book review, horror, Middle Grade

Small Spaces by Katherine Arden

Small Spaces is my June buddy read with the wonderful Mr Pongratz over at Jaunts and Haunts. Click here to read his review.

What is it about scarecrows and cornfields that makes them so scary? If they only had a brain, huh?

Ollie hasn’t been the same since her mother died. She’s not looking forward to her class visiting a local farm, because she’s not looking forward to anything. When the bus breaks down on the journey home, Ollie knows that they’re all in danger. Only sports jock Brian, and clumsy Coco listen to her, but will any of them escape what’s waiting for them in the corn?

I often see people in movies or on reality tv say that they’d do anything to achieve a certain result, and it always makes me shiver and look over my shoulder. Small Spaces is the story of people who will do anything to get what they want, and the consequences of their actions.

Arden deals with well known horror ideas here, but that makes them no less terrifying. For a middle grade book, I found it pleasantly chilling at times and it certainly satisfied my hunger for horror.

The characters are relatable and realistic. It’s hard not to love enthusiastic Coco, who can’t fit in, and handsome Brian, who has hidden depths. However, it is Ollie who shines in this novel. Grieving, numb and keeping everyone at arms length, her character is written with warmth and understanding of what it’s like to lose someone. It’s all shown, nothing is spelled out, and her transformation is suitably subtle and realistic. Although, she can be a bit dumb at times for such a smart kid.

I enjoyed this book, and look forward to reading more by this author. Look out for Jonny and my buddy read post later today.

I award Small Spaces

Small Spaces is available for $8.91 ebook and $6.99 print book on Amazon.

10 thoughts on “Small Spaces by Katherine Arden”

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