Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Send Me a Sign by Tiffany Schmidt

Mia always looks for signs from the universe. But she never saw a sign that said cancer. Now that she has it, she is intent on keeping it a secret so she is not labeled "cancer girl." That is turning out to be more difficult than she thought.

First thing, back in 2009 Maureen Johnson did a project called Blog Everyday in August (BEDA). I participated and it was fun. Part of that was that we were assigned BEDA buddies so we would be guaranteed to have someone read our blog posts. Tiffany was one of my BEDA buddies so I've "known" her for a while now and I was really happy for her when her first book was published.

Second thing, I don't read "cancer books." Nor do I read books where the dog dies in the end. Sensing a pattern? It's not usually my thing. But having known Tiffany for a few years I thought I'd give it a try. It turns out that this is less of a cancer book and more of a book about a girl with cancer. I started this on Friday afternoon, picked it up again Saturday evening and finished it that night. I haven't read a book straight through in a long time. It is that good.

Mia is a frustrating girl trying to hide her cancer from her friends. I wouldn't think that was possible but with a lot of lying and a willingness to almost completely alienate your friends, it turns out to be achievable. A lot of the blame for that could be laid at the feet of Mia's mother but Mia is the one who carries it out. Speaking of Mia's mother, she is something else. I can't even think about how I would react to one of my children getting cancer but I would hope it would be with my grace and selflessness than Mia's mom lacks.

I wasn't a fan either of Mia's friends but I think Mia really does them a disservice. She underestimates them and it really takes her far too long to tell them. Part of the reason I finished it in one night was I needed to see what happened when she finally tells her friends. I liked Mia's best friend Gyver. He is a great guy and very clearly one of the love interests. The other guy Ryan is a good guy too. I hate when the other guy is turned into a villain to make way for the resolution, but this was avoided in a sweet way.

And so I learned that not every book about cancer can be painted with the Lurlene McDaniel brush. I also learned that I can't wait for Tiffany's next book.

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