Author: A. J. Betts
Genre: YA contemporary
Length: 306 pages
Published by: Text Publishing Australia
The last person Zac expects in the room next door is a girl like Mia, angry and feisty with questionable taste in music. In the real world, he wouldn’t—couldn’t—be friends with her. In hospital different rules apply, and what begins as a knock on the wall leads to a note—then a friendship neither of them sees coming.
You need courage to be in hospital; different courage to be back in the real world. In one of these worlds Zac needs Mia. And in the other Mia needs Zac. Or maybe they both need each other, always.
Let me first explain the title of this blog post.
Zac is nice.
Mia is feisty.
So you could say they’re different.
Zac was my favourite part of this book.
He is going through hell (alias cancer), and still manages to be positive about things. His POV is really funny and as a character he’s certainly endearing. Everything from making fun of bowel movements to talking about Call of Duty with his mum had a real voice and authenticity to it. Speaking of which, the interactions with his mum were lovely, and I’m glad it had that relationship in it.
Then there’s Mia.
She didn’t seem to like anything. Her POV doesn’t appear until quite a way through the book, but through Zac’s perspective we can see her as a pretty unlikeable person – yelling at her mum and the nurses, blasting Lady Gaga and generally being unpleasant.
But I don’t think characters necessarily have to be likeable, so that didn’t worry me all that much.
From Zac’s point of view, Mia seems pretty ungrateful – she has osteosarcoma (like Augustus in The Fault in Our Stars) and she has the best survival odds of pretty much anyone – and despite that, she goes on about how she’s NOT going to formal in a wheelchair, she’s NOT doing this, or that.
Compared to Zac, she’s very unpleasant.
I liked how they complemented each other towards the end of the book.
Zac is not always a bundle of laughs, and Mia’s not always a horrible person. They both have their strengths and weaknesses. It did take a while for this to be apparent, but it was strong at the end. Mia’s character development is awesome.
Overall, it wasn’t…amazing.
There were a lot of things I liked, but I just felt like something was lacking. The plot wasn’t very involved, and I think I just needed something more. Isn’t it annoying when you can’t say exactly why it didn’t work with you? That’s how Zac and Mia was with me. I mean, there are a LOT of cancer books out there. Comparisons to The Fault in Our Stars are pretty inevitable. I didn’t compare it at all, because the stories are so different, but at the same time, it’s got to be pretty special to stand out in such a crowded topic area.
If you like sweet, slow romances, dual POVs and awesome character development (a la
Lily Lilac in These Broken Stars) this book is for you. (also I was informed by a certain Cait that her name is Lilac, not Lily. Obviously I need to re-read it in time for This Shattered World).