Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “One Plus One Equals Blue” as Want to Read:
One Plus One Equals Blue
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

One Plus One Equals Blue

3.31  ·  Rating details ·  656 Ratings  ·  124 Reviews
Twelve year-old Basil knows he's special--he's been associating numbers with colors since he was a kid. His gift (or curse) has turned him into somewhat of a loner, but his world begins to change when he meets Tenzie, the new girl in school who has similar freakisms. She, too, has synesthesia (a condition in which one type of stimulation evokes the sensation of another). A ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published April 1st 2014 by Square Fish (first published April 30th 2013)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about One Plus One Equals Blue, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Neil This book, in my opinion, was horrible. In the first half of the book, it was incredibly boring and slow. The second half, I wanted to gouge my eyes…moreThis book, in my opinion, was horrible. In the first half of the book, it was incredibly boring and slow. The second half, I wanted to gouge my eyes out. The characters started getting on my nerves. It was like watching dumb people make dumb decisions in a horror movie. The reactions seemed so unreal. Also, this book orbits around the subject of a kid with synthesia, but rarely brings it up. The book only brings it up 5 or 4 times, out of all 262 pages. This book was just focused around family problems, not the problems a kid with a disorder meets. MJ could've written about Basil extremely struggling in school socially and mentally. She could have written about how he was close to his breaking point. That's how you make this book tense. Add a couple of bullies and school obstacles here and there, and you got yourself a book. This book had problems that any kid can have, disorder or not.(less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
What lured me to One Plus One Equals Blue was the fact that the two main characters both have synesthesia, which I find fascinating and magical. Though One Plus One Equals Blue did not turn out to focus heavily on synesthesia itself, this novel is still a great read, and one sure to please middle grade readers. Auch's novel focuses primarily on accepting oneself and learning to appreciate the good things in life.

Since I read so much young adult fiction, it's always nice to read middle grade, whi
Jun 02, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh, I wanted to love this. And so much of it is charming. But it's really a MG book (not YA, as shelved by my library and as cover art implies) and is just too simple, too earnest, too sunny, to warrant 4 stars. Teens, with angst, more smarts or at least experience, and more independence, would have told the story better, imo.

Sep 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One + One = Blue was, for me, one of those unassuming titles that just happened to creep into my life at the perfect time. When I received it, I thought the cover and premise were cute, and that it’d be one of those nice little contemporary middle grade stories about friendship and bonding over your similar differences from the larger group. I’d probably think it was good, but it probably wouldn’t stick with me for any length of time because, really, it’s just another contemporary middle grade. ...more
This book was more about a kid looking for his mom than synesthesia. A little bit disappointed to be honest but a cute read I guess...
Jenni Arndt
Dec 20, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc-own
I was so excited when I picked up ONE + ONE = BLUE and saw that the book deals with synesthesia. When I read about the condition in R.J. Anderson’s ULTRAVIOLET I quickly became fascinated with how people associate every day things with colors, or taste emotions. Could imagine being able to smell fear? M.J. Auch didn’t delve into the logistics as much as I was hoping she would, but with this novel we got a really cute story about relationships and family.

Basil is a 12 year old boy who has just en
Meet Basil. He has got synesthesia which is an interesting disorder that causes you to experience two sensations at the same time (ish). He’s 12 years old and also, rather firmly, attached to his position as the class loser. Then there’s Tenzie. She’s also 12 and she also has synesthesia.

Both of them have parental issues. Basil’s mom abandoned him when he was a baby and he has no idea who his dad is. But he lives with his grandmother who is pretty darned cool in a superawesome house. Tenzie’s si
May 14, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Basil thinks he’s alone in his ability to see numbers as colors until he meets Tenzie. She has an entire mental grid of number and color combinations. Their disclosure and Tenzie’s explanation that she knows others who have this mental quirk lead Basil to do research and find its name: synesthesia. Basil and Tenzie proceed to become friends after Basil’s initial reluctance, and they conquer some bullies, reunite (briefly and unhappily) with Basil’s absent mother, and confront (briefly and unhapp ...more
I wasn’t impressed. The story was decent enough, I guess, but it was just so flat. From reviews I’d read, I’d expected something touching and an amazing chronicle of synesthesia, but instead I found a juvenile story of a boy struggling with the fact that his mother dumped him, and the difference a friend has on him.

