Lydia's Reviews > A Mango-shaped Space

A Mango-shaped Space by Wendy Mass
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's review
Aug 11, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: contemporaries, poignant, so-darn-sweet, young-adult
Read in August, 2012

In terms of the realistic fiction genre, that can, yes I admit, be a bit tedious or dragging at times, I think Wendy Mass is at the top. Seriously, every single book she writes is just near perfection. It's kind of ridiculous.

I loved A Mango-Shaped Space (no surprise there) but it's first time I've read one of Mass' young adult novels. The writing definitely had more mature elements but it still had that innocent vibe to it. The characters were older, and dealt with all the experiences that adolescent years bring— drama between friends, rumors and gossip at school, and a sense that "no one understands me". Mass really understands teenagers, and her writing reflects that. Those awkward preteen early teen transition years are rough, and the way Mass makes the reader feel those emotions all over again. And this book is just so sweet, so meaningful. It's a relatively short book compared to all those meaningless romance paranormal novels that are dominating the YA industry right now, but it's so much more powerful, so much more touching.

Mia Winchell looks like an ordinary thirteen year old teenage girl on the outside, she goes over the friend's houses, hates math, and thinks her little brother can get insufferable. What's unusual about that? Except, she's been harboring and hiding a secret her entire life. She's synesthetic, meaning she sees colors when she hears sounds and words. For example, the screeching of chalk on a blackboard appears as a jagged line of loud red to her. Pretty cool right? But she doesn't feel that way. She feels like a freak. And if she tells someone, she KNOWS they'll think she's either a) crazy or b) a freak. So she's kept quiet about it all these years until eighth grade, when her luck runs out and the story comes tumbling out. And now, she has to learn how to accept herself and accept that her loved ones don't care that she's synesthetic, they don't care that she's different. They love her for who she is. Mia.

The book itself has enlightened me greatly on a subject that I barely knew anything about it. I've heard a few mentions of it before, but I didn't realize how much it affected people and their living. It sounds like a blessing at first, but then Mia feels like it's a curse, but eventually, she realize's it just is. She's synesthetic. And she's fine with that. Imagine if every word that was spoken out of someone's mouth, every sound that's produced, and every noise that's created you can see colors and geometric shapes for. It's basically like seeing the appearance of a sound. That's what Mia and quite a few others have to deal with on a daily basis. And this book has taught me, that you just have to work around it and not let it take control of YOU. Like any other problem in life.

Realistic and emotional, this book, this author, this GENRE, should be read more. Trust me, A Mango-Shaped Space will have you smiling on every page.

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