ARC Review: Small Spaces by Sarah Epstein

We don’t pick and choose what to be afraid of. Our fears pick us.

Tash Carmody has been traumatised since childhood, when she witnessed her gruesome imaginary friend Sparrow lure young Mallory Fisher away from a carnival. At the time nobody believed Tash, and she has since come to accept that Sparrow wasn’t real. Now fifteen and mute, Mallory’s never spoken about the week she went missing.

As disturbing memories resurface, Tash starts to see Sparrow again. And she realises Mallory is the key to unlocking the truth about a dark secret connecting them. Does Sparrow exist after all? Or is Tash more dangerous to others than she thinks?

Disclaimer: I was provided with an ARC by Penguin IIndia in exchange for an honest review. However, all the thoughts, feelings and opinions expressed in this review are my own. 

This psychological YA thriller is a debut by Sarah Epstein – but sure doesn’t really read like one. Small Spaces had me hooked and glued to the pages and even when I had to keep the book aside to wallow in reality (ugh!) I couldn’t stop thinking about the book nor the characters.  

Told in Natasha Carmody aka Tash’s POV; it’s easy to see right off the bat that she will be an unreliable storyteller. Her own memories and her own mind have become untrustworthy to her own self; especially considering that for the past 9 years, she has been repeatedly told that what she saw the night her friend Mallory was abducted, was all in her mind and she did it only to get attention to herself! 

What this means for the reader is that right along with Tash; even I couldn’t trust my own judgement when it came the plot itself. For almost half of the book; I didn’t even realise how suspicious I was for every narration I was getting; And while I did my best to unravel the knots of this mystery; I just didn’t know whom and what to trust.  


The writing is pretty amazingly paced – and it moves effortlessly and seamlessly between the past and the present and the characterizations were pretty much captured by the author impeccably!! And with all the psychological effect of the plot; the fact the climax went the way it did was a brilliant stroke by the author, for no one would have expected her to take the plot the way that she did. 

The teeny wee issue I had was that I honestly REALLY wanted Tash to have the confrontational closure that she deserved – but then again, I am a petty person at heart! Tash was a better person than me! 😀 

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ .25


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