Jody Casella’s debut novel, THIN SPACE, was a book that caught my eye as soon as I saw its bleak black and white cover – which I love. Today, I’m thrilled to be featuring THIN SPACE as part of the Standalone Reading Challenge – with a chance to win a copy of her book. Read on to see why Jody decided to write a standalone.
Ever since the car accident that killed his twin brother, Marshall Windsor has been consumed with guilt and crippled by secrets of that fateful night. He has only one chance to make amends, to right his wrongs and set things right. He must find a Thin Space—a mythical point where the barrier between this world and the next is thin enough for a person to step through to the other side.
But, when a new girl moves into the house next door, the same house Marsh is sure holds a thin space, she may be the key—or the unraveling of all his secrets.
As they get closer to finding a thin space—and closer to each other—Marsh must decide once and for all how far he’s willing to go to right the wrongs of the living…and the dead
Here’s my reading confession of the day: I HATE trilogies.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve started reading a great book, gotten totally caught up with the story, fallen in love with the characters and the world, and then realized, maybe fifty pages toward the end that there is NO WAY the author is going to be able to wrap this thing up without moving on to Book Two.
When it hits me–that I am not going to KNOW WHAT HAPPENS until the sequel comes out–I am tempted to shut the book and/or fling it across the room.
The only solution is to wait to read books in a trilogy (or heaven forbid, a “quartet”) when I know that ALL of the books in that series have been released.
Or, avoid trilogies all together and stick with standalones.
Because really, what is more satisfying to a reader than to be presented with a complete story–one that you begin on page one and follow through to the actual end, on the last page? In a great standalone, you can have it all: complex characters who seem like real people, a page-turner-y plot complete with conflicts and angsty moments and swoony bits, a rise toward a dramatic crisis, AND a satisfying conclusion that ties up most, if not all, of the loose ends.
In case anyone is wondering, a few standalones that I love love love:
How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
The Beginning of After by Jennifer Castle
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Shine by Lauren Myracle
Sweethearts by Sara Zarr
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau Banks by E. Lockhart
The Abundance of Katherines by John Green
Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler
All You Never Wanted by Adele Griffin
Ask the Passengers by A.S. King
17 and Gone by Nova Ren Suma
Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
It should not be surprising that my first published novel, Thin Space, is a standalone.
I wrote the book four years ago. It’s about a grief-stricken and floundery teen guy named Marsh who recently lost his identical twin in a car accident. Marsh has heard of the Celtic idea of thin places –where the veil between this world and the world of the dead is thinner — and he’s clinging to this idea desperately, walking around barefoot, searching for a thin space, believing that if he can find one, and step inside, he can fix some of the mistakes he made the night his brother died.
Marsh has other reasons for wanting to find a thin space, reasons he isn’t too eager to share with his family and friends–or with the reader.
When you get to the end of Marsh’s story, you’ll KNOW WHAT HAPPENED, I promise.
But here’s a shocking thing: two years after I wrote Thin Space, I did the unthinkable…
I wrote a sequel!
Thin Space 2 (what else?) was written totally for my own amusement and it will likely never see the light of publishing day, but I am okay with that. I just woke up one morning hearing Marsh’s tortured voice in my head and thinking, Huh, what’s the poor guy up to now?
The truth is, I kinda lied when I said I hated trilogies.
When I love a book, when I fall in love with a world and the characters who inhabit that world, one of the coolest things ever for me as a reader, is to jump back into the story by picking up Book Two.
About the Author
Ohio-based Jody Casella has been writing stories since the age of seven. She majored in creative writing at Rhodes College and has an MA in English from the University of Memphis. After many years teaching and raising children, she’s thrilled to be making her debut with THIN SPACE (Beyond Words; Simon & Schuster), a paranormal YA mystery about a boy coming to terms with his twin brother’s death.
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