO by: Tom Leveen 1 5 May 16, 2012 02:17PM  

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Tom Leveen is the author of nine novels with imprints of Random House, Simon & Schuster, Abrams, and more. He has written with Todd McFarlane on SPAWN, the comic book series, and released five independent books.

Recently an early literacy specialist with Phoenix Public Library, Tom has nine years of previous library work experience. He also has 22 years of theatre experience as an actor and direct

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