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The Dark Space PDF, ePub eBook

4.6 out of 5
30 review

The Dark Space

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The Dark Space PDF, ePub eBook 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 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.

30 review for The Dark Space

  1. 5 out of 5

    ❃**✿【Yasmine】✿**❃

    DNF @ 48% 2.5 stars It's only a hundred pages and yet, i DNFed, i know i know. Sorry but it was a case of me just not being able to 'get it'. The whole insta-connection was a big deal, filled full of things that i couldn't visualise or really comprehend in a sensible way. The theme of sharing energy and reading minds made things clunky and odd. It made me 'hard-blink' far too many times. And woah, the filth, where did that come from? Though i admit, it was good, ha. Not expected from these two write DNF @ 48% 2.5 stars It's only a hundred pages and yet, i DNFed, i know i know. Sorry but it was a case of me just not being able to 'get it'. The whole insta-connection was a big deal, filled full of things that i couldn't visualise or really comprehend in a sensible way. The theme of sharing energy and reading minds made things clunky and odd. It made me 'hard-blink' far too many times. And woah, the filth, where did that come from? Though i admit, it was good, ha. Not expected from these two writers, the beautiful writing was most certainly there, so i do hope they work on something again in the future, something more tangible hopefully.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Mel

    There are a few things I want to talk about concerning this book, so this will be mainly what I took away from reading this. Sex isn't a tame thing. But sometimes it feels like that is what we've made of it. I'm pretty glad that prudish times are mostly over and we're living in a sex-positive time, that we can read about it, learn from it. This book showed me something, though, by being different. I realised that in our usual book, sex and desire are written about in a certain way. The acts people There are a few things I want to talk about concerning this book, so this will be mainly what I took away from reading this. Sex isn't a tame thing. But sometimes it feels like that is what we've made of it. I'm pretty glad that prudish times are mostly over and we're living in a sex-positive time, that we can read about it, learn from it. This book showed me something, though, by being different. I realised that in our usual book, sex and desire are written about in a certain way. The acts people do. The thoughts people have. The how of certain acts. If you really think about it, a lot of this is always the same, generic, safe. It's like we've approved a certain way to talk about sex and lust and we're moving inside these confirmed, sterile places. In The Dark Space, however, thoughts, descriptions of sexual acts, and desire are shown in a way so much more like I myself experience it. Sex and lust aren't neat, aren't always pretty and proper. No! They are carnal. To give an example, when Cal masturbates, he not only touches his dick. While we don't have pages long descriptions of sex, we read about him touching his balls, his ass, his nipples. We're listening to his fantasies of Winnie's lips, of pounding her ass. We witness his joy at eating pussy, of the fluids, of him licking her ass, of them kissing and tasting each other. We get to know what turns them on. The thought of their friend watching them. To see their friends blowing each other. And while I might be used to some of these things in M/M, I sure haven't read anything like this in a het romance. Winnie is a sexual person who takes pleasure from sex, who has desires and fantasies, who doesn't need a man to give it to her. Although, now, hold your horses, she is a virgin. Can you believe it? I mean, that's how it was for me, a discovery, trying out, learning. There wasn't the almighty man who made it right for me. I'm not talking about being passive or active in bed, actually, but about the mindset behind it, the passive role that is often given to women in fiction. And while we are on the usual stereotypes that a book can be full with, you'll not find them here. Our protagonists aren't the most beautiful. She's is plain, he is small and skinny, but not in the beautiful geek way. No, they are just people. Winnie once gets drunk; goes to a bar and has too many beer, and needs to be picked up by Cal. Her breath is beery, she slurs, she isn't a cutie girly drunk. Cal's parents are (sex-)positive and don't want to protect their kid from all that is supposedly evil. Another huge bonus for me was that gender and sexual orientation didn't make a difference whatsoever in anything. You could say, they were all bisexual, or could at least see the beauty of all gender, of all attraction. I loved how touch and sex were freely given and shared. What's this book about then, you ask? It's about growing up and finding a way to be yourself no matter your age or life circumstance. It's about finding yourself and taking it with you and not lose yourself when things change. It's also a love story. It's about making connections with other people. This book is freaking hot, too. It's also a bit, um, weird... Esoteric? It didn't bother me, though. It was an interesting, for me mystical part of the story. I've seen a lot of negative reviews, and I guess I know how this happened. This book isn't for everyone. You need to be open-minded, to be able to go beyond your life experiences, to be able to indulge in something magical and maybe not realistic. You need to turn your back on convention, on rules and boundaries. Then you will probably love it, as did I.

