Mia’s not your typical hospital patient. Her next-door neighbor, Zac, can hear her fighting with her mom and the nurses through their shared wall and he wishes she’d get over herself. But soon they are trading messages that evolve into a bond neither sees coming.
Apart from illness, they have little in common: she’s a gorgeous girl with an entourage of perfect friends and he’s a soccer-playing farm boy. In the real world, these two seventeen-year-olds would have little to say to each other, but in the hospital the usual rules no longer apply.
By the time Zac is discharged, Mia is gone too, and he wonders about her. Is she okay? Is she better? He can’t find out. She’s left Facebook and won’t answer his texts. Until the night he hears a tap at his window.
Told in alternating perspectives, Zac and Mia tracks the relationship of two ordinary teenagers in exceptional circumstances. They’re both in remission, but cancer has changed everything, and normal isn’t normal anymore. This is a funny and tender novel about hope, love and courage.
I decided to read this book because my favorite YouTuber Kian Lawley is starring in the series on go90 and people are comparing this book to The Fault in Our Stars. The Fault in Our Stars and Zac and Mia both share the same premise but they are completely different. The Fault in Our Stars is a love story where the characters happen to have cancer and Zac and Mia is a cancer story where they end up developing a great friendship. The emphasis on this book is the cancer and how the characters deal with it and not the love story like The Fault in Our Stars.
Zac is a teenage boy who is bored and stuck in isolation in an oncology ward. His life suddenly becomes more interesting when the new girl Mia moves in the room next door. Their relationship starts off with a knock on the wall and develops through online conversations. I loved how awkwardly Zac and Mia met and how their differences sparked such a great friendship. When they both leave the hospital, they expect never to see each other again until Mia runs into some problems and seeks out Zac for help.
I love how this story is told in alternating perspectives. It was a unique touch and I think it really created a sense of the two different worlds the characters live in and what happens when they cross paths. I preferred Zac’s perspective because it was very easy to read and connect with. His views on his situation were very realistic and his charm and wit made him a very likeable character. Reading Mia’s point of view was slightly harder because I didn’t like her character very much. Mia’s tendency to run away from problems and insult those trying to help her really made me dislike her. Although I didn’t like Mia’s character at the beginning, I really enjoyed seeing her change as a character as the story progressed.
Zac and Mia was a very interesting read. This book didn’t have some big event that kept you clinging on for the next page to see what the outcome was but it was just a very realistic cancer story which makes you read on because you care for the characters and not the action. The attention to detail Betts has is remarkable which makes the emotions the characters feel seem really real.
Zac and Mia is a fantastic book that made me laugh and cry! The writing style is amazing and the feelings that you develop towards the characters is spot on. I highly recommend reading Zac and Mia!
Buy Zac and Mia by A.J. Betts on Amazon here.