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Friday, June 25, 2010

The Space Between Trees - Kate Williams (Young Adult)

Released June 23, 2010

Reviewed by Tracy Farnsworth

Evie doesn't quite fit in at school or at home. She has friends, but no one close. In fact, the only true friend she's ever had was back in grade school, but Evie and Zabet grew apart. Now Evie does her newspaper route every Sunday where she flirts with an older boy, Jonah, who's job is to collect dead animals from the woods behind an upscale housing community.

One morning, Evie is waiting for Jonah to come back out of the woods. Only he doesn't for a long time. When he does finally appear, he goes straight to a house. Evie is uncertain what's going on until police and the coroner arrive. Jonah's found a body; it's the body of Evie's childhood friend.

Evie is soon drawn into the life of Zabet's best friend, a troubled girl named Hadley. Together, the girls attempt to unravel Zabet's last moments and reveal the killer.

The Space Between Trees is a dark story, yet despite the subject matter, I was hooked and never felt the story was too depressing or sad. The story is told from Evie's point of view. She's honest, at times naive and is forced to face some very adult challenges along the way. It was fascinating to watch her develop a strong back bone when it came to a few confrontations. I also loved how the mystery wasn't really something the reader could solve. You just had to sit back and learn the truth right along with the characters.

This is, at heart, a coming of age story more than a mystery. It's grim at times but incredibly honest. I can't imagine finding a body; definitely hope I never do! But, I do know the story from the other side--what it feels like when someone you know is found murdered. It's never an easy situation, no matter how well you know that person. What Evie relates to the reader is very apt.

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