Published by HMH Books for Young Readers on September 2, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Source: Amazon Vine
"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.
Winner of the 2012 Australian Text Prize.
Where to start with ZAC AND MIA? Yeah, it’s a book about teenagers with cancer. Is it comparable to THE FAULT IN OUR STARS? I have no idea, because I haven’t read John Green’s book. So I won’t be making any comparisons to that or any other teen cancer book.
–ZAC AND MIA is set in Australia, and I loved that! There’s not yet a ton of diversity in where YA fiction is set, so it was really great to see a book set somewhere other than America.
–Zac and Mia both have different ways of coping (or not coping) with cancer. Zac uses statistics and says the time he spends in the hospital is really a small portion of his life, so he’s not going to get upset. Mia is angry and keeps it a secret, then runs away from home after her mother commits a horrible betrayal. Both are valid (as are others), and while I didn’t always understand Mia’s actions, I appreciated that she wasn’t a saint about it. Not everyone is.
–Here’s where I have trouble. There’s nothing bad about ZAC AND MIA, but it wasn’t a book that blew me away. It was just okay. I enjoyed the book while reading it, but it’s not one that will stick with me.
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