This story of two Australian teens who meet on the oncology ward was not what I was expecting. Forgive me – I was anticipating the swoop and joy and feels of a down-under Fault in Our Stars. I know that’s wrong and unfair.
Standing on its own, this is a good and, perhaps, more realistic depiction of two kids and their reactions to being diagnosed, going through treatment, and finding a way to imagine what their future lives might be. No fantasies, no grand romantic gestures.
Although the blurbs say the story is told via alternating the title characters’ points of view, many more chapters are headed up by Zac than Mia. As a result, we get to know him better. He is far more likable, even after Mia starts talking and we get a chance to understand her a little.
This might be a theraputic read for parents or friends of someone living with cancer. It’s pretty harsh for younger YAs. The kid says it was hard to get into but she was glad she finished it.