Thursday, September 27, 2018

Small Spaces by Katherine Arden

Well there's definitely a fall bite to the air by now here in Colorado. I'm a true summer gal but fall does stand a very close second as my favorite season. In fact, I could do with just summer and fall year round - I hate winter and spring!

Fall makes me think of Halloween and high school football games - even though I'm not a fan of football, Friday nights spent in the stands with my bandmates and junk food concessions will probably forever hold a place in my heart. 

And while I love to read horror year round, fall demands it! And so I was super excited to find out that Katherine Arden, yes, The Bear and the Nightingale Katherine Arden, had written a middle grade ghost story!

Eleven-year-old Ollie is happiest spending her time between the pages of books. So when she stumbles upon a woman just about to toss a book into the river, Ollie decides she must save the tome. 

When she gets home, she dives in, discovering a story about two brothers who'd fallen in love with the same woman. One night, one of the brothers makes a deal with someone called the smiling man, a deal that would grant the brother's wish in exchange for a promise to be cashed in at a later date. 

In the middle of reading the book, Ollie and her school take a trip to a local farm that bears a marked resemblance to the one in Ollie's book. And when she finds a graveyard with tombstones matching the names of the people in her book, she begins to suspect the story might hold a little bit of truth. 

When the school bus breaks down leaving the farm, their teacher leaves to find help. The day grows darker and the bus driver issues an ominous warning that prompts Ollie and two others to leave the bus behind. But as they try to make their way back to the farm and possible help, the night and the things they've been warned against begin to close in...

Small Spaces is meant for middle grade readers, but that doesn't mean there wasn't enough for this adult to enjoy. I even got the occasional hair on end tingle as I was reading!

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