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A murder mystery propels the plot of Katie Williams's first novel, but the assured writing and the psychologically penetrating portrait of the two main characters play equally strong parts in this page-turner .Gripping.
SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL
This dark and suspenseful coming-of-age story builds steadily to a violent climax....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.
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, STARRED REVIEW
A loner, 16-year-old Evie seeks companionship where she can find it, whether it's with the group of girls who tolerate her company at lunch or with her crush, Jonah, a college dropout whose job entails clearing dead animals from the woods by a wealthy suburb. Evie often sees Jonah on her paper route and is there right after he discovers the body of Zabet (short for Elizabeth), a girl Evie was friends with years ago. Evie gradually befriends Hadley, Zabet's destructive best friend, who wants Evie's help tracking Zabet's killer. Evie's palpable loneliness is excruciating, and debut novelist Williams's prose brings readers deep inside Evie's psyche. Her first-person narration is full of the kind of thoughtful descriptions one might expect from someone who's much better at observation than interaction (of her mother: She orders her beauty into shape like a squad of soldiers.... So when she finally decides to look up at me, her face is all set, her beauty ready to salute ). Evie's raw honesty and the choices she makes make for difficult reading, but also a darkly beautiful, emotionally honest story of personal growth.
"A nail-biter packed with palpable suspense and enough violence to suit it for stronger stomachs.
Katie Williams debut novel, The Space Between Trees, offers a deft depiction of a girl coping with the truth, no matter how ugly it is. The haunting premise and honest narration of this poignant coming-of-age story will equally captivate both teen and adult readers.
Posted May 26, 2011
Evie, a lonely girl, with no friends has no hope of getting Jonah, a college dropout to notice her, even when she constantly stalks him every Sunday while she does her paper route. Evie's whole life changes when she sees Jonah walk into the woods and come out with sight of a dead body. Whose body is it though? "The Space Between Trees" was overall an okay book. I admire how Katie Williams wrote the characters. Hadley was my favorite character, a girl who was friends with Zabet when she died. When she goes back to school, students treat her as a reject. Hadley was able to stay strong through all of this and in the end she and Evie were able to become friends. Overall, I was disappointed with this book, I feel that the author should have revealed who the killer was and doing so, that would have made the book better overall.
3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 23, 2010
Evie spends a lot of her time alone, and for the most part she likes it that way. She's worlds apart from her mother, who seems obsessed with looking perfect all the time. At lunch in school she sits with a group she calls The Whisperers, because they talk quietly to one another. But at least they accept her presence at their table, and they like to hear stories about Jonah. Jonah combs the woods behind a high-end neighborhood every week to rid it of dead animals while Evie delivers newspapers there. She longs for him to notice her.
Then comes the Sunday that Jonah finds the body of Evie's one-time friend as he makes his regular rounds. Evie can't get the murder out of her mind, and she finds herself lying to make her relationship with the dead girl, Elizabeth, closer than it was. She's drawn into a friendship with Elizabeth's dad and her real best friend, Hadley.
The girls work to solve the crime together, but actions quickly escalate out of their control.
The Space Between Trees by Katie Williams grabs you and pulls you into the story with the first words and doesn't turn you loose until the last sentence. It highlights real dangers when teens take risks, and also shows how they can sometimes fall into magical thinking that heightens and exaggerates their fears.
There are many issues for moms and daughters to talk about: making decisions about who to trust, keeping lines of communication open between moms and teen daughters, teens trying out new experiences just to see what they are like, and more. The Space Between Trees is wonderfully creepy, and I recommend reading it in the light of day or you may just find yourself jumping at every little sound in the dark. I highly recommend it for mother-daughter book clubs with girls aged 14 and up.
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
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Posted December 6, 2012
I really went into this not sure of what to expect. I thought it was going to be predictable - Jonah was mentioned, so I thought he'd play a bigger part than he did, and Hadley isn't mentioned in the summary at all. But then again, I prefer this vaguer summary to one that gives away the entire book - I hate when that happens.
The one word I can use to describe The Space Between Trees is interesting. It's unlike anything I've read so far, and it made me sit and think. I put it down quite a lot, not willing to read any farther. It's a digestion novel - slow and steady.
The build up to the end takes a very long time. If I had to divide the book into threes, I would say the first two thirds of it is a build up, and the last third of it is a really quick wrap up. The book seems less about the plot and more about Evie developing as a character which, I can say, I didn't mind. I liked being in Evie's head and watching her develop.
As for her choices? I disliked Hadley and didn't understand her choice in Jonah. I didn't connect to any character besides Evie, either, and even then my connection with Evie was only at moments. I may have liked watching her develop, but it didn't mean I was connected to her.
All in all, it wasn't a bad story. Just a long one with a quick ending, and one that makes you think.
