Title: Thin Space
Author: Jody Casella
Genre: YA, paranormal, contemporary
Publisher: Beyond Words Publishing
Publication Date: September 10, 2013
Rating: 4/6 – I really liked it
Synopsis from NetGalley: Ever since the car accident that killed his twin brother, Marshall Windsor has been consumed with guilt and crippled by secrets of that fateful night.
He has only one chance to make amends, to right his wrongs and set things right. He must find a Thin Space—a mythical point where the barrier between this world and the next is thin enough for a person to step through to the other side.
But, when a new girl moves into the house next door, the same house Marsh is sure holds a thin space, she may be the key—or the unraveling of all his secrets.
As they get closer to finding a thin space—and closer to each other—Marsh must decide once and for all how far he’s willing to go to right the wrongs of the living…and the dead.
My Initial Thoughts/Rambling: I classified this one as a contemporary paranormal, since it’s really like contemporary fiction with a smattering of paranormal elements. The paranormal isn’t the main focus, so I felt the contemporary title was needed. Anyway, I started this one a bit skeptical, since Ner from A Cup of Coffee and a Book (I love this woman and her coffee cups – go check out her blog!) wasn’t wowed by it. Check out her review here. Usually she and I have similar opinions, but I actually found that I enjoyed this one a lot more than she did!
Disclaimer: I received a copy of Thin Space from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
What did I think about the characters? Marsh, the main character, isn’t so much emotionless as he is empty, which I find is one of the strongest emotions out there. Casella does a great job of conveying that feeling of hollowness – the suctioning black hole that sits right in your chest and sucks every good thing out of the world. I really felt that aching loss inside Marsh as he tries to move on from his brother Austin’s death. He spends most of the book trying (and miserably failing) to carry on in life, even if his only purpose is to find a thin space where he plans to enter the afterlife to be with Austin again. The character development wasn’t really there till the end, but that was okay for me since Marsh’s narration was so raw and emotional that I really felt his utter confusion and sense of disconnection at being the surviving twin.
I really liked Maddie too – she was sweet, if a bit too naive, and her gentle influence on Marsh was my favorite part of the book. Plus, her dedication to his search for a thin space was touching – while everyone else considered Marsh crazy, she reached for him where he was at and helped him recover.
And the concept and plot? The concept is great! It wasn’t too much paranormal, which for me can sometimes be an iffy subject, but just enough to add a twist to the story. The plot – oh my wow. That plot twist! My jaw literally dropped – I did not see that coming at all. The one thing I would have liked to see is less of an abrupt ending – I was so emotionally attached that when it ended I felt kind of let down.
What about the writing style? I think my favorite part, like I said above, was how Casella presents Marsh’s struggle to recover. His physical scars were healing, but the emotional ones were still raw and throbbing. Maybe it’s a function of my personal experiences, but it was really easy to connect to Marsh. The forgetfulness and inability to remember even walking home, the looming panic attacks, the sense of inability to emotionally connect with another human or even maintain a conversation: all of it was presented so well, and my heart ached for Marsh. And the way Casella shows that sense of missing identity – flawless. Especially between twin brothers, and how people mix them up all the time. It kind of makes me think of the twins I know at my youth group – I’m really going to make an effort to get to know them and tell them apart without their name tags.
Anything else you’d like to add? Sorry Ner – I disagree with you on this one! I really do recommend it, but just know that it’s very character driven, with the narrator being a mostly-directionless, borderline suicidal, guilt-ridden teen boy working towards healing and forgiveness.
Find the book at:
Book Depository: http://www.bookdepository.com/Thin-Space-JODY-CASELLA/9781582703923