Though at first glance this appears to be a story about synesthia, it really only is an element. The real story is about Basil, a boy raised by his grandmother ever since his mother,
Brad Sells
Dec 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc-own
Wow. One Plus One Equals Blue is a beautiful and heart-wrenching read that made me happy, made me sad, and most of all, kept me engaged the entire time.

This book is filled with so many emotions. Our main character, Basil, made me really connect with him. I felt bad for him whenever he would be bullied or picked on by kids in his class, and I really appreciated that bullying and the affects it has on kids was thrown into the book. And since we got to see through the eyes of someone who has a disa
Jun 04, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
One plus one equals blue is about seventh grade boy named Basil who lives with his grandma and has synesthesia. It is his first year not being home schooled and he makes a friend with a girl named Tenzie, later found out she also has synesthesia too. Both Tenzie and Basil don't see there parents very often. Basil's mom decide to come back home from Hollywood after trying to become a star and not see her son for 7 years. Again after making promises with Basil and Tenzie she leaves because of argu ...more
The world of twelve-year-old loner Basil Feeney is rocked when free-spirited Tenzie Verplank befriends him at school. She's new in town and dealing with parents who are so busy working to pay much attention to him, and they both have synesthesia and associate numbers with colors. Basil lives with his grandmother who has taken care of him ever since his mother left for Hollywood. As Tenzie makes her way into Basil's world, his mother, Carly returns briefly and drops a bombshell during an argument ...more
Jun 22, 2015 added it
This book is too childish. I think, i'd liked it in my 10 or so. I don't understand, why it was on 'young adults' bookshelf.
On the one hand, phenomenon of synesthesia is interesting, but on the other hand, life of Basil and his grandmother is such utopia, I didn't really understand some of his actions, as well as Tenzie's expectations about Carly, and of course Carly's actions. In my 12 I was more adult, I think.
So, I rate "One plus one equals blue" as 3/5.
Wendy Darling
The blurb for One + One = Blue is a little misleading. The focus appears to be on 12-year-old Basil's synesthesia, but that turns out to be just one part of the story. Liked, but didn't love.

The full text of this review may be found in The Midnight Garden. An advance copy was provided by the publisher.
Aug 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely recommend this to anyone ever. this is such a good book. It focuses on a boy who has something called "synesthesia". Which is where you see numbers as colors, or words as colors, or even some of your senses are crossed. Like if you see a truck driving past you smell bacon. 100% clean. I recommend this to anyone!

A full review will be coming on my channel soon!
Actual Rating: 2.5 stars
Feb 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
really interesting story, but there wasn't as much focus on the characters conditions as I would've liked.
Sep 18, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-books
The plot was pretty far-fetched, but this was the best description of synesthesia I've ever come across. It doesn't surprise me that the author has synesthesia herself.
I know, it sounds like some Fifty Shades of Grey spinoff, but it's a very good book with a very real story and characters.
A quick synopsis, but not too much, because I honestly would like for you to read it as well. Basil is an eighth grader with no friends and a very strange gift (how original is this sounding) called synesthesia. This sensual condition is very common and strange, and it involves language, perception and your senses. Sounds might have colors and shapes, letters and days of th
As soon as a learned that MJ Auch's One Plus One Equals Blue explored synesthesia, I just knew I had to read it. Synesthesia is a neurological condition in which one type of stimulation evokes the sensation of another. I've been completely fascinated by this condition for years and was really looking forward to meeting Auch's two main characters, Basil and Tenzie, who have this gift. While I found One Plus One Equals Blue to be an enjoyable middle-grade read, it turned out to be quite different ...more
Amy Fournier
I love middle grade books and I don't read nearly enough of them. This one sounded so good and I really love the cover. It was actually much different than I was expecting, but I still did really enjoy it. I had never read a book about this particular issue, and I was really interested in it. It's something I have heard of, but nothing I really knew anything about. I was really hoping that the book would go more into it, but unfortunately it fell short on that part, but I really enjoyed getting ...more
See more reviews at The Best Books Ever.

One Plus One Equals Blue was adorable and a little heartbreaking. Basil is a loner, having been homeschooled until he was old enough for middle school, and then not making any friends because everyone else treats him like he's weird. He's used to having no friends, so when Tenzie comes along and immediately starts trying to push her way into his life, things start to get frustrating for Basil. Without giving away too much, we follow Basil as he tries to na
Seventh-grader Basil feels isolated because he mentally associates numbers with unique colors. He has no idea that anyone else experiences numbers this way, until he meets Tenzie, a brassy newcomer to his neighborhood and school. Tenzie also sees numbers as colors, and together they form a tentative friendship, as Basil and Tenzie learn about synesthesia. The descriptions of the condition ring true, possibly because Auch also experiences synesthesia. Readers will find that synesthesia only serve ...more
Tracy Dien
Oct 15, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This would probably have to be the one book that has revived my love for reading that I once had as a younger child. Although its a simple read, it nevertheless manages to capture my attention in every aspect of the book.

