Our heroine is a huge math nerd (a weird dis/ability make it hard for her to pursue other interests), so when her new tutoring client says his name is Zenn, with two Ns, like a Venn Diagram, Eva (like "Neva eva do that again!" takes notice.
Venn needs extra math help because he's working three jobs. His mom is an alcoholic, and his dad isn't on the scene. When Venn isn't corraling grocery carts, custom air-brushing cars, or whatever the third job is (helping the elderly maybe?), he's a genius artist and super good with kids, despite being an only child.
Eva, on the other hand, has four sibs: three-year-old quadruplets. Her hands are sorely needed at bed and bath time. She's not rolling in the dough either, being raised by a preacher and an at-home mom. It's a good thing Eva's dis/ability doesn't extend to kids. She can't touch adults or their handled objects without getting headrush of their souls. She can tell when a church lady has cancer, a childhood friend's parents are getting divorced, and when an acquaintance is deep in the closet in his religious parents' house. Eva can't do anything with this knowledge, so she'd rather not have it. Even so, she does make use of her talent here and there. When she touches someone's calculator, she can determine what their math block is.
That's the conceit. Other than that it's your girl-gets-boy etc. novel, with a few twists that you'll probably get, but not so far ahead that it will bother you.
Now, some highlighted this and that's:
I'm on the floor pretzel-style...
Is that new since I was a kid? So much better than "Indian style." But then Brant ruins her cultural sensitivity cred:
"I wasn't ridiculously smart like you," Zenn says, "but I was an honor-roll kid until my mom went off the rails. I mean, I am a quarter Asian, after all."
Zenn's vaguely exotic looks...
I don't want to give away an important revelation that doesn't come until 2/3 or so through the book, so I'll just say it poses an interesting conflict to adult readers of YA. If you identify at all with Eva's mom, you'll feel her pain and maybe think Eva is being unspeakably bratty, but you might also get that two opposing feelings can be simultaneously valid. I wonder how teens will react to Eva's mom's position.
The story takes place in Wisconsin, in a community where lots of folks are practicing Christians. I appreciate their interpretation of Christianity, even if Eva isn't that into it. Before a tough conversation Eva's dad calls on Christ to help them with their powerful feelings (or something like that).
Later Eva recalls,
A few years ago I saw a meme that said, Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.
That's always good to think about, a corollary to "assume good faith."