Sara ♥'s Reviews > A Mango-Shaped Space

A Mango-Shaped Space by Wendy Mass
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Dec 04, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: 2009, challenge-fall-2009, young-adult, tear-jerker
Read in October, 2009 , read count: 1

This book was fan-tastic.

I haven't cried like that over a book since... *looks at read list*... Texas Glory by Lorraine Heath in July 2008. It's been a while since I was REALLY moved to tears like that. Others books that made me bawl like a wee bairn: The Second Summer of the Sisterhood by Ann Brashares (literally had to put the book down to cry for about 30 minutes before I could keep going) and The Alison Rules by Catherine Clark... WOW.

Anyway, this book was the perfect combination of UTTERLY FASCINATING (I think neurological conditions are wicked-awesome... ever since I read The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and An Anthropologist on Mars by Oliver W. Sacks when I was a senior in high school.) and EMOTIONALLY STIRRING.

I've already talked about the emotionally stirring part, but the utterly fascinating part... The main character in the book has synesthesia, which is a neurological condition where, essentially, your brain processes the signals you get from your senses differently than a normal brain would. The wires get crossed. In Mia's case, she can hear AND see sounds. She also sees letters (and names) and numbers in different colors (A and 2 are yellow, 4 is blue, etc.). It's wacky, and totally awesome. And Wendy Mass does an EXCELLENT JOB at helping us, as normal-sighted reader, see what Mia sees.

So Mia grew up thinking something was wrong with her (which it sort of was, but it's just a condition, not a disease or brain tumor or anything)... She realizes at the age of 8 that she's not like other kids, and she finally caves and tells her parents at 13 when she starts failing Algebra and Spanish. (Algebra is hard for her because X, which is a letter of distinct color CAN'T be a different-colored number, too... and the colors in general make math hard. Spanish is hard because the word DOG in English is one color-combo and the word PERRO in Spanish is NOT the same color. That WOULD be hard....)

This story is about how Mia deals with the new knowledge that she's not a freak after all... that there are other people who see things like she does... It's really a very colorful coming-of-age story... :) I loved it.
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