Small Spaces by Katherine Arden is a super creepy tale filled with terrifyingly thick mist, scarecrows that come alive, and a haunting family history.
While labeled middle grade, this one REALLY gave me the creeps!!
I had been meaning to pick this one since I heard the author mention she was working on it when my book club saw her speak. But of course, things got a little crazy and I just never got around to it. When Netgalley did a 24 hour free giveaway, I snagged a copy immediately!
Let’s dive into my review!
My Thoughts on Small Spaces by Katherine Arden
I wasn’t expecting this to be nearly as creepy as it turned out to be! It was so atmospheric and the writing was so spot on that I could really imagine everything playing out in my head.
The story is about a girl, Ollie, who steals a book from a woman who was about to throw it in a river. Ollie brings the book back home with her and is immediately immersed in it.
In school the next day, one of her classmates gets the teacher talking about the ghost story of the farm that they are about to visit to learn about agriculture. The ghost story is eerily similar to the story in Ollie’s book, but she tried to wave it off as coincidence.
When her class gets to the farm, Ollie quickly realizes that it may not be just a coincidence. Weird things begin happening and when their school bus breaks down in the middle of really thick mist, Ollie doesn’t stick around to see what happens. Two other kids from the bus, Coco and Brian, also follow her into the mist.
I loved the three main characters! I cannot wait to learn more about them if they’re featured in the next book! Ollie was going through a rough time, but I loved how brave she was and how she didn’t put up with bullies. Coco was adorably pathetic, but definitely grew over the course of the book. I’d really like to see her hold her own more in the next tale. Brian was also a great character who grew a lot. I look forward to seeing more of his personal growth as well.
The storyline was perfectly paced and the plot was so interesting! There’s just something about thick creepy fog that spooks me. So add scarecrows that can move in the day if you’re not looking at them but get violent at night on top of that, and it’s a horror read for sure!
There was one scene that had me holding my breath! I was truly terrified by what was happening and could not stop reading.
I got some major Slenderman vibes while reading this!
My Favorite Passage from Small Spaces
You can’t, she decided, be super scared for very long before you start just laughing or crying.
My Final Thoughts on Small Spaces
This is definitely one I would recommend to fans of creepy stories! Between the amazing writing, the wonderful characters, and the super spook plot, I absolutely loved it! This is a book I need to add to my shelves!
I can’t wait for the next book!
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Thanks for reading!
If you’ve read any middle grade horror, I’d love to hear about it!