Jukebooks: Zero by Tom Leveen
For Zero (aka Amanda Walsh), life after high school is plummeting from bad to worse. Bad was when Zero’s parents were constantly fighting with each other. Worse is when her parents escalate to full-blown warfare and an aggrieved Zero cuts off her one and only friend. Despite acceptance into a prestigious art school in Chicago, Zero won’t be able to attend, leaving her artwork confined to the walls of her room.
At least there’s music. When her parents’s “…acidic voices burn right through the walls” (p. 4), Zero drowns them out with telling musical choices. One of her songs is “Up the Beach” by Jane’s Addiction.
Zero’s love of music brings her out to hear a new band, Gothic Rainbow. Mike, the band’s hot drummer, is looking like a potential love interest. But romance is hard for Zero to grasp. This is the girl preoccupied with the question: “What is Art?” Contributing to this theme, Gothic Rainbow, after opening a show with a blowout punk song, follows up with the Leveller’s Is This Art?
What do you think?
– Diane Colson, currently reading Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell and listening to Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation, written and narrated by Michael Pollan.