Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Book Review: The Space Between Trees by Katie Williams

Evie is a friendless teen obsessed with a college age boy who clears dead animals from the woods behind the housing development where she delivers newspapers. When the boy finds the body of Evie’s childhood friend Zabet, Evie tells a lie at Zabet’s funeral that begins a tumultuous friendship with the local “bad girl” Hadley.


When I picked up this novel, I had the impression that it would be a mystery/thriller. But in reality, this is much more of a character study of a girl most people would overlook – a self proclaimed “space between trees”. Of course, the reason most people overlook girls like Evie is because she is basically bland and unremarkable. The most interesting thing about her is that she makes up lies to make her life sound more exciting/less pathetic to her mother and “The whisperers” - a group of good girls Evie eats lunch with at school (LOVED the whisperers - I want a whole novel about them, stat!).

One of these lies leads her to be reluctantly “adopted” by Hadley, Zabet’s real best friend. Hadley acts out (probably because her parents completely ignore her) and engages in destructive behavior, that Evie merely reacts to. The most “thrilling” parts of the narrative have to do with Hadley and Evie looking for Zabet’s killer, a search that amounts to a chain of coincidences, innocuous by themselves, but dangerous enough together to result in tragedy.

There is beautiful, lyrical writing throughout and the author’s insight into wallflowers and grieving communities is impressive, but I spent most of my reading time wondering where exactly the author was going and if I really wanted to keep following. I'm glad I stuck with it, but I am sure I would have enjoyed the journey more if I had gone into it thinking “literary fiction” rather than “mystery/thriller”.

THE SPACE BETWEEN TREES is out now in (gorgeous!!!) hardcover. Find out more about it at the author’s website.

11 comments:

Mishel (P.S. I Love Books) said...

Hmm this one sounds interesting... definitely unique and different than other books out and about.

I'll have to check this out. "The Whisperers" have piqued my curiousity!

avisannschild said...

Huh, the premise of this one sounds interesting, but I'm not sure it's something I would enjoy.

bermudaonion said...

This does sound interesting because really and truly most people are "space between trees."

Alex Bennett said...

This looks great!

Pam said...

Oh, wow, this sounds really interesting. I've seen it around but for some reason it hasn't struck me the way your review has. Pretty compelling! ;O)

Staci said...

I know several of those "space between trees" girls. This sounds pretty interesting.

Steph said...

I hadn't heard of this, will check it out! Love the cover -- I actually find myself more drawn to covers without faces, though I wonder if I'm in the minority on that?

StephanieHuszar said...

Will have to check this out! Love the cover -- am actually drawn more to covers without faces, though I wonder if I'm in the minority on that?

Zibilee said...

I can relate to the whole wallflower thing, as that is exactly how I was in high-school. It sounds like this might make for an interesting read for me, so I will have to check it out. Sorry to hear that you were expecting something a little different, though I am glad that you mostly enjoyed it!

TopherGL said...

This sounds like something I'd love! The cover is absolutely beautiful. Your description of the main character reminds me of a few students I had - making things up to sound more impressive. Thanks for the review!

Amanda said...

Ooh this sounds really good, and I love that cover!