Posted January 19, 2013
Posted May 1, 2012
Overall, it was better than expected. There were moments of real truth. This was especially true with Hadley. Her grief over the death of her only real friend sends her into a downward spiral that is realistic and painful to watch. She tries so hard to be tough and act like nothing bothers her, but throughout the book you can see her mental instability growing and you really start to feel for her. Mr. McCabe is another character that seems very well thought out. He tries to hold on to his daughter by forming a relationship with Hadley and Evie. His desperation is palpable, from only making spaghetti because it was Zabet's favorite to keeping her room in the complete disarray in which it was left. He is possibly the saddest character in the whole book. Finally there is Jonah. He is sort of an enigma in the book. He is around but he doesn't say much and the reader rarely knows what he is thinking. This is the same way that Evie sees him. The reader wants to get to know him as much as she does. Unfortunately, I didn't feel like he was given a chance to really come into his own as a character. I would have liked to understand him more. Another character who left me wanting was Evie's mother. She was so self-obsessed and vapid that I couldn't help but dislike her. I kept hoping that she would evolve through the story, but unfortunately she didn't. There was sort of a moment toward the end of the book where she seems to have come to her senses (she left the house without makeup, oh my!) but it was lackluster. The biggest problem I had with the book though was the mystery aspect. The whole story seemed to be leading up to this thrilling ending. Some big epiphany and, instead, it fizzled out. I found myself going, "that's it? It's over?" which is never much fun in my opinion.
Negatives aside, this book does have merit. Some of the characters are very fun to get to know and the story, itself, was very interesting at times. Evie is a sympathetic protagonist with real feelings and insecurities and the story does make you think. I wish that the author would have delved a little deeper into the characters and their relationships with one another, but for the most part the story wasn't bad. I'd recommend this if you want something a little dark, with some quirkiness to it.
Posted October 26, 2011
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Posted October 14, 2010
Evie is a lonely teen living in a small town in the midwest. She lives with her mother, who tends to be flighty. They rent house after house, never really putting down roots in this small town. Evie has a newspaper route on the weekends and loves delivering papers in a more affluent part of town. One of the main reasons she likes this area is that she can see the college boy who picks up dead animals from the woods. His name is Jonah Luks. He is not very friendly, but Evie has a very big crush on him. One day while Jonah is looking for dead animals, he finds a dead body. It is of Elizabeth, a girl from Evie's high school. Evie and Elizabeth were friends when they were younger, but they had grown apart and Elizabeth was best friends with a very unstable girl named Hadley. Hadley likes to live life on the edge. She has a sad home life and she spends a lot of time trying to escape it. Through a few innocent lies, Evie ends up being the new focus of Hadley's life. The two of them then decide to find out who killed Elizabeth, with disastrous results. This was a good book, but I had a hard time reading about Hadley and her slow descent into chaos and madness. She was a bully and I kept wanting Evie to get away from her influence. The ending wasn't as satisfying as I wanted it to be, but I still recommend it, for a more mature audience.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 4, 2010
Evie is a loner. The only friend she has is high-school dropout Jonah who she sees when she makes her newspaper deliveries. Then Jonah finds a dead body. Zabet was once a friend of Evie's and when she is found murdered, Evie life changes forever. This coming of age story is a murder mystery but also a story of teenage angst, grief and becoming an adult through crisis. But I didn't connect with Evie as I felt she learned little if anything from the ordeal.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 29, 2010
THE SPACE BETWEEN TREES, by Katie Williams, is a unique tale of two teens outside of the normal cliques of high school. Evie is a loner who tends to make up stories to impress her school girlfriends, and Hadley is one of the "bad girls" who happens to be best friends with the recently murdered girl, Zabet. These girls become friends because of their common ground, Elizabeth/Zabet, and soon Evie is getting more than she bargained for with Hadley.
This book was unlike anything I have read. The title and cover did not reveal much about the actual story. At first sight, I had a feeling it would be a bit mysterious, and I was correct! Throughout the book I was wondering what the "bigger picture" was, and when time came for the big reveal, I have to say I was stunned. I have mixed feelings about how the book ended, but after thinking about it, I felt it was appropriate. The story steadily went and I was left expecting a huge surprise ending with big explosions and an "ah-ha!"moment, but that would not have fit with the overall "voice" of the book. It was definitely different and more low-key than I am used to, but not bad!
I did enjoy the fact that the main girls were outside of the normal groups that are usually explored in YA. Neither were popular and were content with that. Evie never took any chances until she met Hadley. And with this new relationship, Evie grew up a lot. With one little stretch of the truth, Evie entered a whirlwind relationship with Hadley that forever changed her. As a side note on characters, I have to say I did not know what to think about Evie's mother. Williams created a character that was strange, and quite entertaining. Every time her mother was present, I was eagerly anticipating what gesture or random thing she would come up with to make me shake my head a smile.
Overall, I enjoyed this book. I stepped outside of my comfort-zone with this one and delved deeper into a coming of age novel. Williams has a great writing style and her characters are honest and inventive. I look forward to reading her future works.
Posted January 27, 2011
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Posted September 25, 2013
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