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review 2014-02-09 20:37
Review: Send Me A Sign by Tiffany Schmidt
Send Me a Sign - Tiffany Schmidt

Initial reaction: This is probably one of the few books on its subject matter that, generally, I was unimpressed with the presentation for. I don't know - I'll have to think over it with the possibility of upping my rating, but I wasn't taken with it.

Full review:

All right, I'll bite in discussing this book with a short and sweet review: I didn't like "Send Me A Sign" very much at all. There were very few redeeming factors about it and the protagonist came across to me as a self-centered brat whose friends came across with the same kind of bratty qualities (either that or they were *too* perfect). This book wasn't as potent as I think it aimed to be, with meandering passages and feeling so overly long that after a point, I just had a difficult time caring one way or the other.

That said, this book is one with a central focus on revealing Mia's diagnosis with cancer to her friends, family, people around her. But Mia's characters was extremely self-absorbed and I personally found it hard to sympathize with her, as well as found the relationships in the novel to be a bit contrived and outside the point of reality. I'm not going so far as to say the narrative was pretentious, because it does depict the reality of Mia going through procedure after procedure to fight against her diagnosis, and also her helplessness and isolation through it all. The high school aspects/focus were a bit pretentious though, at least with the constant media dropping (which shows it age in some respects). I understand having some music, movie, TV and other media references here and there, but in this - for me it was too much without necessarily having that much intimacy.

I don't judge Mia for not wanting to tell her friends about the diagnosis - I can understand that and the reluctance. I just...couldn't wrap my head around the fact that she was so self-centered most of the time. Her friend Guyver is the only person she tells anything about the diagnosis, though she keeps that relationship under wraps from her friends as well. I found that I couldn't really connect to the other characters for the fact that they were all stereotypical cookie cutter without much flesh. Not to mention HIGHLY judgmental. And Mia's parents don't really feel that realistic either. On one hand, I understood Mia's mother's denial, but on the other hand, for me it didn't resonate as realistic.

Things hit the fan when Mia (who takes far longer than the narrative could adequately support) reveals her diagnosis (not necessarily by choice in some measures). I wasn't surprised at the fallout, but I didn't take it to be Mia's cancer diagnosis to be the cause, but rather Mia's neglect and denial as the narrative went on.

Coupled with the meandering love triangle and taxing drama, after a point, I was just reading to see what happened in the end. I didn't care about it, I didn't feel it hit home with any kind of palpable resonation or changes. Mia was not the kind of protagonist whom you could see for flaws and redemption the way you could for the protagonists of Lauren Oliver's "If I Fall" or even Courtney Summers' "Cracked Up to Be." I didn't feel the intimacy in the perspective - it just felt like one long slog that could've been significantly edited down and had more potency and potential.

In the end, not one of the best books on its subject matter I've picked up. I think it had some moments that were sweet and realistic, but it was drowned out by the meandering plot and underdeveloped, unlikable characters.

Overall score: 1.5/5 stars

Note: I received this as an ARC from NetGalley, from the publisher Walker Childrens.

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review 2013-04-26 00:00
Send Me a Sign - Tiffany Schmidt The entire book I kept thinking, "what if that were me?" But that's what a good book makes us wonder, right? What if that were me?

Mia is right in all the reasons she takes the actions she does and I think it makes her all the braver. Her decision to make herself a GIRL first and a VICTIM second is what I admire and what's most believable. I was tearing up by chapter 3, and streaming by the end.
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review 2012-12-05 00:00
Send Me a Sign
Send Me a Sign - Tiffany Schmidt This book made me cry:'( I can feel her pain, I mean having a cancer is no joke.. It really surprise that she can keep it hidden from her friends. I really like that Gyver( HOW COOL WAS THAT NAME:) care about Mia and put up with her superstition crap:DD

My first impression towards her friends that they were shallow but in one way or another, they all care about Mia. It also goes to Ryan, he's a great guy. Mia and him just didn't go well, they aren't happy with each other even though they tried their hardest:(

There are times I feel so frustrated towards Mia! I can't get her why would she give up just beacause she see a stupid sign and also because I believed that she was just using Ryan:/ But everything works out and I think she wanted to be happy with Ryan but that's not the case..

