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The Space Between Trees Hardcover – June 23, 2010
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From School Library Journal
Grade 8 Up—Sixteen-year-old Evie is an outsider with a vivid imagination. She makes up stories for herself and others to make life in her small Midwestern town tolerable. When a childhood friend, Zabet McCabe, is murdered, Evie is thrust into a story beyond her wildest imaginings. Her little habitual deceptions, usually so harmless, get her entangled with grieving Mr. McCabe and Zabet's emotionally unstable and reckless best friend, Hadley Smith. Hadley is obsessed with finding Zabet's killer, and Evie lets herself get dragged into her increasingly paranoid and dangerous investigation. This dark and suspenseful coming-of-age story builds steadily to a violent climax. Evie is a skillful storyteller, perceptive and thoughtful, with a dry sense of humor. She is especially sensitive to disingenuousness in others, particularly in her mother, with whom she has an emotionally distant relationship. As a result, she fixates on the only genuine person in her life: taciturn Jonah Luks, on whom she has an unrequited crush. Evie adds beauty and excitement to the mundane with her fantasies, but only grows as a person when she faces reality and reaches out to the people around her. Readers who have ever felt like they don't fit in will find it easy to empathize with the teen's struggle to connect to others, and anyone can relate to the disillusionment that comes with growing up.—Erin Carrillo, formerly at Alachua County Library District, Gainesville, FL
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Always on the social fringes, Evie’s early Sunday paper route puts her at the scene of a disturbing crime. When the murder victim turns out to be a childhood friend, Evie’s crush on Jonah (who found the body) and her uneasy friendship with Hadley take on an eerie quality. Drawn into the search for the murderer almost unwillingly, Evie simultaneously moves quickly into adulthood, facing complex struggles and fears. This debut novel will appeal to fans of Gail Giles’ What Happened to Cass McBride? (2006) or Peter Abrahams’ Reality Check (2009). A good option for reluctant readers, this thrilling story shows many instances of lyrical language, and the pacing is pitch-perfect. Evie’s isolation from her peers is a little hard to swallow, and her naïveté at a college party is a stretch for a 16-year-old, but for some readers, that may make her character that much more appealing. The less-than-clean ending may frustrate some but is a realistic touch. Grades 8-12. --Melissa Moore
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Top customer reviews
The mystery at the heart of this book, the death of a young girl, sets off events that change the lives of a number of people. No one is the hero here, and no one 'solves' the mystery through brilliant sleuthing. They just do the best they can to make sense of what happened and to deal with it. But at the end there are mercies given and received, and they are important in the lives of these somewhat troubled people.
I very much look forward to Katie Williams' next book.
I fell head over heels in love with the cover of this book when I got it. It's laser cut on the front cover and it shows the words in between the spaces. It's such a creative cover! When I first picked it up, I felt as if I had read it before, and I had, but only the first 30+ pages. Then I stopped. Probably because it took at least 60+ for me to get all the way into it, but after that I couldn't stop. I needed to get to the end. Williams has a way of writing that grows with the protagonist of the story as it moves along. You can just tell when the innocence of Evie snaps and she's no longer shielded from the world anymore.
I had a slight problem with Evie. I don't remember ever being as gushy over someone as she was when I was 16 years old. Over time, though, that problem faded because I felt the change in her throughout the story and I didn't mind her earlier gushing over the lovable Jonah Luks.
Who I did have a very big issue with was Hadley. UGH. I wanted to punch her in the face so much. She is so manipulative, and crazy, and out of control. You'll see if you read this book. She might just be my least favorite character I've ever read about. I can see exactly why she had such a strong hold on Evie, though. She's just that good at being bad.
If I could describe this story in three words, I would use the words riveting, eerie, and gripping. I'd put annoying as well but that's only because I wanted to strangle Hadley the whole time I read about her. I had to force myself to not roll my eyes every time I heard her name. I love the fact that Williams made a character that could elicit that much emotion in me, because it's very hard to do normally.
The story is amazing, and one I would definitely recommend to anyone looking for a coming-of-age story but also one with a mystery twist on it with a twist at the end.
At first, Evie seemed like such a child, that I kept having to remind myself that this was a teenager into whose head I was peeking. But after the incident that shapes the book's overall plot, Evie normalizes, and instead of the socially inept weirdo she seemed at the start, she comes off more as a shy, thoughtful young woman -- and that made it much easier to get behind her.
The Space Between Trees isn't so much a murder mystery, as a story about identity and grief and adolescence. I found myself quite wrapped up in the story, and while this wasn't a perfect tale, it was definitely an interesting and engaging one. Recommended.
Most recent customer reviews
Don't judge the book by its cover- in this case, I took the book because of it's...Read more