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review 2016-09-15 01:08
Review for White Space by Isla J Bick
White Space - Ilsa J. Bick

This review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews


Summary from GoodReads:

In the tradition of Memento and Inception comes a thrilling and scary young adult novel about blurred reality where characters in a story find that a deadly and horrifying world exists in the space between the written lines.


Seventeen-year-old Emma Lindsay has problems: a head full of metal, no parents, a crazy artist for a guardian whom a stroke has turned into a vegetable, and all those times when she blinks away, dropping into other lives so ghostly and surreal it’s as if the story of her life bleeds into theirs. But one thing Emma has never doubted is that she’s real.


Then she writes “White Space,” a story about these kids stranded in a spooky house during a blizzard.


Unfortunately, “White Space” turns out to be a dead ringer for part of an unfinished novel by a long-dead writer. The manuscript, which she’s never seen, is a loopy Matrix meets Inkheart story in which characters fall out of different books and jump off the page. Thing is, when Emma blinks, she might be doing the same and, before long, she’s dropped into the very story she thought she’d written. Trapped in a weird, snow-choked valley, Emma meets other kids with dark secrets and strange abilities: Eric, Casey, Bode, Rima, and a very special little girl, Lizzie. What they discover is that they–and Emma–may be nothing more than characters written into being from an alternative universe for a very specific purpose.


Now what they must uncover is why they’ve been brought to this place–a world between the lines where parallel realities are created and destroyed and nightmares are written–before someone pens their end.

Okay, I know I never rarely ever just pull a summary straight from GoodReads. I cannot summarize this novel. I cannot do it. There is too much that goes on between it’s plethora of pages to pick just a few parts to give you. The GoodReads description is pretty adequate anyway. Also, WARNING! WARNING! SPOILERS AHEAD!!!!


So, character-wise, I’m not sure what to say. I liked all of them, but I wasn’t head over heels for anyone. Plus, they start killing them off pretty early on, so I didn’t want to get overly attached to anyone who bites the dust. Hint, that’s everyone but Emma. They all die. They all die bloody, gory, terrible deaths. This, obviously, irked me. I like my characters to ride off into the sunset happily ever after style and that is NOT what happened here. Each character brings their own set of qualities and skills to the table, allowing the ever-shrinking group to survive as long as they do, but it’s not enough in the end. So, you know, don’t get attached.


My main problem with this was it took too long to explain itself. It keeps talking about nows and bookworlds and panops (I don’t know the proper spelling, I listened to the entire thing on audio) and even halfway through the book, you still aren’t sure what it all means. You don’t get an explanation until the last quarter of the book and even then, I’m still not sure. What I do know for sure is that there had to be a better way to do that. I don’t know what because I a shitty story teller, but there had to be a better alternative.


I also think this is a case of reading the wrong genre. I’m not really a horror fan. I like some gore in movies and shows, but it doesn’t come across well for me in writing. That coupled with the tendency to murder all the characters and you can see why this would not be the novel for me. I honestly think I only downloaded it because I was still in the early stages of reviewing and wanted to read anything and everything I could for review. This gem was up for immediate download, no annoying wait for approval or denial. Just click here and it’s yours! I don’t know if I even read the summary. I should have.


I really think that if you like gore and death and mystery, this novel is one you’ll enjoy. But it wasn’t for me! It also ends on a mind-breaking cliffhanger, but I can’t say I’ll be picking up book 2!


Audio Notes:
Despite the fact that I didn’t enjoy this novel overall, I loved the narrator! Kathleen does an amazing job, creating voices and characters and sound effects. She even does fantastic accents and I was enthralled despite my less than enthused reaction to the story and the plot. I honestly don’t think I would have finished this had I been reading a physical book, but Kathleen is awesome. I will definitely be checking out more of her work in the future!


****Thank you to Egmont USA for providing me with an eARC via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review****

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review 2015-11-23 23:24
Not Doing It For Me
White Space - Ilsa J. Bick

I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


I quit this book at 14%.


I’ll be honest: there’s nothing particularly wrong with this book. So it’s getting a DNF rather than the 1 star I usually leave for books I don’t finish.


I just don’t think I have the patience to sit through 560 pages of POV jumping when nothing has made me particularly interested or invested in any character up to the 14% where I’m quitting.


