Books Kids Fiction One Plus One Equals Blue

One Plus One Equals Blue Featured

http://69.195.136.18/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x275s/db/53/4e/_one-plus-one-equals-blue-mj-auch-1353080771.jpg
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
727   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

View more blog entries

Latest Book Listings Added

A haunting story about the destructive power of secrets, The Secrets of Lake Road is an accomplished and gripping suspenseful...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Young Adult Indie
Stepping aside eighteen years ago, Maevan’s mother had chosen exile rather than a war she could not win. Now, Mae...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
curse of the king.jpg
Category: Kids Fiction
Percy Jackson meets Indiana Jones in the New York Times bestselling epic adventure Seven Wonders! The Curse of the King...
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
In an exhilarating new series, New York Times bestselling author Rachel Caine rewrites history, creating a...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
little elfie one.jpg
Category: Kids Fiction
From carolers to snowmen to stars, everyone's favorite Christmas characters sing, shiver, and shine their way through the North Pole...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
just a teacher pet.jpg
Category: Kids Fiction
Join Mercer Mayer's classic and loveable character, Little Critter®, as he sets out on a new adventure in this brand-new...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
When seventeen-year-old Ashley Watson walks through the halls of her high school, bullies taunt and shove...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The end is near . . . When Aris Haan brought down Safara’s biggest war criminal, she’d thought it was...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
In the action-packed sequel to Rebel Wing, Aris battles for life and love . . . and not everyone will...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
Dr. Seuss tells three rhyming tales featuring the extended family of the Cat in the Hat in I Can Lick...
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
A never-before-seen picture book by Dr. Seuss! This never-ever-before-seen picture book by Dr. Seuss about making up one’s mind is...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Young Adult Indie
The Elderine Stone tells the tale of a normal boy who always had dreams of fantasy worlds, filled with magic,...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
In this adorable follow-up to Eva and Sadie and the Worst Haircut EVER! by Jeff Cohen, Sadie teaches her little...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Young Adult Indie
Jaded high school Junior and detention hall regular Larissa Locke has a recurring dream in which creatures sneak into her...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
LOS_EscapeFromAmazon_.jpg
Category: Young Adult Indie
In a world where class distinction means the difference between life and death, being on the Harvest List is the...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Sometimes the best lessons can’t be taught. High school senior Charlotte, aka Charlie, isn’t looking forward to her last year...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Odea Donahue has been able to travel through people’s dreams since she was six years old. Her mother taught her...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Reeling from her mother's death, Georgia has a choice: become lost in her own pain, or enjoy life right now,...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Fifteen-year-old Amadou counts the things that matter. For two long years, what’s mattered are cacao pods. The more Amadou can...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Make him pay, Bayley. Make him pay. "It’s as if the wooden chest is luring me, urging me to open...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)