In Wendy Mass’s A Mango-Shaped Space, Mia Winchell is a 13-year-old girl with brown hair and green eyes. Mia has synesthesia, which is when your senses connect. Basically, when Mia hears or sees words, every letter has a color. The letter d is cotton-candy pink for her. Mia thought that synesthesia was completely normal until one day, in 3rd grade, it spilled out. Everyone thought she was crazy, so she hid her colors from everyone else. Finally, she tells her parents and her best friend Jenna. Everyone is completely shocked at first and her parents are even scared it’s a disease or a brain tumor. They go to a special doctor that tells them it is really a gift, not a disease, called synesthesia.
Mia realizes that she isn’t the only one with this gift, and she receives a link to a website only for people with synesthesia where she meets a boy online named Adam who has the same type as she does. While she explores the website at home, she has an important project that she is working on at school with another boy named Roger. Mia also struggles with math because of her colors, so she is very busy in the whole book.
Mia has a black and white cat named Mango which she found at her grandfather’s funeral; she thinks that part of her grandfather’s spirit is in Mango. She named him Mango because of his orange eyes, and when he makes noises, they come out in a mango color in her head. She also has feelings for both Adam and Roger, and is confused about it. She struggles to understand math, she learns more about her synesthesia, and has problems with both her best friend Jenna and Mango. So many things happen all at once, and Mia has trouble catching up with events in her life.
There is unfortunately some sadness in this book, which Mia describes so vividly and painfully that it made me cry, and I have never cried over a book. I have read a lot of popular books by Wendy Mass such as Every Soul a Star and The Candymakers, both of which I recommend. But, I think A Mango-Shaped Space is my favorite out of all these, because I felt as if I was Mia, and as if I was getting closer with her with each sentence. I felt her sadness, I felt her happiness, and I felt her hate for math. But even though she had all these obstacles, she overcame each one, and I felt as if she helped me overcome the obstacles in my life.
Maria Silveyra Dodds ‘26, Staff Writer