Books Kids Fiction One Plus One Equals Blue

One Plus One Equals Blue Featured

http://www.yabookscentral.com/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x275s/db/53/4e/_one-plus-one-equals-blue-mj-auch-1353080771.jpg
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
661   0
Author(s)
Age Range
10+
Release Date
April 20, 2013
ISBN
0805094059
Buy This Book
      
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). At first, Basil is somewhat annoyed with Tenzie’s pushiness, but after Basil’s estranged mother returns, his life is turned upside down . . . and Tenzie may be the only person to help him put it back together again.

Once again, MJ Auch has written a thoughtful coming-of-age novel that explores friendship, family, and fitting in.

Editor reviews

What I Loved:
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, which generally focuses more on family dynamics and friendship than on romance. Basil Feeney is an outcast. Having been homsechooled up until the seventh grade, he had little chance of popularity. However, what sealed his fate as the biggest loser in school was when he told his friend why he was so bad at math: the numbers appear to him as colors, and some of the colors are repeated. Ever since, he's been a freak, isolated from everyone else.

When a weird new girl, Tenzie, arrives, she throws his world for a loop. She sits at his lunch table (errr, desk), joins him on the bus, and invites herself over after school. Tenzie is just about the biggest pest he could ever imagine, and the cover captures his early attitude perfectly. He doesn't want her to get him noticed, and doesn't want to get close to her only to have her make fun of him later for being a freak. Plus, she takes his grandmother's attention away from him where it belongs.

When he realizes that she also sees numbers as colors, though, they really begin to develop a friendship. With some research, he realizes that they are not alone, and that what they are is synesthetic. I loved that, though they had somewhat similar synesthesia, it functioned quite differently for both of them, giving me a better idea of how varied synesthesia can be. The story shifts then from his friendship with Tenzie, though they do continue to grow closer throughout, with little setbacks along the way. Their friendship is very well-handled.

The rest of the book focuses on Basil's, and to a lesser degree Tenzie's, familial relationships. Basil never knew his father, was abandoned by his mother who went to Hollywood to pursue her dreams of being a star, and was raised by his Gram. Shortly after his life was changed by the introduction of the indefatigable Tenzie, he's thrown for a loop once again, when his mother makes her first appearance in seven years.

What Left Me Wanting More:
Carly Feeney is every bit the unreliable, neglectful mother so common in fiction. She has itchy feet, and likes the idea of being a caring mother much better than the reality of a sulky kid, which, even at the best of times, Basil rather is. Carly sweeps everyone else off their feet, though, helping out with the school play. Tenzie, especially, looks up to Carly, desperate for affection and affection, since her parents ignore her. Basil is torn between hope that his mom will finally love him and wishing she would just leave. All the poor parenting is a bit trite, but at least Basil's grandmother is loving and supportive, and also a totally awesome hippie, who listens to The Beatles and makes stained glass.

The Final Verdict:
With well-drawn characters and realistic emotional arcs, One Plus One Equals Blue is a touching story of teenage outcasts finding one another and coming to terms with their family situations.
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Christina Franke, Staff Reviewer Reviewed by Christina Franke, Staff Reviewer April 30, 2013
Last updated: April 30, 2013
Top 10 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (678)

A Touching Story of Family and Friendship

What I Loved:
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, which generally focuses more on family dynamics and friendship than on romance. Basil Feeney is an outcast. Having been homsechooled up until the seventh grade, he had little chance of popularity. However, what sealed his fate as the biggest loser in school was when he told his friend why he was so bad at math: the numbers appear to him as colors, and some of the colors are repeated. Ever since, he's been a freak, isolated from everyone else.

When a weird new girl, Tenzie, arrives, she throws his world for a loop. She sits at his lunch table (errr, desk), joins him on the bus, and invites herself over after school. Tenzie is just about the biggest pest he could ever imagine, and the cover captures his early attitude perfectly. He doesn't want her to get him noticed, and doesn't want to get close to her only to have her make fun of him later for being a freak. Plus, she takes his grandmother's attention away from him where it belongs.

