Zac & Mia by A.J. Betts

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Text, 2013. ISBN 9781922147257.
(Age: Older teens) Highly recommended. Zac & Mia is a refreshing and insightful story that highlights the importance and strength of human bonds and trust between people as well as how totally different people can become friends and allies when faced with a common enemy. This account of two people united in a long battle inspires hope and love for others, both close friends and family as well as a sense of unity and kindness to strangers.
Zac and Mia are both main characters who happen to meet in an Australian hospital to be treated for different types of cancer. These two relatable, impressionable and inspiring characters have a strange way of meeting and become friends by only a tap through a thin hospital wall in a time of need.
Zac is a gentle-natured and thoughtful country teenager who loves the outdoors, riding the quad bikes and sports as well as harvesting olives on his farm with his family and caring for the animals in the farm's petting zoo. Mia on the other hand is an all-out city chick with a blooming, busy social circle and many friends with a small family and a seemingly perfect life. The effect and change that cancer brings into their lives is phenomenal and brings two unlikely people together to form a very close and trusting relationship.
The way this novel is written so realistically makes the characters instantly believable and real. Their dialogue is seemingly natural and relatable as well as infused with emotion and convinces the reader to continue throughout the book until they reach the end. This novel is more suited to older teens because they may have a more empathetic and understanding view of illness-related trauma and its effect on a person as well as how hope can transition and bloom from such a life changing ordeal. This novel is truly breathtaking and most definitely an interesting read.
Sara Filkin (Student)