Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Review: White Space by Ilsa J Bick

Title: White Space (Dark Passages #1)
Author: Ilsa J Bick
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal Fantasy, Horror
Source: EgmontUSA via Edelweiss. Thank you!

Goodreads rating: 2.92 out of 5.00 (70+ ratings)
Goodreads | The Reading Room

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.
Review by Nara

One thing that I can say about White Space is that it's a major contender for the most confusing book I have ever read. Literally until the halfway mark (and this book is quite a hefty one), I had absolutely no idea what was going on. Constant point of view changes with incredibly short chapters and very random unexplained events had me in a state of perpetual confuzzlement.

However, another thing I can say about White Space is that it's a major contender for the most creative book I have ever read. When the truth about the earlier confusing events is revealed, The premise behind the story is incredibly compelling.

It is sort of like Inkheart, as you may have gathered from the blurb (if you've read it. If you haven't read it, don't. It's better to go into it without reading the blurb because it's kind of spoilery) and also somewhat like Inception (a book within a book? haha) but really, I think I'd class White Space in a category all in its own- both frustrating as well as enthralling to the last word- this is a book like no other.

Honestly, it's difficult to review this book properly, and that's mostly because of how differently I view the first half of the book compared to the second half. I, quite frankly, really disliked the first half. If I were to rate the halves separately, it'd get 2 stars, simply because I had no idea what was happening. The only reason I kept reading was to see whether things would finally be explained. And, man, was it worth it. The second half is incredible. Anyone who reads this book thinking that the beginning is crappy, I really urge you to persevere with it, because the second half is completely worth it. I really don't think I've ever read another book where the second half has changed my opinion of a book so drastically.

Well, I've said pretty much nothing about the actual content of the book in this review, and I think it's for the best. This is one book that is best read while knowing hardly anything about it. Stick with it, because it's truly worth it.

Liked it
Overall: 8/10
Plot: 3/5
Writing: 3/5
Characters: 4/5
Cover: 4/5