  3. 5 out of 5

    G.

    What I’d wanted was an opportunity to know and be known beyond first and second and third impressions and into the realm where assumptions turn into questions that turn into answers and finally into knowledge. Not even sure what to say about The Dark Space. They sure wrote it pretty, but honestly, was there an actual plot? It's like a porny New Adult concoction of some impressive woowoo. But it's short, and it was time to read it, because I bought it way back. And I kind of enjoyed it.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    I don't know how to review this! The description doesn't give a good idea of what this book is about. It's not very much about the class at all, but about the mystic connection that forms between the people taking the class. (Or at least some of them. I don't know. It's so short that some characters you don't get to know well at all.) I can go with the mystic connection, but it also seemed to have instalove, which isn't so good. And it was too much telling and the characters were telling the story I don't know how to review this! The description doesn't give a good idea of what this book is about. It's not very much about the class at all, but about the mystic connection that forms between the people taking the class. (Or at least some of them. I don't know. It's so short that some characters you don't get to know well at all.) I can go with the mystic connection, but it also seemed to have instalove, which isn't so good. And it was too much telling and the characters were telling the story from the future, it seemed, but I didn't get a good sense of when that was, where they were now. And it was like it tiptoed to the edges of being "edgy," but didn't want to actually go there. Like, oooh, let's tease a (view spoiler)[foursome (hide spoiler)] , but I don't think it ever actually happened? Which is fine, I don't need edgy, but I didn't like the teasing. Mostly, I guess I just didn't get it. It wasn't a good fit for me. So. Disappointing and I'm glad I got it from the library. PS: It got off to a bad start when it opened with "It is impossible that you will believe everything in this story, even thought all of it is true." 1. No, it's not. This is fiction. 2. Don't tell me what I will or will not believe.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Tellulah Darling

    I could tell you this is a story about two colleges students. And that would be true. I could also tell you it’s about their experience taking a contact improv class and the relationship that develops out of that class. Those things would also be true. But they are almost irrelevant. What is relevant? The Dark Space is a story of intense sexual eroticism and incredible beauty. It is raw. It is primal. It is magic. It is a story that sinks into your bones and teases you and wraps you in colour and I could tell you this is a story about two colleges students. And that would be true. I could also tell you it’s about their experience taking a contact improv class and the relationship that develops out of that class. Those things would also be true. But they are almost irrelevant. What is relevant? The Dark Space is a story of intense sexual eroticism and incredible beauty. It is raw. It is primal. It is magic. It is a story that sinks into your bones and teases you and wraps you in colour and feeling. It is a book that is not just read but experienced. It is about connection and intimacy and hope and fears. It is slithery. It is gorgeous. It is about invisibility and more importantly, being seen. I am really glad I read it and many thanks to author Ruthie Knox for generously providing me with a copy.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kassiah

    Dear Ruthie Knox and Mary Ann Rivers, I can't even imagine the instantaneous combustion that will be when you two team up together. I'm swooning just thinking about it. Tax day can't come soon enough. xo, Kassiah

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ashley - Book Labyrinth

    I was really looking forward to this one, so colour me completely disappointed. Both these authors can turn a beautiful phrase, so there is some gorgeous writing at some points, but I just didn't connect with any part of the plot or either of the characters. I guess this is magical realism, which I wasn't expecting at all, and that didn't work for me. I maybe -- maybe could have bought into the sharing energy and reading minds aspects if there had been any kind of development to the relationship I was really looking forward to this one, so colour me completely disappointed. Both these authors can turn a beautiful phrase, so there is some gorgeous writing at some points, but I just didn't connect with any part of the plot or either of the characters. I guess this is magical realism, which I wasn't expecting at all, and that didn't work for me. I maybe -- maybe could have bought into the sharing energy and reading minds aspects if there had been any kind of development to the relationship between Winnie and Cal, but there wasn't. It was basically insta-love in a really weird way, and I wasn't feeling that at all. Also, this was super filthy, which can sometimes be a plus, but it was just kind of odd here. Overall, just really disappointed. :(

