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The Space Between Us Hardcover – October 16, 2012

9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up-After breaking up with her long-term boyfriend because he admits loving her younger sister, Charly, Amelia Mercer concentrates on surviving senior year by focusing on her plans to head to Columbia University and escaping her small Florida town. When gorgeous, vivacious Charly comes home disheveled and disoriented after staying out all night, both she and Amelia are in trouble with their strict grandmother. The situation worsens when Charly learns she is pregnant. Grandma springs into action to protect the reputation of their father, an abstinence-preaching Southern Methodist pastor. To avoid gossip, both Charly and Amelia are sent to Canada to stay with Bree, the half-sister of their mother, who died when they were toddlers. Coping with snow, wind, and bone-chilling temperatures adds to Amelia's self-pity and hopelessness, especially after Columbia turns her down. Bree provides Charly with support and sympathy. Meanwhile, Amelia rejects offers of friendship until she reluctantly acknowledges Ezra, who shoulders family problems more daunting than hers. When Charly reveals that she had been raped, Amelia regrets her unsympathetic behavior. Then the plot unexpectedly speeds up with a number of major actions and decisions. While Amelia, Charly, and Ezra emerge as complex characters, others are shadowy at best. Most puzzling is why the father looms so large since he has little direct involvement with his daughters. Amelia's honest voice incorporates humor even as she reveals sometimes painful observations about herself and others. Readers who concentrate on the sister relationship or the Amelia-Ezra romance will appreciate the novel.-Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State University, Mankatoα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

Plans can change suddenly, Amelia Mercer knows. She has spent her life rescuing her younger sister, Charly, from one self-destructive debacle after another, at the expense of her own life. Now that the sisters are in high school, Charly’s impulsive decisions skirt the edges of morality, spelling disaster if their pastor father finds out. Amelia hopes to escape by entering Columbia University in the fall. Sadly, this plan disintegrates after one of Charly’s reckless escapades threatens scandal for the family, and Amelia and Charly are sent from their rural Florida home to stay with their estranged aunt in Canada for the duration of Amelia’s senior year. The relationship between the sisters is realistically complex; even when Amelia is feeling resentful and angry, she still looks out for Charly, and the girls cling to each other, repeating an eternal choreography that forms their unique, irreplaceable bond. Recommend this to chick-lit fans who gravitate toward the similarly realistic emotional situations found in novels by Susane Colasanti, Maureen Johnson, and Jenny Han. Grades 8-12. --Diane Colson

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse (October 16, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1442420553
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442420557
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.4 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,492,167 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Chels on December 17, 2012
Format: Hardcover
The relationship of two sisters is described by Jessica Martinez in The Space Between Us. Responsible and goal-driven Amelia works tirelessly to achieve her dream of attending Columbia University in New York. Charly, her younger sister, is wild and crazy, always getting in and out of trouble. Amelia looks out for Charly and tries to prevent her from pulling any stunts that are too out of control. One day Charly does not come home from a night of partying. Amelia fears the worst and is extremely angry when Charly finally returns home. For the next several weeks, Charly is a recluse and seems ill. Finally, Charly admits to Amelia that she is pregnant and Amelia's world changes. They are sent to live in Canada until the due date and Amelia is furious.
The Space Between Us could be enjoyed by most teen girls. Charly and Amelia are relatable teen girls who are frustrated by problems that most girls have. More serious issues enter the book as it progresses: pregnancy and date rape.
Martinez did a great job writing a book about sensitive issues. The characters all seemed realistic and were memorable. I give this novel four out of five stars.

*Received a copy for review, this in no way affects my review*
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tara Gonzalez on October 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Guys, I loved The Space Between Us by Jessica Martinez. I thought her debut, Virtuosity, was amazing, so I was super stoked for The Space Between Us - and I wasn't let down.

Virtuosity dealt with some very interesting issues in a super non-preachy, relatable way and The Space Between Us did the same thing with teen pregnancy and religion and what not.

I seriously applaud Jessica Martinez for how she portrayed religion in The Space Between Us. It can be tricky because it's always interpreted the wrong way by someone, but religion in The Space Between Us was more a part of the characters, their upbringing, their lives - and that does play a huge role, but we also see them as they struggled with what that meant for them now. It was never pushy one way or another.

And I loved the characters in The Space Between Us. Amelia and Charly are so different and they totally don't get along at times but I loved them both. They both go through some serious (and necessary) character growth throughout The Space Between Us and I really enjoyed reading along as they figured out, in their own way, how to deal with this crazy situation. Because both Amelia and Charly are super selfish at first, but it's so easy to see both sides.

I thought the setting was awesome. I really related to Amelia and Charly because I have never seen snow so it was so fun to see them go to Canada for the first time and see all the snow and freeze to death, etc. Jessica Martinez really made the setting pop for me, as well as all the characters that came with it, like Ezra and their aunt.

And, of course, there is romance in The Space Between Us. I loved Ezra and Amelia together. That is all.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By TDR85 on October 24, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read it straight through and felt satisfied at the end. It is well written with realistic characterization of the sibling bond, in this case 2 sisters. I thought the arc of the relationship was well presented, the main characters are Amelia and Charly, the sisters in question, and the story is told in the first person through Amelia's eyes. At the beginning of the story Amelia is envious but not jealous of her (as she perceives it) more beautiful and wild younger sister. Something bad happens to Charly, and because of it, both sisters are sent from warm Florida to cold Alberta in the dead of winter. Let's just say that Amelia doesn't take it well and blames Charly and their relationship quickly deteriorates until a stunning relevation.

My criticisms are few - I thought that only one of the secondary characters was really fully developed - Ezra. I wondered why Amelia wasn't more curious of the event that drove the plot of this story. The ending was satisfactory but I would have liked to have heard more from Charly.

I think this is an excellent young adult novel, character driven, but also dealing with serious issues from the perspective of a teenage girl. I believe the author captured the voice of a girl on the edge of adulthood dealing with her first major disappointment in life.
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Format: Hardcover
I completely adored Jessica Martinez's debut, Virtuosity, so I was highly anticipating her follow-up release. Unfortunately, The Space Between Us never quite lived up to my high expectations. While, I did find parts of it enjoyable, it never had the emotional intensity that Virtuosity had, and I had a hard time connecting to the characters.

The biggest issue I had with this book was Amelia, which is significant since she is the main character. I just could not stand her for the first 3/4 of the book. Yes, Charly did some crappy things and made some bad choices, but I felt Amelia's reactions to them to be very immature and petty. She also treated her aunt, who was going out of her way to let the girls stay with her, pretty terribly. The only time I liked Amelia was when she was with Ezra. He was easily my favorite part of the book. He had a well-developed back story, and was really a pretty good guy. Amelia's relationship with him made her a much more likable character. Charly was also a pretty decent character. She may have been set-up as Amelia's antagonist, but, ironically, I liked her much more throughout the story. She definitely made some poor choices, but I felt like she ended up dealing with things in a much more mature way than Amelia.

The story did keep me interested, even when the characters did not. I kept reading because I wanted to find out what had happened and how everything would be resolved. One plot point that did bother me though was Charly and Amelia's grandmother's reaction to Charly's predicament. It may have seem rather old-fashioned, but I'm sure that there are still people like that today. I debated for a time about whether or not I found it to be believable, but in the end I think I do.
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