My Thoughts On: Send Me A Sign by Tiffany Schmidt

Posted September 26, 2012 by Asheley in Uncategorized / 11 Comments

Send Me A Sign by  Tiffany Schmidt
Published by Walker Children’s
Publish Date: October 4, 2012
384 Pages
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

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.(summary excerpt from Goodreads)

Send Me A Sign by Tiffany Schmidt

My Thoughts
:  I told some of you that I was going to tackle three YA contemporary “issue” books this month. Send Me A Sign by Tiffany Schmidt is number three. Fact about #3: There is leukemia in this book. (This is not a spoiler.) I hate leukemia, probably more than anything ever in the history of the world. So I questioned my ability to get through this one. HAHA! I made it through! And I really liked it! I am pleased with this.


Mia is an upcoming high school senior with a secret. A BIG secret. Cancer is not the kind of thing she wants people to think about when they look at her. She wants to keep things as they are now: perfect. She can’t imagine life without her hair, cheerleading, and her best friends by her side, always goofing off and having a great time. She doesn’t want pity, she doesn’t want to feel bad, and she doesn’t want to look bad. The only person Mia tells is her best friend/next door neighbor Gyver.

Since Mia is diagnosed at the beginning of the summer, it is relatively easy to fabricate a story about an extended visit with relatives in another state when – in reality – she spends more than a month as a hospital inpatient with chemotherapies and medications, being sick and having Gyver at her side constantly. Then, summer ends and she is released to go home. Then…back to school.

Mia’s family mother has supported pushed her decision to keep everything secret so far, and they’ve even played along. Now that school is starting up again – will they continue with the secrets and lies? And will Mia’s life ever be perfect and normal again?


Send Me A Sign is a good book that houses some big issues in a great way. I enjoyed reading it from cover to cover, and I never once felt like I was reading just another “cancer book.”  

The biggest thing about Mia is that she is a very superstitious girl. She looks for signs in everything: song lyrics, her Magic 8 ball, horoscopes, etc. She can’t seem to make a decision on her own. This is one of the reasons she keeps delaying the big reveal of her physical condition to her friends: the signs never tell her that she should tell her secret. Nearly EVERYTHING she did was based off of a sign of some sort. I find it interesting that Mia’s friend Gyver seems to be the only person in the book that takes notice of this and tries his best to talk Mia out of looking for signs all over the place. (It was just one of the many things I liked about him.)

(At times, Mia is also one of those characters that I wanted to reach through the book and grab by the shoulders and tell her to GET A GRIP. When your world is falling apart like hers is, you need people around you…)

…and speaking of people – I liked what the author did with the characterization in this book. Mia is written very well. Sick Mia is written well. Superstitious Mia is written well. Teenage, highschooler, cheerleader Mia is written well. I totally got her and felt her story. Gyver too – he was great. There was another guy character that played a romantic interest – Ryan – and I think he was written well, but he was less likable to me for several reasons. Mia’s parents – not likable at all. Just, no. But I completely felt the way the author was going with each of them, even when they weren’t necessarily characters that I liked.

The leukemia story line is not the most pleasant of stories, because it never is. But it is not awful either. I never cried. I NEVER CRIED. Somehow this author managed to tell a cancer story that didn’t make me fall apart. I think it was because she included not only Mia, but all of the people around Mia. What I mean is that she included what Mia was dealing with – both physically and emotionally – and she did the same thing with Mia’s friends and family. They were all exhausted and they were all trying to cope as well as they could. On the flip side, the author allowed us to understand how Mia’s unknowing friends and classmates were coping with her “weird” behaviors – after all, they didn’t know why she was looking different, missing so much school, and suddenly no longer able to keep up with the rest of the cheerleading team. Something must be going on, right? Could it be drugs? Anorexia? Or GASP something else? Her best friends were flat-out angry with her. Some acted out against her. Some refused to talk to her. They knew Mia was keeping secrets from them, but still she would not cave and share her problems and let them be a part of this change in her life. 

Of course, there is romance too. It is interesting, if not a teensy bit predictable. I liked reading it and ultimately the comfort of that predictability helped with that could have been a tough story (but wasn’t). 