When he realizes that she also sees numbers as colors, though, they really begin to develop a friendship. With some research, he realizes that they are not alone, and that what they are is synesthetic. I loved that, though they had somewhat similar synesthesia, it functioned quite differently for both of them, giving me a better idea of how varied synesthesia can be. The story shifts then from his friendship with Tenzie, though they do continue to grow closer throughout, with little setbacks along the way. Their friendship is very well-handled.

The rest of the book focuses on Basil's, and to a lesser degree Tenzie's, familial relationships. Basil never knew his father, was abandoned by his mother who went to Hollywood to pursue her dreams of being a star, and was raised by his Gram. Shortly after his life was changed by the introduction of the indefatigable Tenzie, he's thrown for a loop once again, when his mother makes her first appearance in seven years.

What Left Me Wanting More:
Carly Feeney is every bit the unreliable, neglectful mother so common in fiction. She has itchy feet, and likes the idea of being a caring mother much better than the reality of a sulky kid, which, even at the best of times, Basil rather is. Carly sweeps everyone else off their feet, though, helping out with the school play. Tenzie, especially, looks up to Carly, desperate for affection and affection, since her parents ignore her. Basil is torn between hope that his mom will finally love him and wishing she would just leave. All the poor parenting is a bit trite, but at least Basil's grandmother is loving and supportive, and also a totally awesome hippie, who listens to The Beatles and makes stained glass.

The Final Verdict:
With well-drawn characters and realistic emotional arcs, One Plus One Equals Blue is a touching story of teenage outcasts finding one another and coming to terms with their family situations.

Was this review helpful to you? 
 

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.

Already have an account? or Create an account
 
Powered by JReviews

LATEST YABC BLOG POSTS - BLOG TOURS, ANNOUNCEMENTS, AND GIVEAWAYS

  • Books Aren't Dangerous Campaign

      Do you remember that book that changed your life as a reader, or maybe just your life in general? You do? That’s great!        Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, authors of the BEAUTIFUL CREATURES series, have started a campaign called BOOKS AREN’T DANG ...

  • TOMORROWLAND - Drive Through Movie Review

    **********NO SPOILERS************ The Nerd Riders, Kristin and Clint, give their thoughts on the new Disney film TOMORROWLAND.    QUESTION: If you could go to an alternate universe what would you want to see there? ...

  • It's live!! Cover Reveal: The Secret Side of Empty by Maria E. Andreu + Giveaway (US/Canada)

    Hi, YABC! Today we're super excited to celebrate the cover reveal for THE SECRET SIDE OF EMPTY by Maria E. Andreu, releasing September 1, 2015 from Running Press. Before we get to the cover, here's a note from Maria:   YABC Readers!  I’m so excited to share the pape ...

  • May 2015 YABC Book Haul

    Hey YABCers! Once again, our office has been innundated with books, books, and  more BOOKS! We've run out of shelf space which can only mean one thing .... it's time for the May Book Haul! Enjoy the video and let us know in the comments which books you can't wait to add to your TBR. &nbs ...

  • It's live!! Cover Reveal: Insidious by Dawn Metcalf + Giveaway (US/Canada)

    Hello, YABC! Today we're super excited to celebrate the cover reveal for INSIDIOUS by Dawn Metcalf, releasing August 25, 2015 from Harlequin TEEN. Before we get to the cover, here's a note from Dawn:   You know when you finish a story, you never really finish because there' ...

  • What's New in YA

      Are you wondering what's new in YA today? Check out these wonderful new releases!       A School for Unusual Girls is the first captivating installment in the Stranje House series for young adults by award-winning author Kathleen Baldwin. #1 New York ...

  • The Librarian's Corner

      This month's theme for the Librarian's corner is all about picture books you can share with teens! Picture books aren't just for kids and babies anymore. In fact, teens love storytime too!    For May, I am featuring some of my favorite picture books to share ...

