By: Melanie | July 29, 2013 | (22) Comments

Blog Tour: Zac and MiaZac and Mia by A. J. Betts
Publisher: Text Publishing Australia
Release Date: July 24, 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, YA
Pages: 272
Source: For tour
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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.

My Review


‘I’m the least brave of everyone. I never signed up for this war. Leukaemia conscripted me, the fucker.’

Zac and Mia had a John Green vibe to it- the synopsis immediately reminded me of The Fault in Our Stars. While not as fantastic, Zac and Mia has a strong story filled with wit, humour and heart felt moments. But let me stress that this book should not be in comparison to The Fault in Our Stars, Zac and Mia carries it’s own, unique story about two teens living with cancer. The execution is utterly antithetic.

Both main characters, Zac and Mia were enjoyable. Zac had a judgemental narrative point at times, yet his sarcasm and general authenticity made it hard not to love him. Zac has been dealing with leukaemia for some time and during his time in the hospital, meets dangerously fiery Mia. Who seems to have a bad taste in music. Who shouts at her mum. Who has no friends that know about her fatal illness. In all honesty, I found Mia unappealing for the majority of the novel. With her constant swearing, ignorance and crude behaviour, I felt isolated from her, nonetheless, all her glaring flaws seem to have a foreshadowing meaning to it, which resulted me into likening Mia eventually.

While the family relationships only held a minuscule part to Zac and Mia, I still feel the urge to commend it. In contrary to Mia and her mother’s yelling and coldness, Zac and his mum’s connection- I loved to pieces. They were small sentiments, playing Call of Duty and talking, but it was cogent, tight and absolute bittersweetness. Moreover, a great contrast to the deep topics of illness- which I thought was fleshed out well. Not entirely dramatic but realistic in the sense that I was told from the perspective of a teenager.

Zac and Mia surprisingly was not solely romance based. Yes, there was a chemistry, but it wasn’t overpowering at all. The connection between Zac and Mia was more of a friendship during cancer, the hold to reality even. Nevertheless, the romance isn’t typical and eye roll-a-rama, it’s gradual, not too gradual, sweet, but not too sweet.

Briefly, the plot seemed a little lacking to me, some background drama (not in the dramatic sense) would’ve been preferred to make it more eventful. Yet on the other side of the scale, the writing was close to perfect. A. J. Betts effortlessly created a story, while daringly similar to John Green’s, still equally fascinating and touching.

All in all, with minor flaws in the plot and characters, I found myself still loving the story overall. Compassionate and confronting are two words to describe this novel.

~Thank you Text Publishing for sending me this copy!~

Being the lovely people of Text Publishing, they have also kindly offered a giveaway!

stickers-GiveawaySo here is how this works. I am not hosting this via Rafflecopter as I thought commenting would be a funner way. But of course, a follow via email/blog lovin’ would also be nice! (Also, so sorry for the horrible formatting of this post, I still am warming up to WordPress here)

To enter this giveaway, leave a meaningful comment about this book/review. I will personally select the best (not necessarily the longest) comment and will contact the winner. Here’s a few important noticies:

  • This is Australian only
  • One winner
  • Don’t leave email address, I can see it already
  • If you are participating in the giveaway leave, (ZMgiveaway) at the end of the comment
  • If you are the winner, respond within 48 hours
  • YA Midnight Reads in not responsible for lost books

If that made no sense, just leave a comment and smile. All goods. If you are INT commenter, you are not in the giveaway, but I’ll love you to leave a comment anyways. 😀

Hey guys! I am participating in the Zac and Mia by A. J. Betts blog tour which was organised by the loverlies at Text Publishing. I have a giveaway and review to share with y'all. This is part of the Zac and Mia Australian blog tour by Text Publishing Australia

About A. J. Betts

A. J. Betts is a Perth-based writer who writes realistic fiction for teenagers (14+) but adults enjoy them too. She is also an English teacher, poet, writer of non-fiction texts, presenter and reader.

3.5 Stars
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Owner (and crazy nut) at YA Midnight Reads
Melanie is one of the totally fabulous bloggers at YA Midnight Reads. She's a 16 year old student from Melbourne, Australia. She is normally found binge watching TV series, reading , blogging, procrastinating or fangirling about how Percabeth is the best ship ever. She's also a lover of caps lock and uses it excessively.

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22 Responses to Blog Tour: Zac and Mia

  1. Amelia says:

    Fabulous review, Melanie. I loved TFiOS, and I really don’t get why some of the Goodreads reviews don’t enjoy this because it was supposedly a rip of John Green, ugh. I really love the idea of this and dude, you call this bad formatting?! I CAN”T EVEN.

