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The Space Between Here and Now, by Sarah Suk

Review copy provided by the publisher.

If you read science fiction, or if you read YA, and especially if you read both, you’ll be able to predict all the beats of this book. If you’re an adult, that is, and that’s an important caveat. Because YA is not primarily for adults, and YA is part of how people learn what the tropes and story shapes are in the first place.

Aimee Roh has Sensory Time Warp Syndrome, a condition that makes her disappear for seconds, minutes, even hours at a time when she encounters a sensory impression that triggers a memory. No one can predict which memories will carry this baggage when–the trigger sense even varies among STWS sufferers.

Her bicultural father is opposed to her seeing a therapist to help deal with this. He also doesn’t want to tell her why her mother left, where she is now, what happened. He doesn’t seem to want to talk at all, having seemingly embraced the most taciturn parts of Canadian and Korean cultures.

Aimee finally decides that she has to seek out answers herself. Does her mother also have STWS? Could she be caught in a loop, as other STWS sufferers have been? What can Aimee’s parents’ past teach her about herself and her future? As I said to begin with, the answers to these questions are going to seem pretty obvious as you read. What will not seem obvious, though, is the verve and specificity with which Aimee as a young artist apprehends the world. She and her friends and family are extremely well-drawn, and the characterization makes this short novel very much worth the time.

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