  • The Greater Rochester Teen Book Festival

        The Greater Rochester Teen Book Festival--TBF 2015 Contributed by Kayla King, Blog Manager and Staff Reviewer   Here at Young Adult Books Central, we LOVE YA! Fortunately for us, The Greater Rochester Book Festival held at Nazareth Collge devotes itself to s ...

  • Giveaway: If You Feel Too Much by Jamie Tworkowski (US Only)

    If You Feel Too Much: Thoughts on Things Found and Lost and Hoped For By Jamie Tworkowski Release Date: May 26, 2015   About the Book In 2006 Jamie Tworkowski wrote a story called “To Write Love on Her Arms” about helping a friend through her struggle with drug addiction, ...

  • Giveaway: Nova by Margaret Fortune (US Only)

    Nova by Margaret Fortune   Release Date: June 2nd   About the Book *36:00:00* The clock activates so suddenly in my mind, my head involuntarily jerks a bit to the side. The fog vanishes, dissipated in an instant as though it never was. Memories come slotting ...

  • It's live!! Cover Reveal: Briar Rose by Jane Yolen

    Happy Friday, YABCers! Today we're super excited to celebrate the cover reveal for BRIAR ROSE by Jane Yolen, releasing April 19, 2016 from Tor Teen.      Ready to see? Scroll, YABCers! Scroll! ...       ...     ...

  • Giveaway: Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone (US Only)

    EVERY LAST WORD By Tamara Ireland Stone In stores June 16th   About the Book If you could read my mind, you wouldn't be smiling.   Samantha McAllister looks just like the rest of the popular girls in her junior class. But hidden beneath the straightened hair and ...

View more blog entries

Latest Book Listings Added

Laura Martin is visiting Rome on a class trip, and she's entranced by the majestic Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, the...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The youngest of six talented sisters, Elyse d’Abreau was destined for stardom—until a boating accident took everything from her. Now,...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
The Stick Dog series continues in author-illustrator Tom Watson's hilarious Stick Dog Dreams of Ice Cream. In the follow-up to...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
Ranger, the time-traveling golden retriever, is back for the second book in Kate Messner's new chapter book series. This time,...
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
22635844.jpg
Category: Kids Fiction
Rye O'Chanter was shocked to discover that her father was the leader of the notorious band of outlaws known as...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Lois Lane is starting a new life in Metropolis. An Army brat, Lois has lived all...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Kiera Cass's #1 New York Times bestselling Selection series has enchanted readers from the very first...
 
3.7
 
3.7 (2)
What if the world holds more dangers—and more wonders—than we have ever known? And what if...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
23111784.jpg
Will this Mad Tea Party put Alice in hot water? Alice is rebellion-ready, eager to save...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Reality, it turns out, is often not what you perceive it to be—sometimes, there really is...
 
5.0
 
4.3 (1)
Alias Hook.jpg
"Every child knows how the story ends. The wicked pirate captain is flung overboard, caught in...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Perfect for fans of Laurie Halse Anderson and Gayle Forman, Every Last Promise is a provocative...
 
3.8 (2)
 
3.2 (2)
The conclusion to the bestselling InterWorld series, from Neil Gaiman, Michael Reaves, and Mallory Reaves! Joey...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
Twenty years ago, all the evil villains were banished from the kingdom of Auradon and made...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
By the author of the critically acclaimed Wild Awake, a beautiful coming-of-age story about deep friendship,...
 
3.7
 
3.3 (1)
The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak is Stonewall Book Award-winning author Brian Katcher’s hilarious he...
 
3.3
 
3.7 (1)
61i%2BU8zcJcL.jpg
Category: Kids Nonfiction
This set of customizable gizmos includes a book of games, pranks, and jokes that make the most of them. The...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Shadowhunters and demons square off for the final showdown in the spellbinding, seductive conclusion to the #1 New York Times...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
I’m the daughter of murdered parents. I’m the friend of a dead girl. I’m the lover of my enemy. And...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Fairy Tale Survival Rule #32: If you find yourself at the mercy of a wicked witch, sing a romantic ballad...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)