Kelly's Reviews > Send Me a Sign

Send Me a Sign by Tiffany Schmidt
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's review
Sep 25, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: ya-fiction, read-in-2012
Recommended to Kelly by: Courtney
Read from June 26 to 28, 2012

I am not a fan of cancer books, and neither is Mia. So when she's diagnosed with leukemia, she hides it. She doesn't want to be cancer girl. She wants to get through that first round of chemo then be her normal, happy, perfectionist self, surrounded by the girls she's been friends with and cheerleaders with forever.

But it's not that easy and can't be that easy. She's told one person her diagnosis: Gyver, the boy who has been her best friend and neighbor since the beginning of time. The boy who has always been a steady person for her. The only person she feels won't make her cancer girl.

In the midst of chemo rounds -- which happen during the summer -- Mia is able to live somewhat normally. She's getting signs from Ryan, one of the popular guys at school, that he's interested in her. Seriously interested in her. The thing is, she's not ready for him. She doesn't necessarily see him as the kind of guy she wants to date. He's got a little bit of a reputation for not being serious with any girl, and Mia's just not sure whether she has feelings for him like he does for her. It's more than that though: she doesn't want to have to tell him about her cancer. She doesn't want to be the person who scares him away.

She doesn't want to be that person, period.

Schmidt's debut worked for me because this book tackles cancer and the cancer genre of books with the approach I take in reading them. That is, it pushes against them, challenges them, doesn't want to acknowledge what it is they are or they are not. Mia is a strong girl tackling something that is literally attacking from the inside out. But rather than allow herself to be pitied, to be doted upon, she wants to keep it a secret. She doesn't want people to be scared or worried because she herself doesn't want to be scared or worried. When her parents begin to make her more nervous about what cancer means for her, she further pushes herself away from the diagnosis and from the reality of her physical illness. She strives to operate as though it's not a part of her. (view spoiler)

The romantic tension in this book was palpable and sweet and hit all of the right notes. (view spoiler) SEND ME A SIGN is about that choice of who you let in and who you do not let in. And it's not necessarily about a right choice or a wrong choice but about choice all together. (view spoiler)

I loved the weaving of superstition and signs into the book and felt like they really fleshed out the whole of who Mia was while giving readers the opportunity to be surprised right along with her. Never once did this feel like one of those stories where cancer makes someone smarter, more insightful, more worldly or more experienced. Mia was a teenage girl and remained a teenage girl. Her problems were the problems of high school girls. That's not to belittle the weight of what cancer is in a story but rather to maybe give it MORE weight.

Even though at times it got a little bit hard to separate out Mia's three best girl friends, it didn't matter a whole lot in the end. I do wish there had been a little more up front -- I wanted a bit more of getting to know Mia and her ways earlier in the story, prior to the diagnosis. However, how much she grew as a character over the course of the story was fantastic. I loved getting to know the boys and finding both of them to be realistic and flawed and frustrating and loveable.

This book will be a go-to for those who love Jenny Han's writing, and without doubt, those who were fans of her "Summer" series will want to read this book.

Full review here:
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Reading Progress

06/26/2012 page 280
73.0% "Reminds me so much of Jenny Han in terms of writing, it'll be a hit with Han fans. (Yes, I'm reading all of these books at once, what of it?)"
06/27/2012 page 335
87.0% "Tears are pouring out of my eyes."

Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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message 1: by Jordyn (new) - added it

Jordyn So glad you liked this because it's on my shelf and sounds really good.

Kelly Jordyn wrote: "So glad you liked this because it's on my shelf and sounds really good."

I think you'll really like it, Jordyn.

message 3: by Emily (new) - added it

Emily M. I put this on my to-read shelf, and I can't wait to read it! Specialty because I LOVE Jenny Hans summer series! But I'm mad beside this book is not in the library yet!!!!!!

Kelly Emily wrote: "I put this on my to-read shelf, and I can't wait to read it! Specialty because I LOVE Jenny Hans summer series! But I'm mad beside this book is not in the library yet!!!!!!"

It's not out until October, but the wait will be worth it!

Julia Who is the protagonist and the antagonist in this book?

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