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Wednesday, April 01, 2009

A Mango-Shaped Space by Wendy Mass

A Mango-Shaped Space by Wendy Mass is my first book in lit*chick's Reading Round Robin. Last week it suddenly hit me that it was time to be sending the book on to the next person on the list and that I hadn't even started to read it yet. As I mentioned previously, this is a book I picked up from the library, but never got around to reading. A Mango-Shaped Space is about 13 year old Mia. Mia has a condition called synesthesia, which means she sees letters and words in color. This is starting to cause problems for her, as she can't make the colors of the words in English match the words in Spanish, and has similar problems with algebra. Mia has always thought she was a freak, but as she discovers, she's just different. There is another plot line that involves Mango, Mia's cat, as you might have guessed from the cover. (I have posted a big ol' spoiler right here, if you're one of those people who have animal problems in books. I know I am, if a pet is mentioned I wait for something to happen to it.)

I want to address two different things about this book. First, the book itself. I thought this was a well written book for the most part. I loved Mia and I thought her thoughts and feelings were genuine. Mia is strange, in a family of strange people. I loved her whole family, but especially her brother Zach. I didn't care for her best friend, I found her annoying in a two dimensional way. As I'm typing this I realize the author let a few threads drop, but perhaps it was intentional rather than oversight. There is a tiny bit of potential romance, which I loved, but I felt one "suitor" was thrown in needlessly.

Secondly, the part about the synesthesia was just fascinating. Regardless of the rest of the plot, the idea that you could see sounds is very cool. I think it was just enough information about it to make the plot work, but not bog it down in research. While this is a fiction book (and YA to boot) I think it fits in well with popular non-fiction books like Blink and I'd like to read more about it.

Overal, a good book and a great first choice for the Round Robin.

A Mango-Shaped Space
Wendy Mass
Little, Brown and Company
218 pages



  1. What the heck is a reading round robin? Glad you liked this one--I've never heard of synesthesia before.

  2. I shoulda linked to it, huh? There are six of us mailing six books around the country. We keep (and in theory read) each book for one month then send it to the next person.

  3. I've heard of synesthesia but don't know much about it. This book sounds great.

  4. I added this one to my TBR list. It does sound really interesting and I can't wait to get to it!


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