Review: Zac & Mia by A.J. Betts

Zac & Mia
Author: A.J. Betts
Release Date September 2, 2014
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Source: BEA 2014
Review by: Jenn
The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor and Park in this tough and tender young adult novel that's a lot about love (and a little about cancer).

"When I was little I believed in Jesus and Santa, spontaneous combustion, and the Loch Ness monster. Now I believe in science, statistics, and antibiotics." So says seventeen-year-old Zac Meier during a long, grueling leukemia treatment in Perth, Australia. A loud blast of Lady Gaga alerts him to the presence of Mia, the angry, not-at-all-stoic cancer patient in the room next door. Once released, the two near-strangers can't forget each other, even as they desperately try to resume normal lives. The story of their mysterious connection drives this unflinchingly tough, tender novel told in two voices.
4 stars out of 5 stars

knew the moment I picked up this book, I was in for some sad and angsty feels. And that's exactly what I got. Zac & Mia follows the story of two cancer-ridden teens. Zac is the optimistic of the two and chooses to believe in numbers and statistics while Mia is angry at the world and pessimistic. 

Seeing these two come to terms with what was happening to them and how they chose to cope with the hand they've been dealt, was really well done. It was really hard at times to read how much Zac tried to help Mia and how she treated him and everyone around her like they didn't matter. She had so much anger and bitterness that at times it turned me off of her character but then I would take a step back and really see how much she was hurting. I am glad that she realized that she was acting like a crappy person and made it up to Zac. And she did so just in time to then help Zac in his time of need. After spending the majority of book pushing Mia into living, Zac was the one who needed a reminder to live. And the way Mia helped him, it made herself vulnerable and it was exactly what Zac needed from her.

A.J. Betts created some wonderful and complex characters in both Zac & Mia. There were times when Mia was a little hard to take but I really just wanted to hug her and tell her to be angry but to take that anger and fight. And I loved Zac. I just want to take him and put him in my pocket. I love his sense of humor and actually laughed out loud in several parts throughout the book. But especially during the scenes that involved his mother. 

All in all, I really enjoyed Zac & Mia. It was a great read, nicely paced and I can't wait until everyone meet Zac.


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