Guys, girls, it doesn't matter. I just like people for who they are. Bonus points if they're hot.
— Zig[1]

Zig, a main character in The FreshmanThe Sophomore and The Junior and The Senior series, is a barista and student at Hartfeld. He becomes one of your character's love interests in Book 3. He is first seen in The Freshman, Book 3, Chapter 3.


Zig has wavy, brown hair, tan skin, and brown eyes. In The Freshman, he wears a white T-shirt and a silver chain tucked in his shirt. He has a tattoo of an owl on his left upper arm.

In The Sophomore he wears a light gray shirt, a black leather jacket, and a dog tag necklace. In The Junior, his dog tag necklace is tucked in his shirt of his look from The Sophomore.

In The Junior, you have a chance to give him a makeover. You can choose his new makeover, his look from The Freshman, or stay with his current outfit. One of his new makevover, his hair a bit longer and even more wavy. He wears black jeans, a black shirt and a denim jacket with the sleeves rolled up.


Simply put, Zig is a tough guy with a soft heart. Initially, during the first few chapters he appears in in The Freshman, Book 3, he comes across as aggressive, socially isolated, and simply not given a break by the world. However, he slowly opens up with encouragement from Your Character and her friends, to the point he becomes comfortable discussing his family and his sexuality with them.

Speaking of family, Zig is fiercely protective of his family. Considering he has four sisters and was raised solely by his mother, Zig has grown up surrounded by strong female role models and has great respect for the women in his life. In fact, he defended his sister Marie when her abusive ex-boyfriend marched into their old home and tried to assault her, leading to Zig beating him to a pulp and receiving a community service order for doing so. This displays just how far Zig is willing to go to protect the people he loves.

From about the time of The Sophomore, Book 1, Zig has shown signs of becoming mellowed as he is accepted into Hartfeld University via the Second Chance Scholarship, which was accepted by Dean Stafford after a proposal by Student Body President Chris Powell with the help of Zig and Your Character. Despite this, Zig does often show signs of frustration about how he is treated by those who know of his background, but he does his best to improve on his temper.



Zig's compass

Your Character

Zig frequently flirts with your character and often complimenting your appearance. If you improve your relationship with Zig or returns his flirtations, you can choose to become his girlfriend in Book 3, Chapter 17 if your character are single. He also stands up to Sebastian Delacroix for you. After that Zig and your character have been dating almost a year and they love each other and she continues to be there for him.

In The Sophomore, Book 2 in Chapter 12, if his confidence is high enough, he will give you a gift that contains a compass from his boy scout days to thank you for being supportive. There is also a picture of him as a boy scout when he was nine or ten years old.


Chris and Zig have a lot in common, having both grown up without a dad, being the oldest sibling and having a criminal record. They both seemed to get along well at Madison's party.

Linda Ortega

Linda is Zig's mom, They both seem to have a positive relationship.


Marie, Sophie, Lucy, and Mila are Zig's sisters. Marie is the oldest Ortega siblings. Sophie, Lucy, and Mila are the youngest siblings.


Other Looks



  • Zig has three little sisters. The exact number is not revealed in The Freshman unless he babysits Rico with Your Character.
    • The names of Zig's young sisters are stated in The Sophomore, Book 2: Chapter 12. The names are Sophie (18 years old), Lucy (16 years old), and Mila (15 years old). The oldest sister's name is Marie.
  • Zig is shown on the cover of The Freshman, Book 4, The Sophomore, Book 1, and The Sophomore: Hartfeld Horror Story.
  • It is revealed in The Freshman, Book 4, Chapter 4 that Zig is bisexual, thus making him the fourth explicitly LGBT character in the series (after Zack, Kaitlyn, and Brandon) and the second LGBT love interest (after Kaitlyn). 
    • However, in Book 2, Zig's bisexuality has been cleared further in the plot when he gives advice to Manny, telling him of his own struggles as he came to the realization that he is bisexual.
  • He first mentions that he was a boy scout in The Freshman, Book 4, Chapter 6.
  • In Chapter 9 of The Sophomore, Book 1 we learned that Zig's last name is Ortega, thereby confirming Zig to be  a Hispanic character.
  • If you romanced Zig in The Sophomore, Book 1, he will tell the MC he wants her to meet his family. He talks about his younger sister's passion for art. He also mentions buying her a set of paintbrushes for her birthday.
  • In Helen Twombly's story in Hartfeld Horror Story, he is renamed Zag ("Chad" also calls him "Zagster") and is portrayed as a cynic. You can play as him for one choice in Chapter 2.
  • He has worked as a lifeguard and in a dive bar in the past.
  • He bears a resemblance to actor Noah Centineo and model David Bywater.
  • In The Sophomore, Book 2, Chapter 12, if you have been there for Zig and have raised his confidence, he will gift you with his compass from his Boy Scouts days as a token of appreciation.
  • In Chapter 15 of The Sophomore, Book 2,  if you are dating him, he will ask you if you want to move in together.
    • If he is also your love interest, he will be the one to get in the car with Tyler and Abbie.
  • On April 29, 2018 it was confirmed through an Instagram live session at the Bay Area Book Festival that several of the PB writers attended that it was Chelsa (one of the aforementioned writers) who created Zig.
  • In The Junior, Book 1Chapter 4, you have the chance to give him a makeover.
    • Since this new makeover, it appears that the writers have been inspired by the character of Tony portrayed by Christian Navarro from the Netflix original series 13 Reasons Why.
  • In a sneak peek for Chapter 1 of The Senior, it is revealed that he took a bunch of classes over the summer. Which means he will be able to graduate alongside Your Character at the end of school year. [2]


  1. The Freshman, Book 4, Chapter 4: Can't Buy Me Love