Tuesday, May 26, 2020

The Space Between by Brenna Yovanoff

If Hot Topic sold books in 2004, this book would be there right next to the book of piano/vocal chords for Evanescence's Fallen. Even though this was published in 2011, THE SPACE BETWEEN is dripping in emo trappings, whether it's from its motifs of self-harm and blood magic, pale girls with black hair, or the idea of finding redemption in someone as broken as you are. It borrows from christian mythology in a way that I can only describe as cheekily blasphemous and yet... I really liked it.

Our heroine, Daphne, is the daughter of Lilith and Lucifer. She has metal teeth and dresses like a backup dancer in an Evanescence music video. Her sisters are succubi, but Daphne prefers to spend her time in Beelzebub's human contraband closet, much like how Ariel enjoyed spending time in her grotto. Before you can say "part of that world," a human boy with angel blood pops into the new arrivals platform, and noting how her kin are all eying him like a bunch of hell hounds eying tasty winged hotdog, she saves him and brings hiiiiiim toooo liiiiife.

(I guess you could say she woke him up inside.)

Anyway, Azrael, the angel of death, is going around killing demons who outstay their welcome on Earth with a monster assassin called, and I kid you not, "Dark Dreadful." Her brother, Obie, is one of these, and it turns out the human angel boy-- whose name is Truman-- is the only link to finding him. So she goes to Chicago (hi, Veronica Roth) to look for him, only to find out that he's a young adult alcoholic who has a caffeine addiction and suicidal ideation. He's in no state to tell her anything, much less help her find her broski. She practically has to scrape him up off the bar floor.

Angel and demon romances were really popular for a while because some people decided that vampires were too sexy and angels were much more appropriate, or something. IDK. But Brenna Yovanoff decided she was going to Make Angels Sexy Again (probably printed on hats, hanging on the rack right above the Evanescence CDs), and in case you don't believe me, hero and heroine have sex while lying in a bathtub, because that doesn't sound uncomfortable at all.

Honestly, this was pretty ridiculous and carries all kinds of trigger warnings... but I actually liked it? It reminds me a little of another young adult book I read a little while ago by Jenny Trout called SUCH SWEET SORROW. As with this book, a lot of people reviewed that and talked about how bad it was, but I was like, "Hey! It's artistic and different and weird! I kind of like this freakshow!" Would I recommend either of these as a top fave? No. But if you're sitting at home listening to My Chemical Romance and feeling your inner fourteen-year-old, read this book. It is a serious #mood.

3 out of 5 stars

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