Zane and six of his friends including Croy and Shay lived in the same dorm as Uglies and called themselves Crims. They did all the usual tricks, even sneaking out to the Rusty Ruins after some older Uglies showed them how. Out in the ruins, Zane realized how much bigger the world is compared to their tiny city. Knowing that Pretties never did anything as exciting as sneaking out to the ruins, Zane decided to run away from the city and live in the wild, at least for a while. He tried convincing his friends without much success that living in the wilderness was possible until one day they met David. He told them about the Smoke, which seemed to be exactly was Zane was searching for. But when the time came to go, he couldn't bring himself to do it and instead chose to turn Pretty. But on his sixteenth birthday, he was interrogated by Special Circumstances. Threatening to turn him into a cruel Special, he caved in and told them everything he knew about the Smoke and Shay, the one other Crim member who chose to stay in the city.
The guilt over giving up and betraying his friends kept him from succumbing to the Pretty lesions in his brain. He reformed the Crims as a Pretty clique and urged the members to tell stories about their tricky Ugly lives over and over again, naturally fighting against the lesions as they did so, although they didn't know it at the time.
- Main article: Pretties (book)
Zane, as leader of the Crims, votes in Tally as a member of their clique after an exciting party at Valentino mansion. When Tally launches herself at bungee-jacket-wearing Peris straight over the side of a balcony in a desperate attempt to escape the Specials following her, her status as a Crim clique member is secured. The morning after the party, Zane invites Tally to brunch in Denzel Park. He takes an interest in her because of her tricky Ugly past and urges her to remember running away to the Smoke.
When Croy gives Tally the pills, Zane and she climb to get them, and when Tally is too scared to eat them herself, they each take one. They are then more bubbly and alive. This starts their relationship. Zane and Tally along with their Crim friends escape to the New Smoke, to try to find David and his mother. Zane meanwhile has had bad headaches. Tally is separated from him when they have to jump to escape. Later, when David finds her, he brings her to Zane, who is discovered to have some brain damage. The two pills had to be taken together. Zane had taken one that destroyed the lesions in his head, but Tally had the one that stopped the other one from eating the other half of the brain. When the Specials find the New Smoke, David tries to convince Tally to come with them and leave Zane because he is too weak to move. Tally stays with him and ends up getting turned into a Special.
- Main article: Specials (book)
In Specials, Zane looks wrong to Tally because she sees the world differently as a Special, and the pills left Zane with some motor cognition skills. Tally and Shay hatch a plan to make Zane be a Special so Tally and Zane can be together. When they get to Diego, which is part of their plan, their city thinks it was attacked by Diego, which was also Tally and Shay's fault. Zane meanwhile had asked the Diego doctors to fix his cognition skills and make him stronger and faster as possible. During the attack, something went wrong but the doctors didn't know. When they find him he's brain dead. Tally, after saying good bye, goes to finish the war that killed him.
- "Just because it's human nature doesn't make it bad."
- Tally mentions that his Pretty face looks extreme, as if the Pretty Committee wanted to push themselves to the limits with his appearance.
- Zane is the Pretty maximum of two meters tall.
- Zane lives in Pulcher Mansion, likely named after the Latin word meaning "beautiful".
- Zane dyes his hair jet black with calligraphy ink, as hair that dark is viewed as too extreme by the Pretty Committee.
- According to Shay's Story, Zane had a pet dog as a littlie.
- Despite the cold, Zane enjoyed sneaking out into the Rusty Ruins in the winter, saying the snow added "mega-Helens" to the view.