Title: Thin Space
Author: Jody Casella
Publisher: Beyond Words/Simon Pulse
Publication Date: September 10, 2013
Ever since the car accident that killed his twin brother, Marshall Windsor has been consumed with guilt and crippled by secrets of that fateful night. He has only one chance to make amends, to right his wrongs and set things right. He must find a Thin Space—a mythical point where the barrier between this world and the next is thin enough for a person to step through to the other side.
But, when a new girl moves into the house next door, the same house Marsh is sure holds a thin space, she may be the key—or the unraveling of all his secrets.
As they get closer to finding a thin space—and closer to each other—Marsh must decide once and for all how far he’s willing to go to right the wrongs of the living…and the dead.
Confession: I didn’t really want to read this book when I requested it from NetGalley. The only reason I requested it at all was because it was a debut. At that point I hadn’t heard much about it, and from the summary I read on NetGalley, it sounded like it was going to be a super cliche grief book.
It totally wasn’t. I am so glad I read this book on impulse, because it’s definitely been one of my favorite surprises of 2013. I liked it right away and kicked myself for having written it off before I even read it.
The first thing that hooked me was Marsh’s voice. He’s crabby and kind of an asshole, but he’s an endearing asshole so it’s okay. The desperation Casella gave Marsh made his belief in thin spaces much more believable to me, and I thought she did a great job of capturing how his grief made him kind of crazy.
I also really liked the character of Maddie. She’s not like your typical YA love interest: she’s southern, not described as super gorgeous like Logan and Kate, and she has sexual experience (which, granted, she now sees as a mistake, but still). It’s really unusual in YA for a female character to have experience with men. To me, the most typical romance plotlines for girls are that this is the first guy they’ve ever loved, or they’ve dated but this guy is totally different. This, along with her southern quirkiness and other craziness, made her stand out to me as a character.
I thought Casella did a great job creating a realistic timeline for Marsh and Maddie’s relationship as well. At first, Marsh was a complete jerk to her, and basically ignores everything she says while trying to get into the house to find the thin space. Eventually though, he does start to warm up to her and notice things about her instead of thinking about himself all the time. Maddie is very understanding of Marsh even though he admits to her that he was essentially using her, so it made me really happy when they started getting closer. For most of the book, I wasn’t sure if there was really going to be a romance or not, so it ended up being quite a nice surprise.
I also wasn’t sure if Marsh would actually find the thin space or not. When I first read about this book, I didn’t think the summary came off as paranormal, so I didn’t know what to expect. I wasn’t even sure if I wanted Marsh to find the thin space or not, but when he did, I thought Casella pulled it off very well and it made sense with the rest of the story. Casella certainly had me convinced for a while that Marsh was going to try and move on with his life without finding the thin space.
In Thin Space, Casella has crafted a meaningful, addictive novel that blurs perfectly the lines between fantasy and reality that I hope other readers will enjoy as much as I did.