"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.
Winner of the 2012 Australian Text Prize.
- I really, really liked Zac. I was drawn into this story from the beginning. I loved his outlook on the world, his relationship with his mother and his witty personality. I cannot imagine what life would be like having to be in the same room for a month on end, not being able to leave for anything and only certain people being able to visit. I would definitely easily get a bit down on myself. It wasn’t all peachy but Zac still had a great attitude about the whole thing.
- I think that the author gave a realistic view of what a teen may endure when faced with a diagnosis of cancer. Sometimes Mia’s attitude drove me insane, but then I tried to put myself in her shoes. I realize that I could have been a dramatic little brat when I was in high school too.
- I loved Zac’s family and longed to be on the olive farm with all the animals. Sounded like an amazing place.
- There was a great development in the parental relationships in this story. I really enjoyed that was such a major part of the book as it seems so many young adult books really lack any parental figures in the story.
- I felt like there could have been a little more meat to the story. I think the middle was a little slow for me, and then when I really wanted more to the story, it was actually the end. It was a fairly open ending and I wanted to know more and be part of it. I got the same feeling at the end of Eleanor & Park. I just wanted to know what was going to happen next.