The Dark Space by Mary Ann Rivers

The Dark Space

byMary Ann Rivers, Ruthie Knox

Kobo ebook | June 1, 2015

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"Rivers (Snowfall) and Knox (Truly) will pull readers in with their wonderful writing style and interesting story about endings, beginnings, and finding yourself." --Library Journal

College senior Winnie Frederickson has accomplished nothing in four years but summa cum laude and the power of invisibility.

A professor’s kid, carelessly popular Cal Darling feels like he’s been going to college forever. If there’s anything left to learn, he’s not going to find it in the classroom.

The theater department’s “make-out class” is famously hard to get into, and what goes on between the twelve people who take it every spring is an annual topic of speculation. Winnie needs one more arts class to appear well-rounded for fellowships. Cal is just … bored.

The dark space—a class, a place, a state of mind—is ready for them both.

Title:The Dark SpaceFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:June 1, 2015Publisher:Brain Mill Press LLCLanguage:English

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Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very unique new adult story This first collaborative effort between Ruthie Knox and Mary Ann Rivers is a romantic novella (with some interesting psychic ideas) featuring Winnie and Cal. Both in their last year of college they sign up for the Contact Improv class (colloquially known as the 'make out' class), a course that takes twelve people and introduces them to the use of their bodies in theatre. While Cal is a popular, well liked, playboy on campus, Winnie is the opposite - introverted, quiet, studious and generally invisible. But within the confines of the class they connect and what they go into the class with is completely different than what they get out of it. And along the way, they fall in love. This was a very unique story. It's a new adult romance, told from both Winnie and Cal's points of view and in the beginning they are clearly very opposite in character and temperament. Their motives for taking the class are different - for Winnie it's to stretch herself beyond her normal boundaries. For Cal, it's to fool around with whomever is interested (and he's hoping for a lot of action) and then say adios to college and be finally free of its confinement. As the class progresses, they find something called the dark space, a state of being, where they can sense each others thoughts and feelings and they can communicate without words. While the idea of telepathy certainly goes beyond what you would find in a typical new adult story (and will definitely raise a few eyebrows), I found it an interesting way to develop their relationship. You definitely have to keep an open mind as there is a lot of talk about energies, and abstract thoughts on love and acceptance. At the same time however, when the story isn't going off on metaphysical tangents, these two are typical young adults. They have insecurities about the future and they have doubts about themselves and their places in the world. Cal and Winnie's relationships with their parents are a big part of the story, in that sticky place between needing parental reassurance at the same time as wanting to be seen as adults fully capable of making all their own decisions. The sexuality in this story is quite fluid, and there are some scenes with various partners (sometimes in the class, and sometimes not). Unlike other NA stories, there is no overt discussion about being gay or lesbian, rather all sexual relationships are accepted (an ideal state rather than a realistic one). Between Cal and Winnie, the love scenes are very erotic and emotionally charged. Over the course of the story both of them mature and come into their own. Most importantly, they know that their future lies with each other. While some of the ideas were a bit out there for my taste, it was overall an entertaining and interesting story about two people accepting themselves and finding love along the way. 3.5 stars.
Date published: 2015-07-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from great in an unexpected way I love both these authors so when I saw they were teaming up to write something, I jumped on it. I'm not sure what I expected exactly, but it wasn't what I got. Not that that's a bad thing. It was great! The writing was wonderful - I always read a Mary Ann Rivers book more slowly than others because she just has such a way with words that makes me want to linger on the words and sentences she chooses. The characters were fantastic - college seniors who are not the most beautiful women or most macho men on campus but are instead real in so many ways. And, the story, my goodness, it's full of magic. It totally captures that end-of-college time in life when you are finding yourself and becoming comfortable in your own person, when you are finding other people and really understanding them and connecting with them, when you are experiencing lust and love in technicolor. This is not in any way your 'typical' young adult novel; it is so much more. Go read it.
Date published: 2015-06-03