02 October, 2012

E-ARC Review: Send Me A Sign by Tiffany Schmidt

Mia is always looking for signs. A sign that she should get serious with her soccer-captain boyfriend. A sign that she’ll get the grades to make it into an Ivy-league school. One sign she didn’t expect to look for was: “Will I survive cancer?” It’s a question her friends would never understand, prompting Mia to keep her illness a secret. 

The only one who knows is her lifelong best friend, Gyver, who is poised to be so much more. Mia is determined to survive, but when you have so much going your way, there is so much more to lose. From debut author Tiffany Schmidt comes a heart-wrenching and ultimately uplifting story of one girl’s search for signs of life in the face of death.

Cancer is scary. And it doesn't matter how old the person is that has it. Right now, I am struggling with accepting my father's diagnosis, which is why, up until I was pitched SEND ME A SIGN, I was Not In Any Way Interested In A Cancer Book. But, something intrigued me about Tiffany Schmidt's debut YA novel. Perhaps, because I thought that it would probe deep and become more than just about cancer (a la Laurie Halse Anderson's SPEAK, where a young girl didn't reveal the fact that she had been sexually assaulted). Not that the two events are totally comparable, just that in SEND ME A SIGN, Mia has to endure a traumatic experience also, and she does it without revealing the fact really, to anyone close to her.

Anyway, I had a hard time connecting with Mia. She just didn't seem like a very sympathetic character in the way that she handled her family's concern, her closest male friend, Guyver's concern, and indeed her own fears and concerns about how she would have to proceed in a life gone topsy-turvy. Mia had her moments as I was reading, but they were kinda few and far between. As was my ability to relate to the female characters that were Mia's supposed best friends. To say they were mostly self-involved, is kind of an understatement.

I remember in high school I had several very close friends where we shared many woes, trials and tribulations. Some of them involved illness. Some of them involved injury. Some of them involved grief and loss. My friends and I needed each other, and there wasn't a second that I didn't think that things were different. Maybe I had exceptional friends, or an atypical high school experience, but I wish Schmidt had written in those kinds of friends for Mia. High school is hard enough without them. Cancer is hard enough without them.

I came away from SEND ME A SIGN feeling just a little disappointed. On the one hand, I do think that it avoided being Just A Cancer Book. Schmidt definitely has a writing style that I enjoyed, especially for a contemporary YA that can be enjoyed by most YA aged and reading level readers. There was just something missing that didn't make me say WOW! However, Schmidt has potential, and I won't deny that I'd like to see more from her.

Book Rating:
3 stars

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About The Author:
Tiffany Schmidt grew up in Massachusetts where she spent a significant part of her childhood getting into mischief and sitting in the naughty chair. All those time outs turned out to be a blessing; they forced her to sit still long enough to hone her storytelling skills. Her audience was the family dog.

She now lives in Pennsylvania with her saintly husband and impish twin boys. She's repped by Joe Monti at Barry Goldblatt Literary. She still gets into mischief, she still has dogs, and she still tells stories. She very much hopes you like them.

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This book was provided by Bloomsbury Publishing, in exchange for my honest review only

1 comment:

  1. Great review! I thought it was interesting that you said she's not a very sympathetic character. I really hate it when characters don't realize that illness and stuff isn't just happening to them but it's happening and effecting those around her. Great review :)

    Crystal @ Elegantly Bound Books


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