Sunday, March 22, 2009

Wendy Mass. A MANGO-SHAPED SPACE

After being called a freak in third grade, Mia Winchell has hidden something from everyone in her life. When she hears sounds, she sees geometric shapes and colors. Each letter in the alphabet has its own color. Names do too. When she realized in the third grade that no one else sees these colors, she decided to keep it to herself so people wouldn't think she was crazy. Then she begins failing math and when the thought of summer school looms over her, she decides to tell her parents. They take her to the doctor and Mia eventually learns that her “colors” are a condition called synesthesia. The best discovery for her was that other people have it too! She’s not crazy or alone. Although, when the kids at school find out, she begins to feel like a freak again. On her course of self-discovery, Mia has some challenges and losses to overcome. Does she really want to be normal or does she want to just be herself?
I loved this book. I really loved the characters and the unique story. Mia’s family is wonderful. Her older sister Beth is just the right amount of weird & caring. Her little brother Zack is adorably quirky and funny. Here’s one of the scenes that made laugh out loud. It’s when the family sits down for an important meeting:
“It has come to our attention,” my mother begins, “that some serious misconceptions are floating around this house.”
“Somebody better catch them because I might be allergic,” Zack declares. (so cute!)
Other great characters are her best friend Jenna. They go through some pretty realistic relationship ups & downs. Roger is also a pretty great guy that Mia becomes friends with. Even with all of the losses (several characters lose important members of their families), the story still manages to be uplifting. There is something about the author's voice - a tenderness that really comes through. I can’t say it enough; I really love this book.

Other books by Wendy Mass:
HEAVEN LOOKS A LOT LIKE THE MALL
My review is here



Also her website is here.
Wow, she has a new book out that looks amazing! Another one for my "to read" pile!