  2. Ariella says:

    Can you believe I’ve never read The Faults in Our Stars yet? Not that I want; it’s just that my friend ruined the ending for me so I don’t feel all that excited to start it. But this sounds bad.. Like a mock up of TFIOS maybe? Mia sounds like someone I would hate.. Great review anyways, Melanie!
    Ariella recently posted…{Weekly Craving} July 2013 #5My Profile

  3. Amelia says:

    Oh and I forgot to add- ZMgiveaway 🙂

  4. Annie says:

    Writing that’s ‘close to perfect’ and a sweet but not too sweet romance sound’s appealing right about now. But I shall have to build up my courage for this one – it sounds like it has a sad storyline. I’m glad you liked it though. 🙂
    Annie recently posted…Book Review: Earthbound by Aprilynne PikeMy Profile

  5. Karen H says:

    Hi, great review! Are you really only 13? You’re very articulate, I’m impressed. 🙂 I like your blog and am a follower.

  6. Jenni says:

    Oh wow this one sounds really heavy. I have wanted to read The Fault In Our Stars forever but the topic of cancer just hits much too close to home right now. I will have to hold off on that one (and now this one) until I am in the right mind space. Great review, Melanie!
    Jenni recently posted…Book Girls Don’t Cry – How I Read ReviewsMy Profile

  7. VeganYANerds says:

    Great review, Mel! I feel similarly to you, I liked it but I didn’t feel much of a connection to this story. And I am glad it wasn’t too similar to TFiOS!
    VeganYANerds recently posted…Zac & Mia by A.J BettsMy Profile

  8. I love realistic fiction, and it’s always great to find such books that take place in other countries (even if that’s not the focus). Sounds like a tough book in certain ways, but something worth reading!
    ShootingStarsMag recently posted…Review: Anna and the French Kiss + Music PickMy Profile

  9. Nara says:

    I feel like in the future, all YA cancer books are going to remind people of John Green/TFIOS. I don’t know whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing…Zac and Mia sounds like an interesting read- I find it interesting when you can be converted onto the side of a character that seems horrendous (I mean, crude and ignorant- what a winning combination :/). I might give the book a read at some point. Although perhaps not as masterful as John Green, it does sound like the type of book I’d enjoy!
    ps. I may or may not have had to look up the meaning of “antithetic” 😛
    Nara recently posted…Book Discussion: The 5th Wave by Rick YanceyMy Profile

  10. Genie says:

    Great review 🙂 – it does from the sounds of things seem similar to TFIOS but different as well in its own right. This seems like a story of ‘opposites attract’, but it’s good to hear that there isn’t any insta-love going on (well since it’s a cancer book then I suppose that’s to be expected). The whole family aspect sounds good too and should make it interesting.
    In all I’m looking forward to reading this one at some point!
    Lovely reviews as always,
    PS. ZM giveaway

  11. Celine says:

    Great review 🙂

    I’m always afraid to read cancer books because they might finally make me cry! (I have never cried because of a book before – don’t know why, as there are plenty of books that deserve some serious bawling)
    Celine recently posted…Top Ten TuesdayMy Profile

  12. Alana says:

    Amazing review, can`t believe you are thirteen and doing reviews like this :)Zac & Mia sounds like a moving book, I may actually cry! ZMgiveaway
    Thank you for this 🙂

  13. Rachel says:

    If I don’t like the main character it’s very hard for me to enjoy the story. But I don’t mind if a character is unlikable for a time, as long as there is character growth and change leading to me changing my view in the end. Its sounds as if this describes Mia. Lovely review, Melanie. 🙂
    Rachel recently posted…Review & Giveaway: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly BlackMy Profile

  14. Hannah says:

    Great review Mel! I’m personally looking forward to this one and from what I’ve heard/read already, Zac is definitely one of those characters that seems really interesting!

    I know from what AJ has said in class when talking about Zac & Mia was that she was completely OH NO GODAMMIT when she heard about TFiOS – from memory (I may be wrong though) she didn’t even know about the book when writing Z&M. It’s so hard these days as writers because everyone is going to judge a book based on it’s predecessors (ie the next Hunger Games, the next TFiOS). Which is sad, because you should make up your own opinion about a book, not one that’s already been formed!
    Hannah recently posted…Blog Tour: An Endless Summer by CJ DugganMy Profile

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