Buy Mind Gap
Regular price: $9.99
Publisher: Dundurn Press
Reviewer: Melissa on February 1, 2011
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Jake MacRae might be only 14 years old, but that doesn’t mean he’s too young to have his life spin beyond his control.Unfortunately, he doesn’t realize that the choices he makes everyday have a direct effect on the lives of those he loves. Late one night, he is invited to a flash party on the midnight subway via text message. Stepping off the platform, Jake is about to enter his worst nightmare. Can he escape from it before it’s too late or will he be stuck on this train forever? Read Marina Cohen‘s Mind Gap to find out for yourself!
On the one hand, this new novel offers a realistic portrayal of a young teen who has gotten in over his head with gambling, drinking, staying out late, and possibly making a special delivery for a local gang. And on the other, it has proven, once again, that Cohen has mastered the art of creating fast-paced Gothic thrillers for the YA audience. Whether you’ve already read her 2011 Red Maple nominated novel Ghost Ride or are checking out this author for the first time, the results will be the same…you won’t be able to wait until you can get your hands on another one of her other novels.
One of the things that I love about Cohen’s writing, as someone with an English degree and a love of Gothic narratives, is her ability to layer in allusions to other texts and concepts to the narrative structure. She may be writing for teens, but she doesn’t patronize her audience by assuming that they’re analysis of a novel won’t get any further than the main plot. Instead, MindGap implicitly alludes to two well-known holiday classics, Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and Frank Capra’s film It’s A Wonderful Life to push the plot forward, and simultaneously, opens up the novel to ask bigger questions of her readers. It forces younger teen readers (and anyone else who happens to pick it up) to consider how their own decisions might influence that of the rest of their family members later in life as well as how they can change the course of their own life.
Like these two seminal works of fiction and film, the realistic narrative is consistently infused with uncanny moments. Often, there are shadowy figures, who come across as a little eccentric or just as easily dismissed as rather harmless. However, as the novel continues, Cohen further develops the significance of some of these characters and their motivations until they take on a more sinister role. Others look like one thing at first, but become increasingly creepy and a little bit frightening with their ghoulish faces. The events and characters might seem familiar to past situations, but are they really? And if they aren’t what doesn’t it mean to Jake and the reader.
If you read Ghost ride, then you’ll have a feeling that the image of the father is of importance to Cohen as a writer. In fact, in that book, the experiences Sam goes through are intimately tied to those of his father. In this novel, Jake’s father is also of pretty great significance for not only the type of teen he has become, but also where he could be heading. It also has allusions to one of the same Gothic principles that figured in her earlier novel — the sins of the father are revisited on the sons — but it is portrayed in a whole new way and even with alternate variations. If the relationship between a father and son is important to you as a reader, then you’ll want to read this book.
I don’t want to give anything away here, so I’ll just say that in this novel….appearances aren’t always as they seem to be. This quick little read might be a read-in-one-sitting novel for you, just as it was for me, but more importantly, you’ll be racing toward the end when you check out this fast-paced and tightly-written novel. Highly recommended for teens, especially boys, and adults who like a creepy little tale!
Buy Mind Gap today!