Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Me on The Space Between

Title: The Space Between
Author: Brenna Yovanoff
Release Date: November 15, 2011
Publisher: Razorbill (Penguin imprint)

Thirty-two days ago when I first read this book, I hoped I would find the words needed to describe it adequately. With any luck, I have finally found them, or what could be considered a close approximation.

Daphne is half-demon and half-fallen angel, the daughter of Lucifer and Lilith. Life, for her, is an endless expanse of time, until her brother Obie suddenly goes missing with no clues to be found, except possibly in the memories of a broken human boy Obie tried to help. Determined to find him, Daphne leaves Pandemonium for the streets of Earth, but everything up there is colder and more terrifying, and she struggles between her demon instincts and the growing - yet unfamiliar - feelings for the broken Truman. As they search, they must navigate the jealousies and alliances of the violent archangels who stand in their way. But Daphne also discovers, unexpectedly, what it means to love and be human in a world where human is the hardest thing to be.

A breathtaking novel of discovery, purpose, identity, and most of all love, Brenna Yovanoff gives readers a book sure to leave them lost and broken at the end, grasping at the edge, clawing with broken fingernails, trying to stay afloat, all in the amazing way novels can. I've been left broken and bleeding, begging for more, for one more glimpse into this heartbreaking world, forgetting that it's the one I currently live in. This book is so incredibly visual, the city of steel and chrome so clear in my mind, the characters full of hope and fear and blood rushing through their veins.

I don't know what I expected from Daphne, but what I found I love. All she cares about is finding Obie, finding the one person that makes life bearable. She doesn't understand Earth, she only knows what she knows and goes about finding her information without deceit or guile. So honest, so basic, so clear and so unexpected. And Truman. He's broken, tired, searching for the end because the world has become pointless to him, but then Daphne finds him, Daphne needs him, and it's up to him whether or not he wants to make that journey away from the edge.

My heart instantly latched onto Truman, to his desperation and defeat, to his loneliness. The world will hurt you, it will beat you down, it will cut deep and make you bleed until your arm tingles and goes numb, but it does get better.

What is in the space between the dark and the light, the good and the evil, the black and the white? This is what's in that space, living, thriving, surviving. This is what's there when the lines are blurred and you can't tell which is which. This book is dark, conjuring up a part of the world often kept locked away behind hidden doors, the darkness, the side of danger and sin and death and terrible choices, but you can't keep it locked away forever. It all applies to being a teenager, to their learning about the world and their eventual mistakes (because there will be a lot of them), including the dangerous decisions they make about alcohol and drugs, about street fights, about cutting and suicide/attempted suicide.

The Space Between stole my breath, leaving me shattered, picking up the pieces of myself. Gorgeous prose, gorgeous storytelling, absolutely heart-wrenching and utterly perfect. If you are not moved after reading this book, if you have not read between the lines to discover what it means to be human and what it means to love, go back and read it again. Please.

(I received an advance copy to review from Penguin Canada.)

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