DNF Review: Zac and Mia by A.J. Betts


zac and miaWinner of the 2012 Australian Text Prize 
“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.


My Review:

The first 20% of this book was off the charts amazing. I seriously was beginning to think that I was being introduced to the next John Green. I was prepared for the feels and the tears that would eventually come. Yes, it was that damn good.

From 20% to 40% of the book (yes, I’m using Kindle stats) it starts to get a little weird. All of a sudden Zac & Mia are out of the cancer ward and we’re getting more of an insight of their daily life. There was also one really weird spot about 30% or so of the way through where it switches back to Zac being in the Cancer ward but it wasn’t a flashback so I was really confused why it switched like that and then went back to normal. It was just really upsetting that it went from 20% awesome to 20% weird.

I only made it about 50% of the way through, but it was that last 10% of the book that made me realize how much I despised Mia’s character. She was a brat and there was nothing likable about her character. Authors have to be careful when they introduce unlikable characters (especially when they’re the main character) because it does have the potential to ruin a book. For the most part, besides the weirdness, Mia is the reason that I stopped reading this book. There was nothing I liked about her.

I wish that Zac and Mia focused more on their time in the Cancer ward and their experiences there. The only downside of that would be that it would be maybe too similar to The Fault in Our Stars, but it still would have been different in its own right.

Overall, I ended up being really disappointed with this book. Based off the first 20% that I read, I thought that this was going to be one of my top reads of the year (if not ever) and I was so shocked and dismayed to realize that I had to DNF it.


Pages: 304

Publication Date: September 2nd, 2014

Publisher: Harcourt Brace and Company 

Rating: DNF