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One Plus One Equals Blue

One Plus One Equals Blue - M.J. Auch I was so excited when I picked up ONE + ONE = BLUE and saw that the book deals with synesthesia. When I read about the condition in R.J. Anderson’s ULTRAVIOLET I quickly became fascinated with how people associate every day things with colors, or taste emotions. Could imagine being able to smell fear? M.J. Auch didn’t delve into the logistics as much as I was hoping she would, but with this novel we got a really cute story about relationships and family.Basil is a 12 year old boy who has just entered the public school system for the first time after being homeschooled by his grandmother. Quickly we see that he is having a lot of trouble in math due to his condition. When he looks at a worksheet instead of seeing numbers and problems, he sees a rainbow. What’s worse is that some numbers in his pallet have the exact same color (1 & 0 both being white for example.) I felt really bad as he struggled with keeping up with the students around him. It was quite frustrating at the same time because he just wouldn’t ask for help and instead tried to BS his way through everything. Through this and other aspects of his life it became clear that Basil was pretty thick headed and stubborn. Oftentimes I found myself really frustrated with him because he had a tendency to be downright rude. But we do get to see a softer side of him as Tenzie begins to break down the barriers that he has had up for so long. Tenzie had such a big personality, she knew who she was and didn’t follow all of the social norms. I liked what she brought out in Basil (or Pesto as she would have us call him.) She was an incredibly sweet girl who showed Basil that he wasn’t alone as she pretty much forced herself into his life. As these two get to know each other we learn a lot about their families and things aren’t always great in that department. Tenzie’s story broke my heart. She had ever present parents but ones who didn’t pay attention to her at all. They were so tied up in their work and they didn’t make time for her. They were also pretty selfish, always putting what they needed first and what Tenzie needed (like school supplies) second. Basil’s home life had issues too. Sure he lived with his sweet grandmother (who was awesome and artsy by the way) but he was left there by her mother as she shipped off to pursue her Hollywood dreams. As you can probably imagine, circumstance sets Basil and Tenzie off on an adventure that brings them and their families together in a great way.A fun story about relationships and characters, ONE + ONE = BLUE is a sweet story for any middle grader. It is definitely one of the more simplistic and innocent stories I have read in the genre but it was a fun read nonetheless. I do wish we had gotten more about the synesthesia that Tenzie and Basil both had because I feel like for much of the story that was put on the back burner and only mentioned here and there. Touching lightly on junior high bullying and heavily on the importance of family this is a cute story that is sure to please any young reader.An Advanced Reader's Copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.--You can read all of my reviews at Alluring Reads.