Zac & Mia by A.J. Betts // Book Review

Hello! Happy Hump Day!  I hope everyone is having a good week and is getting some good books done! Today I am going to be spilling my thoughts on Zac and Mia by A.J. Betts.


zac and mia.jpg
 A.J. Betts

Number in series: Standalone.

Publishers: Text Publishing

Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Realistic Fiction

Rating: 5/5 stars

Goodreads synopsis:
When I was little I believed in Jesus and Santa, spontaneous combustion, and the Loch Ness monster. Now I believe in science, statistics, and antibiotics.

So says seventeen-year-old Zac Meier during a long, grueling leukemia treatment in Perth, Australia. A loud blast of Lady Gaga alerts him to the presence of Mia, the angry, not-at-all-stoic cancer patient in the room next door. Once released, the two near-strangers can’t forget each other, even as they desperately try to resume normal lives. The story of their mysterious connection drives this unflinchingly tough, tender novel told in two voices.


Zac and Mia is a beautiful story about cancer, family ties, discovering yourself and overcoming your demons. It’s really hard not to say some things and express my thoughts clearly without giving away spoilers, but I’ll do my best!

Zac is your typical Australian boy – loves his sport, family, and friends.

Mia is your typical angsty teenager – rebellious, angry at the world and her single mother.

I loved this book. As it is set in Australia, no less, only about a three hour drive away from where I live, it was so lovely and just made me settle into the book so much more easily and completely immerse myself and be able to picture everything so perfectly.

I read a lot of YA Contemporary, particularly romance ones. And all of the ones I’ve read are set anywhere else but Australia. Therefore, it can be a bit hard when reading and coming across American or UK terminology I don’t quite understand. What I’m trying to say is that I loved this book more because I understood every single word and the slang Zac or Mia would use.

There is so many references to pop culture which I loved, being a total nerd in that sense.

Going into Zac and Mia, I wasn’t really sure what to expect, all I knew was it was about two kids with Cancer who meet in the hospital. I was utterly astounded though. It went in a completely different direction to what I was expecting. At the start, I was a bit like, ‘oh okay, it’s just an Australian The Fault in Our Stars‘, but I was wrong.  The character’s were so good, the themes were so important and were executed extremely well, in my opinion.

The book was split into three parts – Part One was ‘Zac’, told from Zac’s P.O.V., Part Two was ‘And’, told from both characters P.O.V. and Part Three was ‘Mia’, told from Mia’s P.O.V. Having this allowed us to see their character growth.

I really liked Zac, his voice was so distinctive and is just such a lovable character. Zac is funny, caring, compassionate, sees the best in everyone and so much more. I could see so many of the guys I know in Zac, he is just a brilliant guy.

The story starts with Zac in hospital after having a bone marrow transplant. Zac is so positive and is so accepting of his Cancer. He was peaceful with the fact of having Cancer, and was already preparing for the next hurdle. He is so selfless, he did everything for his mum and family on his farm. He lived for his family’s Olive Farm.
Zac stays pretty stagnant throughout the book, doesn’t really change all that much, until the very end.

Mia however, is so angry. She is so extremely angry that she has Cancer, because it interrupts her social calendar. You find out later in the book the real reason why she was so angry, there is more to it than just Cancer.
Mia’s character development is amazing to witness, it’s is just so empowering and motivational. Reading about how she manages her days after cancer and her journey with reconnecting with Zac.

There is no romance (really) in Zac and Mia and it was a nice change, to see a great friendship bloom between these two great characters.

Overall, it is a wonderful story of how to overcome your demons in your own way and your courage to live your life when Cancer rears it’s nasty head. I recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a heart warming story to sink their teeth into.


That’s about it! Thanks for reading and let me know your thoughts if you’ve read Zac and Mia by A.J. Betts, or if you haven’t. I’ll see you on Friday for Fan Art Friday!


Where else you can find me…
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4 thoughts on “Zac & Mia by A.J. Betts // Book Review

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