I was pleasantly surprised when I started reading Finding Mia; it'd been awhile since I read the synopsis so I didn't go into this YA contemporary with any expectations, yet really enjoyed this heart-wrenching story of family and self-discovery. Mia was an incredibly strong heroine, who I clicked with - her individuality was really inspiring, and her fears when it comes to her new family are completely relevant and understandable. I found her very genuine and sympathetic, and warmed to this story right away. I actually didn't want it to end!
My favorite part of Rachel K Burke's story was the characters. They all contributed to the story, from Mia, to her outspoken friend Gretchen, who was a layered character, to Evan, Mia's boyfriend. While I definitely didn't agree with all of Mia's actions, she was a lost teenager, and I could absolutely identify. Her struggles made her seem more real, although there were times when I wanted to jump into the book and give her a shake or a talking to. I was really moved by seeing her try to find a way to not just get along with her father and step-mother, but find a way to let them into her lives. That was one of my favorite aspects of the plot of Finding Mia, although I also really enjoyed Mia's growth.
Finding Mia is a powerful story of a girl finding who she is, when she's finally able to step out from the shadow of her mother's illness. It's a character study, and a story of bravery, and second chances. The pacing was really nicely done, and Burke's writing style is strong and clear. I would definitely recommend this story to teen readers, because I think it will resonate with others as it did with me!