Author: A.J. Betts
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: September 2014
Genre: Young Adult Fiction/Contemporary
Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone
Synopsis can be found here.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Zac hears Mia move into the room next to him. He hears her blaring music, thumping on the wall and crying and screaming at her mother and the doctors. A friendship begins and soon, even after they’re both released, they can’t stop thinking about each other and wondering how the other is. Some relationships stay with us.
I’m not sure what to expect from Zac & Mia. The tag line mentions Eleanor & Park and The Fault in Our Stars, but I’m not sure if this is like either of them. And in truth, it may just have hurt my experience of the book because I love E&P and TFIOS and had intense emotional reactions to both of those books. So maybe I had high expectations for Zac & Mia.
I enjoyed the writing style and the cool regional phrases that I recognized. I haven’t read a lot of books set in Australia so it was fun to have this setting, customs and phrases stand out. I liked Zac way more than I thought I would. His voice is solid and clear. I enjoyed his frustrations and his pop culture references which were perfectly placed and not at all over the top. He sounds like a teenage boy I may have known.
On the other hand, I liked Mia less than I thought I would. She’s angry and sad and isn’t dealing well, which is totally fine. I enjoy angry, sad girls with complex emotions and aggressive undertones. But there’s something missing from her. Each character changes on their journey but I’m sad to say I didn’t feel a great emotional attachment to either of them. I enjoyed Zac the most and I think Mia had come the farthest, but I just didn’t feel it. I didn’t connect on a deeper level with either of these characters. And I wanted to.
Overall, I think fans of contemporary fiction will enjoy Zac & Mia. The writing is very good and the story flies by.
Rating 5 Okay