Zac and Mia
By A.J. Betts
HMH Books for Young Readers, 2014. 304 pgs. Young adult.
Zac is a 17 year old cancer patient recovering from a bone marrow transplant in a secluded hospital ward. When a loud patient his age moves in next door he becomes curious. Zac has experienced cancer long enough to know a lot about it but his neighbor, Mia, makes him start to rethink about odds and survival statistics. Their friendship develops over several months and through heartbreaking meet ups, the hope and frustrating emotions that go with surviving are real and raw.
Zac became one of my most favorite characters ever. His love of statistics, his want to not disappoint his family by dying, and his interest in forming a friendship with Mia who is so entirely upset over her disease, makes him such a well rounded teen. I really enjoyed the entire family, the story of Zac and Mia, and the voice of the novel overall. There is some swearing but it takes places in Australia which makes for some fun cultural references.