Beginning with the introduction of the character Basil Feeney, the reader learns that he is automatically an outsider in his school for he had been home schooled for most of his life. On top of the difficulty of being the new kid, he also has the ability to associate colors wit
Dec 18, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
One + One = Blue is a quick middle grade read that focuses on Basil, a young loner with synesthesia. Between the arrival of the crazy new girl Tenzie and the return of his even more crazy estranged mother, Basil's world is about to be turned upside down!

I really enjoyed the aspects of the book that focused on synesthesia. I was introduced to in my intro psychology class last year. The class I took was science-focused, so I learned a bit of brain science and when my prof covered synesthesia, it w
Vi (the Vi3tBabe)
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect going into this. The cover makes it look light and fun, the synopsis adds a bit of seriousness to it, but after reading it I found that it’s a lot more emotional and “real”. I felt like Auch tackled Synesthesia enough so readers could get a decent sense of what it is and how it’s different for everyone who has it, while also weaving in intricately with a sweet and innocent story of two kids finding common ground and changing each other for the better. What you ...more
Dec 11, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-grade
Source: ARC from the publisher for review

Review: One + One = Blue is an exceptional book with a unique tone and story. It dives right into Basil’s story and right into his differences. It does not focus on Basil’s synesthesia however. Instead, synesthesia is in the background, a part of Basil’s life that makes him special, that gives him both trouble and advantages, but which is never his defining feature. The true story here is that of Basil’s’s relationships, particularly with Tenzie and with
One Plus One Equals Blue has made me come to the conclusion that realistic middle grade books are not for me. And that’s okay! I’m not the target audience anyway, obviously. However, I don’t think 12-year-old Stormy would have liked this book much either.

One Plus One Equals Blue starts out by introducing us to Basil. Basil has a form of synesthesia in which he sees numbers as colors, and it’s made him “weird” in school. Up until the current school year, his grandmother had taught him at home, so
I want to give this three stars due to the second half of the book, however the weak writing and basically non-existent plot makes me take off at least half a star. Also, the summary of the book (it being about rarely talked about mental quirks in young children and how it affects their day to day lives.) was terribly misleading, as very little of it was actually about what it advertised.

HOWEVER. I loved, love loved the relationship between Basil and his mother Carly and how it was written/prese
Kathy Martin
Apr 19, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Basil tells his story in ONE + ONE = BLUE. He has just started middle school after years of being homeschooled. He has settled in at the bottom of the social latter partially because he hasn't ever had any contact with other kids and partially because he has synesthesia which has him associating numbers with colors.

When new kid Tenzie pushes her way into friendship with him, his life expands. At first he is rude and hurtful to her and completely lacking in empathy. But her constant presence beg
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Winner Bakes All (The Cupcake Club, #3)
  • Hiding Out at the Pancake Palace
  • This Journal Belongs to Ratchet
  • Wish (triology Faerieground, #1)
  • Mountain Dog
  • Remember Dippy
  • Eleven Sundays
  • I Represent Sean Rosen
  • Zebra Forest
  • A world of trouble (Merits of Mischief #2)
  • D-Day: The Invasion of Normandy, 1944 [The Young Readers Adaptation]
  • The Bully Book
  • Streaming Stars (Transcender, #2)
  • Cloneward Bound (The Clone Chronicles, #2)
  • Odette's Secrets
  • Confessions of a Hater
  • Anthem for Jackson Dawes
  • The Fantastic Family Whipple
Mary Jane Auch also writes as MJ Auch.

The thought of becoming a writer never occurred to MJ Auch as a child. Her only literary efforts in those days were the plays which she and her girlfriend, Noreen, wrote for their marionettes. They produced these extravaganzas in Noreen’s garage and organized the neighborhood boys into a sales force to sell tickets and refreshments.

Summer visits to both of MJ’
More about Mary Jane Auch...
“You got pretty popular for a while there.'
'For about forty-eight hours,' I said. 'Just long enough to figure out that I don't want to be popular.”
“Good, don't think. Thinking is highly overrated.” 1 likes
More quotes…