I'm glad Gyver and her aaahh<3
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review 2012-12-04 00:00
Send Me a Sign
Send Me a Sign - Tiffany Schmidt I absolutely loved this book!! Oh, where to start…..there’s so much drama, so many lies, romances, deceit, denial that I have to say this book is one of my favorites this year. So what is “the sign”? They are everywhere but they are telling Mia nothing. They are the four leaf clovers, the he loves me… he loves me not, the Magic Eight Ball, just to name a few. Life is going good for Mia the summer of her junior year: she’s popular, she’s smart and she is a cheerleader. What Mia didn’t expect was her diagnosis of cancer. Mia’s life is now turned upside down. She tries to keep this a secret which only leads to lies upon lies which alienate her from her friends. How can she explain her long absences while she takes her chemo treatments? Her weaken state? It’s an emotional battle as she tries to remain strong outward while her inner self is crumbling. She does draw strength from a male close friend Gyver who is a neighbor that she has been close with since elementary school. His promise to keep her diagnosis a secret brings their relationship closer but unfortunately this is only one-sided. Denial and more lies surface and the reader has to read between the lines to really understand the issues that Mia is truly facing. Mia’s parents handle the diagnosis in their own ways which only adds to the drama played out on the pages. There are times when you, the reader just wish someone could just get all the players together and straightened everything out. Mia’s really finds out what life is all about and what a definition of a friend is. A very powerful read! The book is fast-paced and I was so engaged while reading it. I cannot say enough about this book except keep a box of tissues handy, you just might need it.For mature readers as the book mentions sex and it does contain some swear words.
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review 2012-11-13 00:00
Send Me a Sign
Send Me a Sign - Tiffany Schmidt Send Me a Sign begins with a teenage girl who discovers news that nearly shatters the life she once knew right before her eyes. Cancer is something we all face whether it be from the people around us or in ourselves and we all know it’s a tough thing to overcome. In Send Me a Sign, Tiffany Schmidt creates a beautiful and refreshing novel that allows us to experience someone literally dealing with life and death and the consequences of secrecy. Mia believes in signs. Before deciding on any big decision, she feels she needs some kind of sign to move forward. When Mia finds out she has leukemia, she continues to look for signs whether to tell her friends or whether she will live or die. In the midst of this, Mia is afraid people will pity her or run away from her because of her illness. Throughout the book, Mia struggles with acceptance, alienation, and wanting to live a normal life. No matter how strong and brave Mia appeared to be, deep down she was terrified and barely holding on. Keeping up pretenses of being healthy was just slowly killing away Mia’s spirit and strength and it hurt so much to see her slowly give up. Mia tried her very hardest to keep her parents happy and even when she nearly crumbled, I always thought Mia was a good person who was just scared for herself. The romance in Send Me a Sign was one that certainly touched my heart. I loved how Schmidt was able to make me fall in love with both of the love interests. My heart swelled and raced and broke for both and I won’t be surprised if other readers have a hard time choosing as well. Ryan, who starts off as a player, later shows his true feelings. He becomes the ever faithful and devoted boyfriend that Mia could ever want. He stays with Mia even after knowing about her illness. While I loved Ryan and deeply ached for him, I could not help but adore and love Gyver even more. Gyver was Mia’s best friend from childhood and they’ve always been close. He was sweet, charming, smart and super cute. He was always supportive of Mia, but he never sugar coated his feelings and always told Mia what he felt and thought straight up. Mia cared for both Ryan and Gyver, but only one really captured her heart and seeing her have to choose and lose one was very hard to read. It was difficult because both guys were just wonderful and either one would have been perfect for Mia. 
The writing in Send Me a Sign is incredible. Schmidt’s writing really shows depth and power. She was able to really touch me in ways I don’t think I ever thought I could be touched. Just a few pages in and I was already feeling all kinds of heart wrenching emotions. Schmidt really sets the pace beautifully, building up to end that really got me sucked into the perspective of someone struggling with cancer. It became vivid and descriptive and really intense, I could not stop myself from reading. I really loved how Schmidt brought in the fear of death, of giving up, losing hope and then believing and fighting for life. She really weaves in Mia’s superstitions into the story very well. Not only does this book tackle cancer, but it also tackles relationships, friendships and family. Overall, Send Me a Sign was fantastic novel about the belief in fighting back, the meaning of communication and learning what you really want in life. It’s a book that will definitely capture the hearts of many and more. More Reviews on my blog: Words, Pages, and Books
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