The Dark Space by Mary Ann Rivers and Ruthie Knox

Posted June 26, 2015 by Anne - Books of My Heart in Book Review / 0 Comments

Review copy was received from Author. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Dark Space by Mary Ann Rivers and Ruthie KnoxThe Dark Space by Mary Ann Rivers
Published by Brain Mill Press on June 1st 2015
Genres: New Adult
Pages: 137
Format: eBook
One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

College senior Winnie Frederickson has accomplished nothing in four years but summa cum laude and the power of invisibility.

A professor’s kid, carelessly popular Cal Darling feels like he’s been going to college forever. If there’s anything left to learn, he’s not going to find it in the classroom.

The theater department’s “make-out class” is famously hard to get into, and what goes on between the twelve people who take it every spring is an annual topic of speculation. Winnie needs one more arts class to appear well-rounded for fellowships. Cal is just … bored.

The dark space—a class, a place, a state of mind—is ready for them both.

This is one of the first books published by the new Brain Mill Press which is headed up by these two favorite authors of mine.  (I rode a bit of RAGBRAI with Ruthie’s family last summer very briefly.)   I have really enjoyed all their work.  I wish them success in their new venture.

The Dark Space is a long novella or short story about students in a different sort of college class at the senior level. These students are in their last semester before graduation.  Like many of the authors’ previous work in new adult, there is a very emotional sense of things.  It is unusual and not typical.  I like that but not everyone will.  It highlights the uncomfortable aspects of personal connections and trying new things, both in college and after graduating going out in the world to live a life.

It isn’t easy to make connections with people or to let them see your real self. Because if they see your real self and don’t like you, it’s the real you they don’t like. It’s easier to hide; be unnoticed.

This is not straightforward or easy; it is messy as life is messy.  There is bad language and sexual situations. Winnie is a virgin at the beginning of the story. I almost can’t believe how she lost her virginity, almost.

If you like the works of Robin York (Ruthie Knox writing new adult) or Mary Ann Rivers’ other work,  the feeling here is similar.  This book is more disconnected and uncomfortable, though. It certainly evoked feelings.  I enjoy trying new things and getting a bit out of my comfort zone at times, so it worked for me.

About Mary Ann Rivers

Mary Ann Rivers has been wearing a groove in her library card since she was old enough for story time. She’s been writing almost as long—her first publication credit was in Highlights magazine. She started writing and reading romance in the fifth grade once she stumbled on the rainbow of romance novel book spines in the library’s fiction stacks.

She was an English and music major and went on to earn her MFA in creative writing, publishing poetry in journals, and leading creative writing workshops for at-risk youth. With Ruthie Knox, she is the co-founder of Brain Mill Press.

About Ruthie Knox (also Robin York)

New York Times bestselling author Ruthie Knox writes contemporary romance that’s sexy, witty, and angsty—sometimes all three at once. After training to be a British historian, she became an academic editor instead. Then she got really deeply into knitting, as one does, followed by motherhood and romance novel writing.

Her debut novel, Ride with Me, is probably the only existing cross-country bicycling love story. She followed it up with About Last Night, a London-set romance whose hero has the unlikely name of Neville, and then Room at the Inn, a Christmas novella—both of which were finalists for the Romance Writers of America’s RITA Award. Her four-book series about the Clark family of Camelot, Ohio, has won accolades for its fresh, funny portrayal of small-town Midwestern life.

Ruthie moonlights as a mother, Tweets incessantly, and bakes a mean focaccia. She’d love to hear from you, so visit her website at and drop her a line.

Follow me

Posted June 26, 2015 by Anne - Books of My Heart in Book Review / 0 Comments