Monday, August 18, 2008

A Mango Shaped Space

Mia, 13, has always seen colors in sounds, numbers, and letters, a fact she has kept secret since the day she discovered that other people don't have this ability. Then she discovers that she has a rare condition called synesthesia, which means that the visual cortex in her brain is activated when she hears something. From then on, she leads a kind of double life-she eagerly attends research gatherings with other synesthetes and devours information about the condition, but continues to struggle at school, where her inadvertent pairing of particular colors with numbers and words makes math and French almost impossible to figure out. Her gradual abandonment of her frustrating school life in favor of the compelling world of fellow synesthetes and the unique things only they can experience seems quite logical, although readers may feel like shaking some sense into her. Finally, and rather abruptly, her extreme guilt at her beloved cat Mango's illness brings her back down to earth and she begins to work on some of the relationships she let crumble.
This was a different book, I must say. But I truely adored the story line and the main character, Mia. I think Wendy Mass did a wonderful job portraying a preteen girl who knows she is different and is trying so hard to hide herself from the people around her. She captured her emotions perfectly. Reading this book gave me a whole different perspective on my sight. I started wondering what I would thing numbers and sounds would look like to me. Not only did the book make me rethink everything thing I thought to be normal, but it allowed me to see into a world I had no idea even exhisted. I had no idea people actually saw sounds and numbers by splashes of colors and such.

When Mia tells her secret, she feels like a freak, something she already felt like actually, but now it is a more profound feeling. I related to Mia on so many levels and I found myself comparing my feelings to hers. Comparing what she was going through, to what I went through. This book gives young adults a different look at life. It allows them to actually think about the world they live in and what it would be like to see sounds and numbers. This book also shows young adult that, while it is not easy, it is possible to overcome your fears, no matter how big or small they may be. It also goes to show that no matter how freakish you may think you are, there is always someone, somewhere, who is just like you and going through the same thing.


Liv said...

I read this book a while ago and thought it was the cutest thing ever. I can't imagine being able to see sounds. That would be so cool! Great review!

cat said...

This is highly interesting to me since I was diagnosed with a form of synesthesia when I started University (waaay back when). I was given coloured paper to put over my textbooks while reading to help me absorb the information easier. Just black on white and I could read, but not understand what the heck I was reading. It helped, a little, mostly because I was not accepting it easily.

Anyhow, this sounds really interesting and I must now add it to my ever-growing wishlist!

cat said...

Grr. doesn't have it. If I want it it will have to come from

Just thought I'd mention that in case any other Canadians stopped by and were curious. :)

missyjstar100 said...

I read this book today and it was A M A Z I N G ! ! !
Its my new favorite (:

Anonymous said...

This book is amazing!!! I also can see the thing that mia see's. Its very interesting and now i know whats its called and i can take test on it and trust me, it is VERY cool. I also have OCD and there is a great book about that calles Total Constant Order:-) you guys should cheak it out!!!

Anonymous said...

its actually spanish that she takes in school, but otherwise the report is pretty good. :) this is a rly good book, if you're looking for something to read