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Title: The Space in Between
Author: Jen Minkman
Publication Date: September 8, 2014
Synopsis: When Moira helps out her sister and brother in a Wiccan ritual on Halloween, the last thing she expects is to be swept away to a mystical wilderness. Sitting within the stones of the ancient circle of Penmaenmawr, Wales, she's convinced it's an illusion. But the dark-haired, handsome man with amnesia that Moira meets during her trance cannot be blinked away like a dream.
Hayko, the mysterious stranger, won’t let go. After returning home from her stone circle adventure, Moira is beckoned back night after night to the outlandish dreamland by an invisible force. But the hardest part isn't having to fight the terrifying creatures of these nightmares--it's realizing she’s falling for a guy without a past who isn’t real.
What if you really can fall in love with the man of your dreams?
Review: I really enjoyed Jen's The Island series, so I was really excited when she asked me to read The Space in Between. This book was totally different from The Island books, but it was just as exciting, compelling, and gorgeously written. I was hooked from the first page and definitely did not want to put it down.
Moira is a really interesting character. She's the oldest of three, and has a very good relationship with her sister, brother, and her parents. I really enjoyed their interactions both individually and as a whole family. It's nice to actually see a family unit in a YA book that isn't a complete mess with deceased or absent members or parents who might as well be absent or deceased. She's also in this long-term relationship with Patrick, who means well but just doesn't get it right most of the time. She also suffers from ADHD and with having to take medications for her condition.
And then there's this ceremony she helps her sister with on Halloween, and everything changes. The siblings suddenly find themselves in this in-between world, trying to save a man they've never even seen before. I love when the title of a book makes sense and it totally does early on. It was very interesting to see how this space in between and Hayko start to change Moira and make her a better person. Or I guess not necessarily a better person, but a girl more comfortable in her own skin.
There's quite a bit in this book about Hayko's mysterious religion, and I enjoyed learning the mythology behind it and seeing his belief system manifest itself in the dream world. Some of it was pretty scary - like the woman who haunts him - but most of it is the angels helping him to move through this place. I liked that Moira was able to learn things about him in the dream world that she could use to track him down in the real world and that she starts to fall in love with the literal man of her dreams.
Overall, Jen does a really excellent job with this book. The characters are all so well-rounded and three dimensional, the plot moves along at a pretty decent rate, the mythology and world-building in the space in between made me feel like I was actually experiencing everything that Moira, Hayko, Tabby, and Dai did, and the lyrical writing kept me hooked. I would totally recommend this book for anyone looking a paranormal romance. I can't wait to find out what Jen has up her sleeves next! 4/5!