Filled with fun, intrigue and a touch of romance, The Zigzag Effect is an entertaining romantic mystery for teens. The developing romance between Sage and Herb is sweet with a few tender moments and a lot of humour as they get to know each other and try to solve the mystery of who (or what) is behind the mysterious happenings at the old theatre.
I like the balance maintained between the more personal aspects of the story – Sage’s attraction to Herb, her disappointment at moving to a new town halfway through Year 10 and missing her friends, her developing friendship with The Great Armand’s beautiful assistant Bianca, and her family situation – with the intriguing mystery of the strange happenings at the theatre and the information about magic and photography shared throughout the story.
Through Herb’s explanations to Sage, readers are given insight into the hard work and hours of preparation that go on backstage to enable magicians to give the appearance of effortlessly performing their acts of magical illusion and mind reading. Sage’s passion for photography adds another interesting element to the story, complementing the discussions of illusion versus reality.
The Zigzag Effect is more than a simple teen romance. The characters are likeable and fun, the dialogue is engaging, the pace of the story is maintained through the intrigue of who is behind the mysterious events at the theatre, and the romance adds a personal touch to balance the interesting insights into magical performances and photography. A great read for teens looking for something fun and enjoyable with just enough detail to keep things interesting.
Title: The Zigzag Effect
Author: Lili Wilkinson
Publisher: Allen & Unwin, $17.99 RRP
Publication Date: 20 March 2013
For ages: 13 - 16
Type: Young adult fiction