Review: The Space Between by Brenna Yovanoff

The Following Review Is Highly Disorganized As Instant Coffee Was In Short Supply And I Was Suffering From Caffeine Withdrawal At 1 A.M When This Was Written.
Read At Your Own Risk.
(Oh, read. Please, please read. Free sidenotes for you, I swear )


Everything is made of steel, even the flowers. How can you love anything in a place like this?

Daphne is the half-demon, half-fallen angel daughter of Lucifer and Lilith. Life for her is an endless expanse of time, until her brother Obie is kidnapped - and Daphne realizes she may be partially responsible. Determined to find him, Daphne travels from her home in Pandemonium to the vast streets of Earth, where everything is colder and more terrifying. With the help of the human boy she believes was the last person to see her brother alive, Daphne glimpses into his dreams, discovering clues to Obie's whereabouts. As she delves deeper into her demonic powers, she must navigate the jealousies and alliances of the violent archangels who stand in her way. But she also discovers, unexpectedly, what it means to love and be human in a world where human is the hardest thing to be.

This second novel by rising star Brenna Yovanoff is a story of identity, discovery, and a troubled love between two people struggling to find their place both in our world and theirs.

If you've read my blog, you know I don't like angel books.
Hate 'em, hate 'em, can't stand 'em (I blame the Hush Hush and Fallen series) unless they're totally awesome and uber weird like The Daughter of Smoke and Bone. 

Brenna Yovanoff’s “The Space Between”, however, is a book that I will confess to having read more than once, if only for its strange, stark beauty more than anything. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever read, and for once, the cover seems incredibly well suited for the book. And really, it isn't exactly an angel book.

I give The Space Between 4 Stars.

The Space Between is the story of Daphne (daughter of Lucifer and Lilith, go figure), and her brother Obie (son of Adam and Lilith; don’t go figure, just read the book) who goes missing from Earth.  He is the only one that has ever admitted to loving her, and to find him, Daphne comes down (or is it up? I don’t know) from Pandemonium, (a. k. a creepy-cool-version-of-hell) to Earth, and the only person who can help is a walking calamity of a boy named Truman Flynn.
In The Space Between, age-old characters and Christian mythology put on new suits and talk from new perspectives. Good and bad becomes confused and turns to shades of grey. The half-demon daughter of Lucifer and Lilith becomes a sweet and vulnerable narrator, while the angel Azrael and his Dark Dreadful becomes strange villains. Beelzebub is a man who collects possessions of the dead, and the hero- Truman Flynn- breaks all concepts of the traditional YA boy-man.
You can see why I’d like something like this.
The Space Between wouldn’t have been the book that it is if not for Daphne, main narrator, aforementioned daughter of Lucifer and Lilith. I loved the clarity of her voice and the starkness of it. It became somehow so easy to imagine Pandemonium through the eyes of a girl who loves earthly trinkets and finds beauty and nobility in someone as self destructive as Truman. Daphne on earth has to be one of the most poignant narrators I’ve read so far: everything seems so much more dark and dangerous on earth than in Pandemonium, which is strangely ironical, because Pandemonium seems kind of like hell. She manages to be unintentionally funny (doesn’t know what a hooker hotel is, considers making a playgroup for a talking baby with a full set of teeth) and yet incredibly touching at the same time.
Truman Flynn is an emo boy. Think of the emo-est emo boy you can dream up and then multiply that by ten. He’s self-destructive and pretty pathetic, but yet, sometimes the nobility in him shows through and he’s kind of REALLY likeable in a really weird, am-I-crazy-to-like-him way. I don’t normally like guys who fall apart all over the place AT ALL, and I do like emo-boys but NOT suicidal emo-boys, so how the hell does Brenna Yovanoff pull this off? Jeez, I really loved Truman. Really, really. This book has drugged me. (Freaks out.)
I suppose the meeting between Daphne and Truman is one of the best-written YA-pair meetings ever. Honestly, just that scene and the on-page chemistry between the lead pair was enough to get me through the whole book.
(Well, that, and the pubs and Moloch and the weird vibe I got from this book that if it were a TV show, it would be an early Supernatural episode, with all the character angst, myths and mirrors, and the black-eyed-demons-hanging-out-in-shady-pubs. Disturbingly, for most of the book, I pictured Daphne like one of the demons from the show: full black eyes, no whites!)
So, deviations aside, the story is strange, its characters are odd and most of the plot is pretty weird: because, honestly, the reason for everything that happens to Daphne and her missing brother is very convoluted, and doesn’t make much logical sense if you think about it, but I’m ready to suspend logic for a YA book and just enjoy one beautifully plotted scene after the other. Indeed, The Space Between seems more a collection of incredible scenes than the best-plotted book. Lucky I’m a sucker for awesome scenes.
So. Disorganized review and random side-notes, all aside, The Space Between is a lovable, well-written, superbly imagined book.
Will I read it again? Probably, when I feel like reading something emo-awesome.
Will I buy it if I see it somewhere? Most probably.
Do I like it better than The Daughter of Smoke and Bone? Yes. I do. (I know, I know. Now you’re all pissed off at me.)
Favorite quotes:  
1. Moloch, to Daphne, on Truman:
“I hate to break it to you, but his primary state is face-down on the floor, and he still couldn’t help you find gravity.”

2. D: “I was never happy before I came here”
T: “What were you then?”
D: “Lonely. Bored, maybe. It was a strange feeling. I think if I could see it, it would look like a tiny polished castle, full of poison flowers and silver spears.”


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