The average rating for Zen & Xander Undone based on 2 reviews is 3 stars.
|Review # 1 was written on 2009-10-31 00:00:00|
I've been looking forward to reading Zen and Xander Undone for quite a while, so when I finally did receive a copy I was jumping-up-and-down ecstatic, which never is exactly a pretty picture. ;) Sadly, while there are good parts to Zen and Xander Undone, it left me feeling utterly disappointed at the end. Zen and Xander Undone tells the tale of two sisters who are best friends. Xander is the wild and wickedly smart one, though ever since the death of their mother, she's been on a downward spiral to the life of partying too hard with alcohol, drugs, and sex, much to the dismay of Zen and their other best friend, Adam. Zen, on the other hand, is dealing with the death of their mother quietly, taking up karate to relax and talking to her mother in her head. Don't get me wrong, the characters were decent and somewhat likable, but one of the reasons for me feeling disappointed about this novel was the characters. I never really felt emotionally connected or even a strong liking to either Zen and Xander, since I felt that their tale was a clichéd one that never really brought anything new to the table. Though, I really did like two of the secondary characters in this novel. Those two? Paul, Zen's love interested who was way too wise and cool for his age, and Adam, Xander's love interest who was sweet. Sadly, neither really had too many big moments. The plot was entertaining and had dry humor to it that I enjoyed, but as said before it never really brought anything new to the table. Though it still was a good enough read for a rainy day in the summer. One of my favorite parts of the plot was the add-on of the mystery revolving Zen and Xander's mother's younger years. I felt it was paced well and the resolution to it well done. I also liked how the author addressed the subject of grieving in this, showing that everyone has their own methods of it, and that you should never really judge one's over the other, since to that person that's the only way there is to help. In all, Zen and Xander Undone is an okay novel that did have it's moments, though not one I really suggest you running how to purchase. Instead maybe you should pick it up at the library. But who knows, maybe you'll see the light in it I didn't. And the only question remaining: Will I be reading more by Amy Kathleen Ryan? Well, I do have another one of her books in my TBR pile so probably. Grade: C-
|Review # 2 was written on 2010-03-14 00:00:00|
After reading and enjoying Amy's debut Vibes, I was really excited to dive into Zen and Xander Undone. This was an overall really enjoyable and well written sophomore novel that will definitely appeal to a variety of readers. While Zen and Xander were not necessarily "likable" characters, they are definitely realistic and well developed. The plot was also very original and kept me reading, enough that I finished this book in about 2 hours. To elaborate, Zen and Xander are two sisters dealing with their mother's tragic death in different ways. Both act out, but Xander does it a little too crazily. She gets involved with bad boys, drugs, and partying and nothing Zen says to her will bring back the Xander she remembers. Their father has turned into such a recluse it's up to Zen to try and protect her sister, but Zen is having troubles of her own. The relationship between Zen and Xander was fantastic, you could feel their connection and how important it was to Zen that Xander stay safe. Even though the story was told from Zen's POV, I could understand Xander really well, both characters were really well developed and readers got a good look into the life they were living now that their mother was gone. The plot was engaging and filled with a variety of sub plots that kept the story moving. The main focus of the novel was on Zen and Xander's relationship, but there was also romance. Their sweet neighbor across the street that Xander was falling for, and Paul, a witty photographer, that was perfect for Zen. There was also the mystery surrounding their mother. She had written letters to them before she died that were being delivered to the sisters at random intervals by a mysterious someone. I loved this idea and it made their mother's feelings for the sisters that much more real. This was an overall engaging and well written novel, and while it had it's flaws I overall really enjoyed it. I'm looking forward to reading more by Amy Kathleen Ryan in the future! Overall: 4 out of 5 stars
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