Title: Small Spaces
Author: Katherine Arden
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
I’ve had this book for quite sometime and I don’t what took me so long to read it. ‘Small Spaces” is Katherine Arden’s debut middle grade book. I absolutely loved the spooky vibe it gave off. Arden really knows how to tell a story.
We meet Olivia Adler who goes by the name Ollie. Ollie is a quiet girl who likes to be alone, enjoy the company of her books, and riding her bike. She lives with her dad whom is a solar panel salesman, but whose true gift is being creative….including being an amazing cook and baker. They live in their house that people call: ‘the egg house” because of the easter egg colors her dad painted it. After a situation happens at school and Ollie flees the scene, she goes to her fave river to ride her bike and relax. She then comes across a strange and distraught woman trying to throw a book in the river. Ollie being the book lover she is takes the book from her and runs off. When she gets home, she begins reading it. She falls into a trance by reading the tale. The tale is about a girl named Beth and two young men who are brothers. The brothers are fighting over the girls love, but they also make a deal with someone called: “The Smiling Man”. A highly sinister character who will grant you a great significant wish, but at a cost of course. Ollie is so engrossed in the tale until she goes on a school trip to a farm called: “Smoke Hollow”. When she gets there she learns about its haunted past and the eerily similarities to the tale she’s reading.
When it’s time for the class to go back home, their school bus breaks down and the creepy bus driver says: “Best get moving, at nightfall they’ll come for the rest of you” and with that Ollie’s wristwatch gives her a warning:”RUN”! and so she starts a chilling and scary adventure through a corn maze, the woods, and with scarecrows. While on this scary adventure we also meet Coco Zintner and Brian Battersby.
I absolutely loved this book even though it was scary and kept you on the edge of your seat, it also teaches you about friendships, standing up for what you believe in, and how to deal with grieving. Yes! grieving. Ollie losing her mom made a huge impact on her behavior overall. Huge thanks to NetGalley and G.P Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers of a copy of this book in a exchange for a honest review.