C.G. Drews's Reviews > Small Spaces

Small Spaces by Sarah   Epstein
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really liked it
bookshelves: 4-star, aussie-authors, read-2018, young-adult, thriller-crime

Okay and WOW this one definitely glued my entire face to the page. It's seriously one of those thrillers were I was like, "Eh I'll read a few chapters before working on stuff" and then it's like an hour later and I'm flipping pages anxiously after shouting at the sun a bit and checking under my bed 57 times and saying, "whAt iS GoING ONNNN."

Solid stuff here. Am a fan.

Also two things to note: (1) I CAN'T check under my bed because my bed is on the floor?!??!!? So look what this book has done to me. And (2) I don't actually usually like thrillers [I'm never thrilled] but I enjoyed this one so so much so I'm just happy ahh!

I think what made this one stand out (for me) is how amazingly it built the characters. So I wasn't just here for the creepy plot...but also for these characters who were complex and diverse and dimensional and LEFT ME FEELING THINGS. Tash is an anxious wreck. Morgan is like an over-excited puppy of love. Sadie is here to be so fabulous you can see her glorious light shining from the moons. Mallory is just soft™ and must be protected at all costs. I!! love!! them!! Books that focus on characters first ALWAYS make me care over anything [waves hands vaguely] that the plot is doing.

However. This also had a frikkin' fine plot. Basically it's about Tash, now 17, still trying to recover from her traumatic childhood where she (a) had a psycho imaginary friend named Sparrow WHO WAS LIKE AN EVIL SPLOT YOU'D FIND IN THE BASEMENT, and (b) she witnessed a 6 year old little girl get kidnapped. But obviously when an 8-year-old says "My imaginary friend kidnapped her!" everyone just writes her off as an attention-seeking brat.

My heart really broke for Tash and the way her mental health was treated. I loved how it was handled, but it was also infuriating?!? Like her mother is AWFUL. Tash is obviously mentally ill, even now at 17, but everyone still just says she's attention seeking! And I think that happens far too much IRL so it's a wicked punch right there.

I also liked the questions of of: is the imaginary friend real or not?!? Because it keeps you wondering if this is secretly paranormal, or does Tash have a serious mental illness, or is something else going on?? OBVIOUSLY I GIVE NO SPOILERS. But Sparrow was so flipping creepy. I was genuinely CREEPED. If I say "creep" one more time you can creep over and turn me into a crepe or something. I mean.


I think the whole plot tied together reeeeeally well at the end. Yeeah maybe a little "tight and clean" and MAYBE I'm sitting here pouting about a sequel, because I'd love to see this friendship gang progressing. Adorable messed up damaged little boxes of trauma they are!

My only quibble is that it was very long. Jk jk I'm sure most people wouldn't care, but it felt slow at the beginning (probably to build tension??) and I would've liked to move along faster. And obviously Tash made a LOT of frustrating decisions. ("Hey I'm going to spend the weekend at my aunt who I haven't seen in forever's house even though lol lol remember when I was 8 and staying here and was so traumatised!!" TASH. WHERE IS YOUR GOD GIVEN BRAIN.) And it was so frustrating seeing Tash's mental health scorned, but that was the point. I just arghhhh. That's not even a negative. I don't know what I'm saying. I'm a mESS just go.

So basically one of my new favourite thrillers. I mean! I was actually thrilled and the writing was A+ and the characters stole the show and also all of them need help. And like, a warm pretzel or something. But help. (Ohh help.) And the whole idea of your childhood imaginary friend being SUPER CREEPY is just amazing. I'm glad I never had one now, even though my inability to make fake friends or real friends is remarkable. Wow, score @ me.
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Reading Progress

September 15, 2017 – Shelved
September 15, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read
April 14, 2018 – Started Reading
April 15, 2018 –
page 142
37.57% "that awkward moment when your childhood imaginary friend is a fREAKY MURDER CREATURE"
April 15, 2018 –
page 239
63.23% "Me: eh thrillers don't really thrill me--
This book: [exists]
Me: [cannot freaking put it down ever]"
April 15, 2018 – Shelved as: 4-star
April 15, 2018 – Shelved as: aussie-authors
April 15, 2018 – Shelved as: read-2018
April 15, 2018 – Shelved as: young-adult
April 15, 2018 – Shelved as: thriller-crime
April 15, 2018 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-3 of 3 (3 new)

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message 1: by susie (new) - added it

susie i haven't heard about this book before, so i'll be sure to check it out after this review!

C.G. Drews Yayy I hope you get to read it! It's an Aussie one too!

message 3: by Niamh (new)

Niamh I've heard amazing things about this book but I get scared super easily (lol) so I've been really hesitant to add it to my (miles high) TBR pile. But your review has convinced me! I just know I'm going to get so creeped out haha

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