-“Everybody has a story, Alison,” he said. “Everybody has things they need to hide ~ sometimes even from themselves.“-

This book was fascinating to me because I am always fascinated with the paranormal, and this was a novel all about a girl with both synesthesia and tetrachromacy. Plus, there were aliens. So pretty much, it was an awesome book.

Synesthesia, by Google definition, is the production of a sense impression relating to one sense or part of the body by stimulation of another sense or part of the body. Basically, when you see a color, you might also taste a flavor in your mouth, because your brain is stimulated by both your sense of sight and your sense of taste. Alison, the main character of this book, could do a number of things: she sensed personalities in each letter of the alphabet, numbers from zero to nine each had its own color, she could taste the emotion in people’s voices (and whether they were lying or telling the truth), and the clinking of spoons and the sound of music caused fireworks of colors before her eyes. After reading this book (which I was not at all upset about taking several days to finish, when I usually get restless after a couple days in the same book), I have become fascinated with synesthesia, and found a book about it that I will have to look for. I have always enjoyed the idea of being able to see sound and taste colors, and part of me believes that in Heaven we will have full stimulation of our senses and will be able to do these things and much more, which makes me all the more pumped to go to Heaven.

But Earth first.

Tetrachromacy (by Google definition) is the condition of possessing four independent channels for conveying color information, or possessing four types of cone cells in the eye. Tetrachromats, inevitably female, are able to see slight differences in shade and hue, giving them the ability to see colors much more better than the average human. (I know, such good grammar.) Apparently females as a whole can usually see differences in hue than males, which explains why they’re so devout in choosing JUST THE RIGHT SHADE of the same blue for the house. They can actually see a difference. Huh. Who’da thunk?

-“I know, but I don’t really…do anger. It never makes anything better. So I try not to get into it.” Or any other intense emotion, for that matter. Like grief, because there was no use wallowing in misery; you just had to accept that bad things happened and keep going. And love, because caring about anything too deeply was just asking to have it taken away.-

Alison really hit the maturity nail on the head here. When you’re young, you think everything’s such a big deal, and you sometimes tend to get overemotional about things that really aren’t that important. But as you get older (some quicker than most), you start to see the big picture, and you realize that those things don’t matter so much after all. I may seem to lack empathy when I say this, but while grieving someone’s death is perfectly natural, eventually you have to get over it and move on, because they’re dead, and moping about it won’t help you. Anger, also, is basically a waste of time, as I’m sure the book “Unoffendable” by my favorite radio show host, Brant Hansen, clearly says (I haven’t read it yet, but I’m really excited to!) And love puts you in a state of vulnerability, which makes me wonder if it’s really worth it.

-“Every time you show your feelings, you apologize. Have you ever had an emotion in your life that you weren’t ashamed of?”

I couldn’t answer. All I could do was blink at him, as his features blurred and my lashes clumped together with tears.

“I’ve seen your medical records,” he said. “Migraines. Stomach cramps. You’ve held back so much, Alison, for so long, that you’re making yourself sick. What would happen if you stopped fighting, and gave yourself permission to feel? Not just the good things, but everything?“-

Sometimes I put these quotes on these blog posts, and I’m not even sure what I’ve got to say about them. Sometimes the quote itself says it all. Sometimes it seems like it says nothing, but I felt something when I read it, so I had to write it down. Sometimes the message doesn’t hit you until after you’ve read the book. And sometimes I just keep ranting because I’ve run out of things to say. But this time, the quote asks good questions. It IS possible to make yourself sick from holding in your emotions. Scientifically, I’ve heard that it’s detrimental to your health. It’s also detrimental to your health to not have close friends and people you can trust and talk to when you need to vent.

Maybe Dr. Minta was right—I was too reserved and cautious, too fearful of letting others in. Just because I’d had a few bad experiences with people didn’t mean that it always had to be that way, and maybe I just needed to find the courage to open up to someone. To let them know me as I really was, the way I’d always longed to be known.-

This is Alison, once again, being really rather mature about everything. It goes along with what I was just saying, a bit. You need to have someone you can open up to. Everybody wants to be known, longs for it, even needs it, but the courage it takes to actually become transparent is ridiculously hard to summon.

You may have already made the “mistake” of letting yourself get close enough to someone to share secrets with them, and it blew up in your face. You may not want to do that again, because you’re afraid it’ll backfire on you. But it’s important to remember that nobody is exactly the same, and just because one person betrayed your trust doesn’t mean the next person will. And if you’ve trusted and been hurt several times…I don’t know what to tell you. You’re a bad judge of character, I guess? And…um…hang in there?

This was my cue to feel ashamed of myself for being angry with him and tell him everything was okay. Because that was what I’d done when he ate all my chocolates. It was what I’d always done with Mel whenever she’d hurt me. And it was what I ended up doing with my mother every time the two of us had a fight. After all, my feelings weren’t normal, couldn’t be trusted, didn’t really matter compared to other people’s. Even now I could hear a traitorous little voice in my head nagging, It’s not like he did anything that bad to you, you know. You’re just being oversensitive.

But I was tired of pretending I didn’t care, that I couldn’t be hurt. I might not be ready to pour out my feelings to the world, but I’d had enough of trying to ignore them.-

Alison has finally seen the light, and hopefully, so have you. Though it’s good to be lenient sometimes, there is such a thing as being TOO nice. Letting everything slide off you is an excellent way of telling people you’re just the kind of person they should take advantage of. You can’t let people walk over you all the time, though. Stand up for yourself ~ you’re better than that! And stop trying to ignore and crush your feelings. You were made a certain way for a certain purpose, and those emotions make you who you are. You don’t have to pull a 180 and proclaim to the world everything about yourself, but it’s about time you took back a little bit of control and did something to make yourself better by using what you have.

Grief surged inside me, filling my mouth with the bitterness of unsaid words, and I almost swallowed before I remembered that I don’t want to do that anymore.