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
Published by Brain Mill Press on June 1st 2015
Genres: New Adult
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.
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