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)
389   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, Editor Reviewed by Christina Franke, Editor April 30, 2013
Last updated: April 30, 2013
Top 10 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (630)

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

Two years ago, sixteen-year-old Jamie Henry breathed a sigh of relief when a judge sentenced his older sister to juvenile...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Like watching a movie frame by frame, we watch Lexi is come unglued in this novel in verse. She's alienated...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
live performance by YA author
Category: Young Adult Indie
Love can make you do crazy things as Ruby Parker discovers when she dies and returns from the grave to...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Young Adult Indie
Its king murdered in cold blood by friend and foe alike, the once magnificent kingdom of Arenhed has fallen to...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Fifteen top voices in speculative fiction explore the intersection of fear and love in a haunting, at times hilarious, darkly...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Young Adult Indie
The past is coming back to haunt the Hero Squad. Archimedes, the Squad’s first foe, is finally heading to trial,...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
When Marie-Therese, daughter of Marie Antoinette, slips into the streets of Paris at the height of the French Revolution, she...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
All Eva ever wanted was the chance to be herself. But in the Americas, to be...
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
Emmeline knows she’s not supposed to explore the woods outside her settlement. The enemy that wiped out half her people...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars in Gretchen McNeil’s witty and suspenseful novel about four...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
cover2.jpg
Category: Young Adult Indie
How do you want to feel today? In 2041, the choice is yours. San Francisco is deserted, the...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
In this fast-paced, high-stakes debut novel, sixteen-year-old Sam McKenna discovers that becoming one of the first...
 
4.7 (2)
 
5.0 (1)
The riveting follow-up to the New York Times bestselling The 5th Wave, hailed by Justin Cronin as “wildly entertaining.” How...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
In this clever twist on the age-old belief that there’s no such thing as unicorns, Uni...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Danger is hard to resist in this sexy thriller from Becca Fitzpatrick, the New York Times bestselling author of the...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
amazon_cover.jpg
Category: Young Adult Indie
Katie and Anna are MAJOR best friends. And when they take an ill-advised trip down to Tijuana, Mexico hilarity ensues....
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Finn Easton sees the world through miles instead of minutes. It’s how he makes sense of...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Young Adult Indie
In the future, bioengineered animals provide organs for human transplantation. Grafts of animal skin have replaced tattoos in popularity, which...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Leon Harris is perfectly satisfied being a slacker. In fact, he's embraced it. But when Anna...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)