As a fifteen-year-old high-school student, Amy Smootster is living the life. Well, if the life consists of being physically harassed by peers, a raging infatuation on the hottie guidance counselor and an intense obsession with all things circular. Amy has a secret, and that secret is about to be revealed. With her feet leaking an unknown fluid (ew!) whenever she feels shamed or embarrassed, Amy spends her time surrounding herself with all things spherical, and avoiding squares whenever she can. For her world is ruled by these shapes, and sometimes they’re in places you’d never imagine them.
As her love for her counselor grows, and with some help from a sow bug, Amy finds herself in the middle of some serious trouble. And Tim, our loving and enabling pedophile, finds himself drug into her reality where shapes and size very much matter when it comes to your life. Amy is haunted by dreams of a bloodied coaster, a nightmare of what is to come, where the shame and pain may be strong enough to save her from Mama, an angular entity that very much wants her destroyed. And in the end, the reality of what that coaster is, may bring you to your knees in protest like it did me. Dangit Sam Keith. HOW DARE YOU?!
But really. It is probably for the best.
Keith weaves an invigorating tale of adolescent pain, thrilling adventure and young romance like no other. He gives voice to the characters in a way that allows them inside of your head, speaking to you much like Uncle Carl does to Amy, and leaving you emotionally invested in the end of the story. His dialogue his solid; witty, quick and flows naturally. There’s not a moment of stiffness, and in some instances, you can feel the embarrassment the characters feel radiate from your own face.
The art is a 10/10 as well. It was almost awkward and gangly, and whether that was on purpose or not, it fits a story that, essentially, revolves around high-school drama to a ‘T’. In the true spirit of ZERO GIRL, Keith illustrates the story with sharp lines and round edges that might be able to fight off some of Amy’s problems. The faces are expressive, and the movements of the characters seem to come to life, thankfully straying from falling flat on the page. All in all, it connects into a killer must-read for fans of all genres. If you’re like me, you’ll be gaping at the end.
So join Amy and Tim on their journey. Find out if their forbidden love will survive the test of high-school, or if he goes to jail for being creepy. And figure out what’s up with that crazy, blood-soaked coaster! ZERO GIRL has monsters in places you aren’t looking, just proving that evil can take any shape they want to. And anything with four sides, equal or no, is no friend of yours, so try to be sure you have something round nearby in case your book tries to murder you.
(W) Sam Kieth (A/CA) Sam Kieth