Zac and Mia meet in an Australian cancer treatment center during Zac's 21 day isolation period after undergoing a bone marrow transplant to treat his leukemia. Despite her offensive habits of blaring Lady Gaga through his wall and yelling at every person who enters her room, Zac is intrigued by Mia, the cute girl with osteosarcoma in the next room. As their treatments cause both of them to wake frequently during the night, they form a 3 a.m. friendship through Facebook messages that helps them each get through their last days of treatment. Months go by without contact. But when Mia is facing a crisis and decides to run away, her limited funds and options somehow steer her directly toward Zac. Perhaps they each got more from their hospital stay than they had originally thought....
Why It's Worth Reading:
Read this because you already read The Fault in our Stars and Me, Earl, and the Dying Girl and now you're clamoring for another touching, humorous, honest story about characters struggling with their health and mortality while simultaneously trying to navigate teenage life. A.J. Betts takes on a familiar story with a style all her own. (She's not trying to be John Green, so don't expect her to sound like him!) Betts worked for years in a children's hospital cancer ward, so the medical information and the emotions that the characters experience feel entirely authentic. She also captures the natural beauty of her native Australia with great charm. Once again, reading a book set in a new place makes me want to travel there. I've got to get cheaper hobbies!
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: September 2, 2014
Source: NHS Library
Awards: Tons of positive reviews, at least 2 starred, plus multiple international awards
Do We Own a Copy?: You know it!