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Thin Space Paperback – September 10, 2013


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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up–This is a spooky story of the highest order. Twins Austin and Marsh Windsor looked so much alike that they were sometimes mistaken for each other, even by their girlfriends and high school classmates. The night Austin was killed in a car accident, they were on a double date, and Marsh was driving. To deal with his grief, he looks for a “thin space”–a mythic doorway where the living and dead can temporarily pass through into the worlds they left behind. Thin spaces don't come about easily; the same soul must both quicken and die in the same spot in order for an entry spot to be created. A woman had promised to make a thin space with her death, but a new family moves into her house before Marsh can get in and investigate. He hits upon a plan to befriend the new teenage residents, Maddie and Sam. Marsh and Maddie go barefoot through hospital corridors and across snow-covered parking lots, trying to find an entrance to the world of the dead. Throughout the book, the pressures of school and family weigh realistically on the protagonist; his mother needs to be hugged and classes need to be attended, even as he is falling apart with guilt and secrets. It turns out Maddie has a secret of her own. The final plot twist will catch most readers by surprise, making a second reading almost mandatory, to look for missed clues. The story is atmospheric and chilling, with a few four letter words, a bit of romance, and a satisfying ending.–Maggie Knapp, Trinity Valley School, Fort Worth, TXα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

Consumed by guilt, Marshall blames himself for the death of his identical twin brother, Austin. After all, he was the one driving the night of the accident that killed his sibling. Since then Marshall has been obsessively searching for the place where he can find a “thin space”—a place where, according to Celtic legend, the wall between this world and the next is thinner and where the dead can come back and the living can enter the world of the dead. He hopes it is a place where he can finally fix things. Can he find it, though? Can Maddie, the new girl in school, possibly help him? And why does she want to find a thin space, too? Casella’s first novel is a sometimes slow-paced and uneasy mix of realistic fiction and the paranormal that never quite gels. Still, many readers will be drawn by the clever premise and surprising plot twists, and Casella’s use of the thin-space legend is original and intriguing. Grades 7-10. --Michael Cart --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse/Beyond Words (September 10, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1582703922
  • ISBN-13: 978-1582703923
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #600,806 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I write stories and books for young adults. Look for my first novel, THIN SPACE, (Beyond Words/Simon & Schuster) in Fall, 2013. I also review books for Cover to Cover Bookstore, and parent two teens, and sporadically clean my house in a frenzy. I'm repped by Deborah Warren at East West Literary. You can follow my blog On the Verge on my website: http://www.jodycasella.com/

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
5 star
69%
4 star
19%
3 star
13%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
See all 32 customer reviews
Someone tell me!!!
C.J. Listro
Thin Space was a very different story than what I expected, and I’m happy to say I was pleasantly surprised.
T. Sparks
I fell in love with the characters, the story and the twists Casella created.
My Friends Are Fiction

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Tracy Barrett on October 23, 2013
Format: Paperback
You'd never know THIN SPACE is a debut novel. It's superbly written, with spare prose that describes characters in just a few strokes and delivers a fairly complicated plot with one big twist and several smaller ones clearly and effectively. There are paranormal elements, but it's really a story grounded in the universal human experiences of loss, identity, love, responsibility, and other themes that most people, like the book's main character, Marsh, first grapple with as teenagers.

Before the book starts, Marsh's twin, Austin, was killed in a car accident. Marsh's feelings of guilt seem to go even deeper than you would expect from the fact that Marsh was driving when the fatality occurred. He had done something "stupid" that somehow had a factor in Austin's death.

According to Celtic lore, a "thin space" is created when someone dies in the same place where s/he was born. Marsh is determined to locate such a space and find his brother. And do what? Explain? Right the wrong? We don't know, and it doesn't seem as if March does either. He's aided by new-girl-in-town Maddie, who has some secrets of her own.

When the twists and other secrets are revealed, readers get a D'oh! moment--"I should have seen this coming!" But you don't, even though they seem obvious once revealed because the groundwork has been so carefully and deftly laid.

The story doesn't wrap everything up in a neat bow, but the characters are left well on the road to healing.

Disclaimer: I know Jody Casella and have admired her writing for years. But I know a lot of authors and you won't see many five-star reviews from me here (trust me; I've read dozens more books than I've reviewed).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dii TOP 500 REVIEWER on September 10, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
This is powerful! This is haunting! This is why I love to read! Thin Space by Jody Casella is like being trapped in a dream, and until someone finds the way to pull you out, it goes on and on. Honestly, I have read this twice, it was that good, that intriguing and I picked up even more to like about it the second time around!
Grief, guilt and loss can blur our existence, warp our perspectives and cause us to block out the truth, while searching for unknowable answers, believing in a Thin Space between the living and the dead, something an elderly neighbor swore existed. Marshall, grieving over his guilt in the loss of his twin, undergoes a huge mental change that manifests itself in unusual and odd behavior. He needs to "talk" with his brother, make things right, but no one believes in the Thin Space, until Maddie comes along. Does it exist? Can Marshall lay his ghosts to rest? What about Maddie?

Jody Casella has packed a lot of story, strong characters and enough tear-jerking intensity into her writing, that you are almost sad to get to the last page, as I said, I've read this twice and can, without a doubt, see read number three on the horizon! Ms. Casella has created a fresh and deeply moving story that will stick with you long after the last page with its great pacing, well-developed characters and a touch of the supernatural!

An ARC edition was provided by NetGalley & Beyond Words Publishing in exchange for my honest review.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Christine (The Bookish Daydreamer) on September 11, 2013
Format: Paperback
Real Rating: 3.5 Stars

The summary for this book sounded super intriguing and sounded like it would be bursting with paranormal happenings and elements. Unfortunately, THIN SPACE didn't deliver this as much as I would have liked. There were some great aspects of the novel that I loved, but there were also some things that fell flat for me.

Marsh has lost his other half and is living through a fog the months after his brother was killed in a car accident that he was the driver of. He walks around barefoot and just goes through the motions, not truly knowing what is going on around. He is sad, depressed, and absolutely desperate to find this mythical thin space that his old neighbor told him about. He believes it's the only way to fix things and to see his brother again.

The whole first half of the novel was Marsh post falling apart. It's obvious that he's hit rock bottom. He doesn't talk to anyone, no one talks to him. This section of the book is basically just Marsh thinking to himself. You really don't get any interaction with others. While this is critical to showing Marsh's downfall, it did get a bit irritating. I liked Marsh's voice but I wanted to get to know other characters, hear a dialogue, something. I got kind of tired of just being inside his head.

When the girl next door, Maddie, moved in, the novel picked up quite significantly. She was a happy go lucky, shy girl who brought some new dynamics to the scene. She got Marsh to talk and open up. She had a history of her own that slowly was unveiled. She wasn't perfect but I really liked how she added to the novel and woke up Marsh, so to speak. She took everything weird that Marsh said or did with a grain of salt and joined him in his search for a thin space.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Peggy H on September 10, 2013
Format: Paperback
It's hard to believe this is Jody Casella's first published novel. Thin Space is a great read, a real page-turner. It's a little creepy, though in a good way. But mostly it's a heartfelt exploration of one boy's grief and his response to it. The author is so in touch with her characters that she brings them to life. I really cared what happened to them. I will read this book again, maybe several times, to explore all the nuances in this wonderful character study.
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