Although I do appreciate the fact that the worldbuilding has given me no infodumping. I suppose it could be somewhat confusing for other readers, and maybe it’s my fantasy background, but I found everything mildly easy to follow. Nothing s really explained so you just kind of have to go with the flow.


I put off reading this book for a long time. One was all the negative feedback: you will either love or hate this novel. There is no in-between. The other was because it was so freaking huge. 560 pages.


I have other books I want to read. Sorry, White Space, part one of a trilogy. When I’d rather clean my house than pick you back up, you know there’s an issue.

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review 2015-01-27 00:00
White Space
White Space - Ilsa J. Bick Unnecessarily complicated and poorly spun. The writing style was almost pretty, but felt like the writer was trying too hard. I got a little aggravated at the frequent descriptions of "bright" pain. Lots of nonsense words were thrown around, in situations and sentences where it was hard or impossible to derive any context from them.

Lots of characters, but none of them relatable.
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text 2014-05-09 23:45
White Space by Ilsa J. Bick Book Review

I received this review copy from Andye at Reading Teen, which is a YA book blog.  They had too many books to review and so they sent this one to me.  Thanks!  And thank you Egmont for the review copy!


White Space by Ilsa J. Bick


Genre: YA fiction/sci-fi/horror

My Ratings: 3/5 stars


Quick Blurb:


In this story, reality is blurred with a terrifying world that exists in the white space of an unfinished manuscript.  It follows 17-year-old Emma, who possesses the strange ability to blink away from her life and drop into the lives of other people.  She doesn’t think anything of it until she writes a story for class titled, “White Space,” about a bunch of kids stranded in a scary house on a mountain during a blizzard.  But it turns out it’s not her story.  The story is an almost exact replica of an unfinished novel written by a long-dead writer.  The dead writer’s manuscript is a mixture of The Matrix meets Inception meets Inkheart in which the characters fall out of their books and jump off the pages.  Just like Emma does.


Is Emma nothing more than another character that blinks her way into different lives?  Before Emma can figure it out, she is dropped into the very story of “White Space,” trapped in the snowy valley.  There, she meets the other kids, also trapped, who possess strange abilities and hide dark secrets of their own.  It seems that this group of misfits may be nothing more than characters, created from an alternate universe, brought to this house for a specific purpose.  They must discover the truth before someone else pens their demise. 


My Thoughts:


This book deals with some really interesting concepts.  It’s highly creative and inventive, weaving together a rich plot with a lot of different characters. The plot is what makes this story stand out against other books in this genre.  It’s exciting, horrifying, and extremely gory at times, which kept my skin crawling and made me extremely glad I wasn’t a part of the book.  


This is a plot and world driven story.  The character development isn’t as important as figuring out what the hell is happening on this mountain and why something or someone is trying to kill these children who may or may not be real.


I did, however, have some problems with this book that kept me from giving it 4 or 5 stars.  During much of the story, I wasn’t entirely sure what was going on.  It’s a confusion read (for a while at least), as the reader is essentially thrown into this story without any explanation, which is fine in my mind, but that confusion remained for a solid chunk of the book.


There are frequent POV changes, without any hint as to when the next change will occur.  Sometimes it’s at the end of a chapter, but other times, it changes after five paragraphs, or even in the middle of a sentence.  Although this keeps the plot moving at a rapid pace, it does make it challenging for the reader to get to know the characters.


Bick structures this story in a way that’s supposed to build mysteries and suspense, which is great, but the lack of answers to the endless questions for the majority of the 500-page book started to frustrate me after a while.  I was left floundering along, trying to keep from drowning in the mysteries of the story. 


However, I was really glad that I kept reading as the payoff at the end is well worth it.


Bick’s writing is excellently polished and detailed (especially when describing anything horrifying or gory).  I don’t exactly know if I would qualify this as a YA book, though.  I think it’s more general fiction/sci-fi/horror where the main characters just happen to be younger. Readers of fantastical mysteries and detailed horror stories should check out this book.  Be ready to dive headfirst into this world and hold on as the story gets going!

Source: ryanndannelly.blogspot.com
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review 2014-04-29 00:00
White Space
White Space - Ilsa J. Bick Meh. Interesting but convoluted. Hard to follow. Difficult to imagine appeal for teens.
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