Sarah's Reviews > Send Me a Sign

Send Me a Sign by Tiffany Schmidt
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Jul 09, 12

bookshelves: 2012
Recommended to Sarah by: Kelly
Read from July 08 to 09, 2012

I really, really enjoyed this book--and I generally avoid 1) cancer books and 2) books about popular girls--especially from new-to-me authors (this is a debut). And Send Me a Sign has both. But, it was incredibly fresh and an emotional novel that surprised me.

Mia is a super popular cheerleader with a perfect life (seriously--in the first chapter, I was all, "I'm not sure I can spend 300+ pages with a super popular cheerleader, those girls hated me in high school.". Her friends has the perfect summer before their senior year planned. Except Mia is diagnosed with leukemia. But, she doesn't tell anyone. That is, she doesn't tell anyone except her neighbor Gyver (yes, like MacGyver), who's a childhood friend. He's there for her during her stay in the hospital and is all around wonderful.

After she returns home following a month in the hospital and having successfully concealed her illness (egged on by her mother in a sadly realistic case of WTF denial), she continues her deception, while being pursued by The Jock aka Ryan. There are lots of complications in their relationship, and even though Ryan wasn't the guy that I wanted for Mia (obviously her sweetie pie musician neighbor Gyver is the boy you've got to root for), I LOVED that Ryan was never portrayed as a bad guy for the sake of Gyver being the boy for Mia. Does that make sense? Both boys' reactions to dealing with Mia's illness rang authentic and it made me care about each of them.

I also was very intrigued by the parental dynamics in SMaS. Mia's mother becomes obsessed with hiding her illness, pretending that everything is normal, while her father is obsessed with accumulating as much knowledge about her disease as possible. Both reactions felt realistic (see, there's a theme here!). Mia's mother really bothered me, to be honest, because she's so obsessed with her daughter being popular and having an outwardly perfect life and this just feels yucky to me (note my aforementioned discomfort with the notion of popularity), but at the same time, it also seemed "real."

Anyway... I do wish that the friendships in SMaS had been explored more. Or maybe not more, but perhaps in a way that I ended up being more sympathetic to Mia's circle of popular circle friends. In the end, I still was uncomfortable with them, as much as I'd grown to like and care about Mia. (view spoiler)

Well, I meant to write a quick reaction to this so I could jog my memory when I write my "real" review, but this got a bit rambling. Definitely a recommended read--if you avoid cancer/illness books, SMaS may be one to check out anyway, as it's different and very, very well-done. The payoff for all the characters is hard-earned, and not just because of Mia's illness, and I LOVED that.
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Reading Progress

07/08/2012 "I blame Kelly for my not being able to resist starting this one. ;)"
07/09/2012
15.0% "Mia's mother is really pissing me off. I never understand why parents worry about their kids being popular."
07/09/2012
43.0% "I really need to go to bed."

Comments (showing 1-7 of 7) (7 new)

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Kelly This is most definitely a Sarah book.


Sarah Kelly wrote: "This is most definitely a Sarah book."

YES! (Also, it warms my heart that you know what a "Sarah book" is.)


Kelly Sarah wrote: "Kelly wrote: "This is most definitely a Sarah book."

YES! (Also, it warms my heart that you know what a "Sarah book" is.)"


I never, ever skip to the end of a book before I finish. I did it with this one and knowing where it ends, I want to make it last as long as possible before I get there.


Kelly Kelly wrote: "Sarah wrote: "Kelly wrote: "This is most definitely a Sarah book."

YES! (Also, it warms my heart that you know what a "Sarah book" is.)"

I never, ever skip to the end of a book before I finish. I..."


I hate cancer books, and this most certainly is not a "cancer book."


Kelly I didn't think of your spoiler as manipulative, but I could see how it reads that way. I found it really effective, and it got me to the point of tears I think I needed to be at at that point.


Sarah Kelly wrote: "I didn't think of your spoiler as manipulative, but I could see how it reads that way. I found it really effective, and it got me to the point of tears I think I needed to be at at that point."

I think I always find that thing in the spoiler manipulative, nearly every time I come across it--it's one of my biases as a reader (at least I'm self-aware of that, though). I know that that thing was a catalyst for the end of the book, but it still left me with that feeling.

But, I really, really, really liked SMaS, so it didn't impact my overall feeling that this is a super novel. I mean, she made me root for the popular girl! That's something. (Heh, another one of my reading biases.)

Obviously, I should write something on the blog about my biases at some point. But, ugh... I can't only imagine the, "You should be objective!" responses.


Kelly Sarah wrote: "Kelly wrote: "I didn't think of your spoiler as manipulative, but I could see how it reads that way. I found it really effective, and it got me to the point of tears I think I needed to be at at th..."

I think it played against my usual feelings about it because the topic at hand -- the cancer -- is one of those topics I find incredibly manipulative and Schmidt DOESN'T MAKE IT THAT WAY here, so it played against that expectation.

I don't see why there's anything wrong about blogging about your biases. I have 'em too, and I'm pretty open about them (cancer, boy-saves-girl, etc). That doesn't mean you still can't be objective. If you recognize and own it, that's being objective.


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