Itís inevitable that the teen cancer melodrama and quasi-romance of Zac & Mia will be compared to John Green's tear jerky blockbuster The Fault in Our Stars. The alternating voices are reminiscent of recent YA novels such as Like No Other and Wildlife and the Name & Name of the title is definitely a trend right now. While A.J. Betts approaches the subject of Zac & Mia with empathy and knowledge, I found the characters to be mismatched and unrealistic. Zac is composed and selfless, while Mia is alternately shallow, overwrought, and bitter.
The first act was fairly strong for me, but once things turn badly for Mia, I became disbelieving and annoyed. The plotting fell apart for a character-driven story and there's nothing I like more than characters, identity, and feelings! Unrealistic plot machinations just get in the way.
Is there something voyeuristic and exploitative about fiction (not this book in particular) about young people finding romance with fellow cancer sufferers and survivors? I'd hate to think of teens romanticizing this kind of thing. If you liked The Fault in Our Stars, you'll enjoy this sometimes sarcastic and sometimes sentimental take on teens and cancer.Posted by kathryn at January 12, 2015 03:01 PM