A Mango-Shaped Space, by Wendy Mass, is a young adult fiction novel. The title of the book might seem strange at first. What is a “mango shaped space” and how does it relate to the life of a teen girl? In the book, the main character, Mia, has a cat named Mango. Mia suffers from synesthesia, a disorder of senses being fused together. The book explores the process of Mia opening up to others about her disorder and learning how to accept the challenges of it. The cat, Mango, and Mia’s experience of owning him, reflect the struggles she has with herself and fitting in. Mia’s struggles with her disorder are a big part of the story. The reader may or may not sympathize with Mia in her struggle, as her disorder has several cool parts too. such as her ability to memorize spellings, math facts, and other things easily. The reader may also not like how she uses her disorder as an excuse to lie and cheat.
At first, I couldn’t stop reading the novel. However, soon I became less interested. Ms. Mass had good character development, but I didn’t like Mia as she made decisions that led to her becoming a garbage person by the end of the book. Her treatment of Mango, her lies, and betrayals of other characters in the book made me want to quit reading. By the end of the book, I was thoroughly depressed. Is this what Wendy Mass wanted? A novel where the reader ends up liking a cat more than the main character? Not recommended by me unless depression is sought after. Wendy Mass also wrote many other young adult novels and is a New York Times bestselling author. The book is a good read for young teens interested in exploring the struggles of being a teen.