Monday, April 28, 2014
Zac and Mia by A.J. Betts
Now that I am heading back to the classroom for next year, I am starting to think it is time to get back into reading some of YA books that I have missed over the last two years. I've forgotten how much I love reading books meant for teens. At the beginning of the book, the story is told through Zac's perspective. He is a 17 year old boy who is in isolation as a result of bone marrow treatment. He cannot leave his hospital room and the only company he has besides the nurses is his mother. Zac is a typical teenage boy who wants/ needs privacy and normalcy. But of course that isn't possible when you are living with cancer. As Zac struggles to recover from his treatment, a new girl moves into the room beside him. He isn't able to talk to her face to face, but they strike up an odd friendship. Then the story switches to Mia's perspective, she has always been the popular, beautiful girl and when she is faced with cancer, she completely shuts down and shuts out everyone from her old life. Her tough attitude makes it difficult for anyone to get close to her. As their friendship develops, Zac and Mia learn to depend on each other and learn a great deal from each other. Their path isn't an easy one, being a teenager is challenging enough, but throwing in cancer makes their relationship quite challenging. I really enjoyed both of these characters. Zac is a down to earth kid, who I think any parent would love to have dating their daughter. Mia on the other hand is tough as nails and carrying a very large chip on her shoulder. She is hard to like, and yet there is something about her that makes you want to root for her. The story was also set in Australia, which is neat- I enjoyed reading about the country and it was very different from reading a book set in North America. Zac and Mia is very similar to The Fault in Our Stars so if you liked it, I think you will also enjoy this book. There is some mature content and quite a bit of swearing, but it is really a part of the story and isn't out of place at all. I quite enjoyed the story of these two teenagers. For my high school teaching friends- this is a great book for you. Elementary teachers, I would be a bit hesitant to put this in my classroom because of the content.