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Bibliophilic Monologues

One Plus One Equals Blue

One Plus One Equals Blue - M.J. Auch Meet Basil. He has got synesthesia which is an interesting disorder that causes you to experience two sensations at the same time (ish). He’s 12 years old and also, rather firmly, attached to his position as the class loser. Then there’s Tenzie. She’s also 12 and she also has synesthesia.Both of them have parental issues. Basil’s mom abandoned him when he was a baby and he has no idea who his dad is. But he lives with his grandmother who is pretty darned cool in a superawesome house. Tenzie’s situation is a bit sadder because even though both her parents are very much present and accounted for, she may be a piece of furniture for all the attention they give her.The novel is rather simple and lacks the complexity that makes for excellent crossover appeal. However, I think that younger readers will appreciate it and empathize with Basil’s bottom feeder status. He is a bit too surly at times for my taste but I think he is remarkably levelheaded for someone so young. Tenzie, on the other hand, starts out as smart and put together but her issues unravel her rather rapidly.One thing I do have to mention though is that though the novel seems to set itself up as an exploration of synesthesia, it does not, in fact, go into very great detail about the disorder except at a very superficial level. Most of the narrative is engaged with Basil’s here and gone again mother who really does not add anything to the narrative. If you are really curious about synesthesia and would like to read about it in a fictional setting, I recommend Ultraviolet by R. J. Anderson (YA) and A Mango-Shaped Space by Wendy Mass.One plus One equals Blue is more about relationships. Between parents and children, between grandparents and grandkids. The book is about choosing your own family and being okay with being different. This will be a good book to give to kids who are having trouble at school or are being bullied.