Friday, October 3, 2014

Book Review: White Space

Title: White Space (Dark Passages #1)
Author: Ilsa J. Bick
Publisher: Egmont USA
Genre: Young Adult // Horror // Mystery
Format: Physical
Source: Library

In the tradition of Memento and Inception comes a thrilling and scary young adult novel about blurred reality where characters in a story find that a deadly and horrifying world exists in the space between the written lines.
Seventeen-year-old Emma Lindsay has problems: a head full of metal, no parents, a crazy artist for a guardian whom a stroke has turned into a vegetable, and all those times when she blinks away, dropping into other lives so ghostly and surreal it's as if the story of her life bleeds into theirs. But one thing Emma has never doubted is that she's real.
Then she writes "White Space," a story about these kids stranded in a spooky house during a blizzard.
Unfortunately, "White Space" turns out to be a dead ringer for part of an unfinished novel by a long-dead writer. The manuscript, which she's never seen, is a loopy Matrix meets Inkheart story in which characters fall out of different books and jump off the page. Thing is, when Emma blinks, she might be doing the same and, before long, she's dropped into the very story she thought she'd written. Trapped in a weird, snow-choked valley, Emma meets other kids with dark secrets and strange abilities: Eric, Casey, Bode, Rima, and a very special little girl, Lizzie. What they discover is that they--and Emma--may be nothing more than characters written into being from an alternative universe for a very specific purpose.
Now what they must uncover is why they've been brought to this place--a world between the lines where parallel realities are created and destroyed and nightmares are written--before someone pens their end (goodreads).

Although I have NO idea what was happening, this book sure did deliver on the scares! 

Plot: When I picked up White Space, I had no idea what it was about. I still don't but we won't talk about that right now. The book opens up with Emma who has a head full of metal from a terrible accident involving her druggie father and her body bouncing off a wall. She thinks that all of the metal is responsible for her "blinks" - periods of time where she mentally blacks out and hallucinates. On a snowy road in Wisconsin, she meets a cast of characters who are all connected to her in some way, the fun starts when people start dying though. :) White Spaces is an extremely complex novel, I don't even know where I would start explaining - without spoiling it! Just when I started to understand something, I questioned if I actually understood what was happening and then just get a headache trying to wrap my head around it. I had to go to bed after I read the cliffhanger, I just...couldn't think anymore. While I know it sounds like I'm being really negative about this book, I don't mean to be. One of the strongest points of this novel is that Bick doesn't hold any punches in her horror scenes. They were spooky and creepy, just the way I liked it! I probably would have loved this novel if it were a simple "seven-kids-in-a-spooky-haunted-house" story's not. 

Characters: Each chapter is told through the eyes of other characters which can be a little confusing at times. There were times where I had to go back to the beginning of the chapter to figure out whose narration I was following. Even though the book follows many characters, I think it's safe to say that Emma is our main character. I don't really know much about Emma, I found some of the other characters a bit more interesting. Rima particularly held my interest only because she had also powers.  One of my biggest issues with the novel is the lack of emotion. Early on in the book, a character dies and everyone's reaction is basically "WELP." That's not the proper response to seeing someone die before you! Scream or cry or SOMETHING. 

World Building: Bick writes horror very well, and I this is why I was able to picture myself in any scene. She did an amazing job depicting the landscape and making it feel so...isolated and wonder what was behind every door. 

Short N Sweet: Confusing as all hell but the horror element was spot on!


  1. I definitely felt like this was a really scary one. I had an e-galley of it, but it was really hard to read. I ended up getting a copy of an ARC of it on YA Book Exchange, but haven't had a chance to pick it up and finish it. I need to, because I also got an e-galley of the sequel to it! Like you I wasn't quite sure what was going on for most of it. Glad I wasn't the only one!

  2. I have the arc of this, but time didn't allow me to review it..I must admit you have me curious despite the confusion!

  3. oh, i must give this a try as i liked bick's Ashes series.

  4. This has been on my e-reader for some time now and I've been really on the fence about reading it...after your review though I think I will give it a try. I enjoy reading YA horror =)


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