One Plus One Equals Blue

Featured
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
1976 0
One Plus One Equals Blue
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

1 reviews

A Touching Story of Family and Friendship
(Updated: April 30, 2013)
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
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.
Report this review Comments (1) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Wings of Ebony (Wings of Ebony, #1)
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
In this riveting, keenly emotional debut fantasy, a Black teen...
You Say It First
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
One conversation can change everything. Meg has her entire...
My High School Royal Boyfriend
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
ALEX A tragedy at Langley Estate puts my family...
The Forgotten World (The World Apart Series Book 3)
 
5.0 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
Clark thought he knew what grief was. Addie thought...
Tales from the Hinterland
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A gorgeously illustrated collection of twelve “lush and deliciously...
Sisters of Shadow and Light
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
From the acclaimed author of Defy, Sara B. Larson,...
In the Penalty Box
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Willow Figure skating was supposed to be my whole...
Unchosen
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Katharyn Blair crafts a fiercely feminist fantasy with a horrifying...
Miracle Girl
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Leanne Strong hates June eighth even though it's supposed to...
The Memory Thief  (Thirteen Witches #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Twelve-year-old Rosie Singer’s mom is missing whatever it is that...
Singled Out: The True Story of Glenn Burke
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
On October 2nd, 1977, Glenn Burke, outfielder for the Los...
The Elephant in the Room
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
It's been almost a year since Sila's mother traveled halfway...
Alone in the Woods
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Jocelyn and Alex have always been best friends...until they aren't....
Disaster Days
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Hannah Steele loves living on Pelling, a tiny island near...
Wild River
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Daniel Redmayne is fast asleep on the first night of...
The Last Hurrah
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
3 nights, 2 days, and 1 massive music fest ....

Latest Member Reviews

The Memory Thief  (Thirteen Witches #1)
 
5.0
"Rosie has always taken care of herself and her mother in their house overlooking the coast of Maine. Her mother..."
The Elephant in the Room
 
5.0
"Sila's family has been happy in Oregon, even though her father, who is a mechanical engineer, has to work as..."
Alone in the Woods
 
5.0
"Jocelyn always looks forward to the vacation in a cabin that she and her friend Alex's family take every year...."
Disaster Days
 
5.0
"Hannah doesn't understand why her parents are SO overprotective, even though she occasionally has a hard time dealing with her..."
We Dream of Space
 
4.0
"Bird, her twin brother Fitch, and their older brother Chase are all doing the best they can in 1986 Park,..."
Wild River
 
5.0
"Daniel isn't all that sure why he was chosen to go on an outdoor experience trip with four other students..."
Charlie Thorne and the Lost City (Charlie Thorne #2)
 
5.0
"After her adventures in Charlie Thorne and the Last Equation, Charlie is hiding out in the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador,..."
Amari and the Night Brothers
 
4.0
"Amari has struggled in the private school she attends on scholarship because the other students are mean to her, and..."
Allergic
 
5.0
"Maggie has always wanted a dog. Her younger brothers Liam and Noah have each other, and her parents are expecting..."
I Dream of Popo
 
5.0
"I DREAM OF POPO is a beautiful book about immigration, family, and culture. A young girl loves spending time with..."
The Copycat
 
4.0
"Ali Sloane is tired of moving. She's changed schools and houses/apartments so many times that she can't claim any one..."
Confessions of a Class Clown
 
5.0
"Jack Reynolds is the sort of kid that teachers put in the back of the classroom-- surrounded by all of..."
The Reading House Set 2: Letter Recognition M-Z
 
5.0
"THE READING HOUSE set is a really fantastic motivator for early reading. Each book focuses on a letter, with it..."
The Reading House Set 1: Letter Recognition A-L
 
5.0
"THE READING HOUSE set is a really fantastic motivator for early reading. Each book focuses on a letter, with it..."
Something to Say
 
4.5
"Jenae prefers being quiet and blending in. She doesn't mind that it means she's alone most of the time, especially..."
DC Super Hero Girls: Powerless
 
4.0
"When a sudden power outage strikes Metropolis, the Superhero Girls are thrown for a loop, especially Batgirl aka Babs. She..."
Eventown
 
5.0
"When Elodee's world is shaken, she and her family, including her twin sister, Naomi, move to Eventown. At first, Eventown..."
A Story for Small Bear
 
4.5
"A STORY FOR SMALL BEAR is a beautifully illustrated picture book about saving time for the things that matter. As..."
No Reading Allowed: The WORST Read-Aloud Book Ever
 
5.0
"NO READING ALLOWED is a delightfully charming take on homonyms and sound-alike words. The book features two panels for phrases..."
Five Little Monsters Jumping on the Bed
 
5.0
"FIVE LITTLE MONSTERS JUMPING ON THE BED is an adorable board book that changes up the classic song just a..."