Zac and Mia by A.J. Betts

This book is for anyone who wants something like the Fault in Our Stars. I am a colossal fan of John Green and this is a book about cancer and love. For all of you who can’t let go of Augustus Waters and Hazel Grace, Zac and Mia might at least distract you for a little while.

Zac and Mia starts with Zac and his mom in the oncology ward. Zac has been there for a while and he just wants to go home, or at least a little bit of privacy, when Mia comes in. He doesn’t actually talk to Mia very much, but they kind of keep tabs on each other across the hall. Mia is angry and seems a little bit petty to Zac, but he still thinks she’s pretty. The real adventure starts when they are out of the hospital and Mia needs help.

I loved this book. I think the characters reacted both in ways that someone would if they had cancer. Mia is extremely angry and quite the force to be reckoned with, she even hides it from all her friends. Zac is just getting through it, they help each other a little bit. I like the setting, The Good Olive, Zac’s family farm, is such a quaint place to tell a story. I wish I could visit. I liked it because the cancer was there but I don’t really think that’s what the book was about. I think it took the canacer for them to really straighten things out, for Mia at least.

I would definitely recommend this one.

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Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern

Say What You Will is unlike anything I have ever read. I have never really read anything about people who have physical disabilities. Mental illness is much easier to find in YA literature than physical disability, and that is kind of sad. Say What You Will is about Amy, who has cerebral palsy and Matt, who is dealing with his own demons.

Amy has never really had many friends and in an effort to change that she hires kids her age to act like an aid. Matthew, Sanjay, and a few other students learn how to work with Amy. For the first time in her life Amy feels like she is really making friends, but the only one she really connects with is Matthew. Her and Matthew work on things together and the friendship kind of escalates. There is this huge build up to prom where honestly I thought everything was going to work out, but that isn’t where the story ends. The story follows Amy and her computer to college as Matthew tries to get things together by taking a year off.

Overall, I liked the book. There were things I didn’t love. I didn’t love how pushy Amy was about Matthew’s disorder, but without her pushiness I don’t think she would feel like a real person to me. Amy was pushy and Matthew was stubborn and awkward but real people are like that. I wasn’t invested in the story so I didn’t love it, but I did like it.  I think Amy made some pretty bonehead moves but I’m glad that she kind of found her path in the end and I’m glad Matthew started to get more comfortable with himself.

Read this if you would like to expand your horizons a little bit, it was an interesting read.

Lucy In The Sky – Anonymous

Lucy in the Sky is written in the tradition of Go Ask Alice, Letting Ana Go, and Jay’s Journal so it’s anonymous. I didn’t love it. I remember being really enthralled with Letting Ana Go, and Go Ask Alice. I’d give it 2 stars.

I know it was written by a sixteen year old, so it wasn’t perfect. It made it very distracting for me to read and take the story seriously. I also thought it was a bit extreme, she smoked pot once and then she was overdosing on heroin. I know that stuff wrecks your life but it was just hard to believe everyone could just have that stuff around. It’s probably different in California than in Small Town, Wisconsin, but still.

It might be awhile before I can do another review because The Talisman is next in line and that one is a doozy.

Losing Hope

I really liked Losing Hope by Colleen Hoover. I really liked it. The cover caught my eye as it was sitting among the other books in my English teacher’s shelves. I read Hopeless last year and I throughly enjoyed Sky’s perspective and I was interested in reading it from Holder’s perspective. Honestly, I liked it wayyyy better than Sky’s.

Losing Hope is about Dean Holder. Holder has been through the ringer. When he was a child, he lost his best friend, Hope. He carries around the guilt of letting her be kidnapped and beats himself up over what he couldn’t help. In the beginning of this book, Holder loses his twin sister to suicide. One thing leads to another and his anger gets him sent to live with his father. When he returns, after his 18th birthday, he sees a girl at the grocery store that looks like Hope. After following the girl, he tries to convince himself that it is not her and he falls very much in love with her.

In this story Holder and Sky both discover secrets about their pasts and fall super in love.

It’s a really cute story. Read Hopeless first though.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of The Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

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I liked this book, but I didn’t like it as much as I feel like I should have. A few reviews call it a coming of age book and I would have to agree. I don’t think it personally applied to me because I am an 18 year old woman child and I don’t need to accept myself anymore than I already do. I think it maybe isn’t as much of a YA novel as maybe an in between. It just felt a little young for me even though some of the content seems to trend towards older kids.

Aristotle is 16 years old when he meets Dante. They become friends very fast and spend all summer together. Dante’s father gets a job in Chicago and Dante and his family will be living there through the school years. As the summer draws to an end the boys dread Dante leaving.  Over the school year, Dante and Aristotle discover who they are separately. They like both like drinking and Dante gets some party experience living in Chicago. Dante also decided he likes pot and boys. Aristotle is moody. I think he’s a little angst-y and a little to preoccupied with himself and his problems.

Like I said, I liked it but I definitely did not love it.