Thursday, May 8, 2014

Review - Zac & Mia by: A.J. Betts

Title: Zac & Mia
Author: A.J. Betts
Publisher: HarperCollins Canada
Pages: 272
Format: E-book
Source: Personal purchase


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.

My thoughts:

Zac & Mia was the April pick of the 50bookpledge, so I thought I'd give it a shot. It was suggested for readers who liked The Fault in Our Stars and Eleanor and Park. Now, I haven't read Eleanor and Park, but I did read the same author's Fangirl and wasn't crazy about it. I did however read The Fault in Our Stars and loved it immensely; it didn't only take its place among my favorites instantly, but it also made me a John Green fan. And I can say that Zac & Mia is very similar to The Fault in Our Stars, but sadly it's not as good. 

Zac is a very young leukemia patient. After they perform a bone marrow transfer on him, he's staying at a tiny room at the hospital with her mother. People as well as the objects that enter the room must be sterilized first, which I'm guessing wouldn't make anyone feel good. Zac is not allowed to leave his room at all, which is even worse. So, he plays various games with his mother, watches movies and TV shows. And he chats with people online on Facebook on his iPad.

One day, a girl is set up in the room next to Zac's, and her arrival is very loud with people screaming and such. She is a cancer patient. Zac goes crazy when, on her first day, she plays Lady GaGa's "LoveGame" over and over again, very loudly. Then, he also kind of feels sorry for the girl. When he bangs against the wall, signaling at her to turn the music down, his interaction with Mia next door starts.

Some chapters are via Zac's point-of-view, which others are through Mia's. This makes it easier for the readers to see how opposite they in fact are, and how still they somehow relate to one another. They get together through their sickness, hate each other a little bit in the beginning, but then come together again. There's no denying that it's a heart-felt, cute story, but after reading John Green's work, I must admit I wasn't too impressed.

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