There are going to be be people that look at the summary of Send Me A Sign and see the word “cancer” and immediately put the book back down and walk away from it. Not too long ago, I would have been one of those people. Really, though, this book is much more than that – it is about an overly-superstitious girl that let her superstitious habits and her superstitious nature take control of her life, and it almost cost her lots of time with people that were important to her.

There is actually a lot of meat in this book. I am hoping that people do not pass this one up. There is a huge opportunity for discussion in this one, even if just between two or three readers, and when you think you are reading about one or two issues – after you think for awhile, you realize there is tons of stuff hidden in this one. Nice debut.

I recommend Send Me A Sign to people that love those YA contemporary issues books and those boys-next-door. You all know who you are!

Send Me A Sign will appeal to fans of:

YA Contemporary with Issues

Romance: little bit of a triangle!

Send Me A Sign by Tiffany Schmidt

is available for purchase on October 2, 2012.

**I received a review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest opinion and review. I received no compensation for my thoughts. Thank you Walker Childrens/Bloomsbury  and NetGalley!


About Asheley

Asheley is a Southern girl. She loves Carolina blue skies, Ben & Jerry's ice cream, and NC craft beer. She loves all things history but prefers books over everything.

You can find her somewhere in North Carolina, daydreaming about the ocean.

Find Asheley on Litsy @intothehallofbooks!


11 responses to “My Thoughts On: Send Me A Sign by Tiffany Schmidt

  1. Yay! So glad I won Courtney Summers' book giveaway so I will soon have a copy of this. 🙂 I love that you mentioned it doesn't feel like a "cancer book," because that's totes how I felt about the Fault in Our Stars and you know how much I loved that! Super excited to read this now! Is it in first or third person? I really love that it focuses on what those around her are going through too because that's something I wonder about – of course cancer is horrible for the patient…but how does it affect and change the patient's loved ones? Great review, Asheley. 🙂

    • Hey Randi!

      Yeah, there was more to this story than cancer. It was way different than TFiOS. The best I can remember – this was first person – but it has been a little while since I read it.
      I think you'll like this one.

      Also, still kind of in awe that you won the Courtney Summers giveaway. That is SO AWESOME. You need to do a blog post or picture of the winnings (if you haven't yet, I'm behind in visiting blogs) so I can see what you got!

  2. I'm the opposite — I see "cancer" and I want to read it, because that is the area of nursing I work in and something about being around those kids wants me to get as many stories as I can to help me empathize with them. And it's the teens that get to me the most. I will definitely be reading this one.

    • Ok, Lorren, see that completely makes sense to me.

      This one is perfect for you to read. It has inpatient and outpatient scenes in it, and includes some of the nursing aspect. I think you'll enjoy it, if for no other reason just to gain another perspective in your nursing area. 🙂

  3. I've read some mixed reviews for this along with a few positive and I'm glad to hear your one of the readers who really enjoyed Send Me A Sign. It's great to see someone's opinion I trust who loved this because it gives me hope that I'll really like it too.

    Cancer books don't send me running but I do normally go into them expecting to shed tears, however, I've heard that this isn't your average cancer book.

    I don't how you can keep cancer a secret. It's understandable that Mia's friends would be hurt and upset but surely they would understand it was Mia's decision and that she didn't mean to hurt them, it was just how she wanted to go about things. Still…when your going through something as big and scary as cancer, you NEED your friends and family's support!

    Boy next door are awesome – woohoo! Awesome review, Ash!

    • I am surprised that I didn't cry! But it really wasn't written in such a way that made me want to cry or feel like I needed to.

      That secret…such a big part of the story. Along with Mia always looking for signs in everything. I think it's worth you giving it a read. It isn't a big, sappy tearjerker. It's a really good book. It's an issue-book, but it isn't the heaviest issue book I've read this month at all.

      And yes, Gyver was the perfect boy next door. He's worth the read. 🙂

  4. Cancer books can be hard to deal with… But I think I'm interested in this one, I used to look for signs everywhere too!! I want to hear Mia's story.

  5. You know. I wanted to cry. I really wanted to. The chemo scenes were very intense and true to life and I wanted to feel something, and I just didn't.

    It's a shame because I went on the author's website and read about the student she dedicated the book to and I cried reading that.

    So I don't know. There were so many details to like though. Gyver, her looking for signs but I think that quirk needed to be spaced out, and the friends needed to be clearer characters.

    Well, you can't win them all. I'm glad to hear you were able to get something out of the book.

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