  8. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    I don't even know how to categorize this novel. It's strange and weird and beautiful and raw and ethereal and erotic and unlike any romance I've read before. I'm certain it won't be for everyone, but those willing to keep an open mind and stick with it to the end will find a beautifully written piece about love and beginnings and accepting oneself. I adore Ruthie Knox's work and will happily read anything she writes, but Mary Ann Rivers was new to me and I'll be seeking out her titles ASAP. The D I don't even know how to categorize this novel. It's strange and weird and beautiful and raw and ethereal and erotic and unlike any romance I've read before. I'm certain it won't be for everyone, but those willing to keep an open mind and stick with it to the end will find a beautifully written piece about love and beginnings and accepting oneself. I adore Ruthie Knox's work and will happily read anything she writes, but Mary Ann Rivers was new to me and I'll be seeking out her titles ASAP. The Dark Space was a treat to read and I hope they collaborate again soon. Their writing was so raw and abstract and emotional, yet so real and tangible. I loved it.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Steph

    It is with sadness and disappointment that I write this review. It fell so incredibly short of even my lowest expectations, which I hadn’t even considered could possibly be met. I have been a fan of co-author Ruthie Knox for a while; I love her adult romance novels (About Last Night is my favourite), as well as her new adult novels under her pseudonym Robin York (Deeper and Harder. But this latest work of hers with Mary Ann Rivers – The Dark Space – was so far from her previous works and did not It is with sadness and disappointment that I write this review. It fell so incredibly short of even my lowest expectations, which I hadn’t even considered could possibly be met. I have been a fan of co-author Ruthie Knox for a while; I love her adult romance novels (About Last Night is my favourite), as well as her new adult novels under her pseudonym Robin York (Deeper and Harder. But this latest work of hers with Mary Ann Rivers – The Dark Space – was so far from her previous works and did not meet any of my expectations. When I read Knox’s newsletter where she shared the story behind The Dark Space, I was expecting to only love the story. I was expecting a beautiful coming-of-age story, one with mature themes and powerful plots to give readers an uplifting and heartwarming experience. Something like Deeper. Instead, I experienced confusion, frustration, and annoyance while reading this book. I sincerely tried to love this book, but as I kept reading, searching for something to grasp onto, I found that there was really nothing for me to love. It had good intentions to be a beautiful book about growing up and finding yourself, but it just wasn’t executed well at all. Nothing felt properly developed; characters were sketchy, the plot was shaky, and the general feel of this book was uncomfortable and disjointed. It felt like the beginnings of a story – planning things out in a crazy fashion – instead of a final, ready-to-publish book. Each chapter felt more like a short story, as though the authors had written another, longer book for these characters, and had just selected a few bits from that book, cut and pasted them into this book. I felt that the chapter didn’t really connect, that the POVs changed too often, and that each section was surface-level story telling with no way to make deeper connections about the intended messages of this book. Each section felt more like a short scene than a full chapter arc. I struggled to connect with the characters, because I felt that I wasn’t given an opportunity to get to know them. We missed so much of their story, which was summarised in later chapters to try and fill the gaps. At one point, there were a bunch of characters involved in the one scene, but I had no idea who any of them were. Had I met them before? Aren’t Beth and Sarah the same character? Why are they suddenly having weird, twisted orgies? That was another aspect of the book I didn’t enjoy – the bizarre, totally not believable sex. Orgies, suddenly sleeping with a guy you’ve known for five seconds, fucking each other during class, having your sexual debut filmed for your final project. It was all just too weird for me. The sex, the characters, the story, everything about this book. I really wanted to love it, but I just didn’t enjoy any of it whatsoever.

  10. 4 out of 5

    The Grim Reaper

    2 stars. I'm sitting here on my twirling chair, clenching my fists as the dissonant sounds of the city bleed through the windows, trying to figure how many stars to give this book. Boy, I wish Goodreads allowed us to give halved stars. I really don't know how to rate this book. The only thing I liked about this book (yes, only) was the writing style. I'm sorry but seriously, the writing style is fucking amazing. It's the words used and the personification implied and the colors bled and the words 2 stars. I'm sitting here on my twirling chair, clenching my fists as the dissonant sounds of the city bleed through the windows, trying to figure how many stars to give this book. Boy, I wish Goodreads allowed us to give halved stars. I really don't know how to rate this book. The only thing I liked about this book (yes, only) was the writing style. I'm sorry but seriously, the writing style is fucking amazing. It's the words used and the personification implied and the colors bled and the words whispered and the impressions interpreted. This writing style is the thing that earned The Dark Space 2 stars. There were a lot of things that I did not like in this book but the most substantial was the plot (or its lack thereof). Really, what happened throughout the book? Maybe this is one of those books that you have to understand to like. No, wait, it's like that with every book. Never mind. What I meant to say was I didn't understand this book. And that's why I can decisively say that this is a case of "it's not you, it's me". To be really honest, the class did interest me (mildly--hey, I'm trying to be honest), but it didn't, well, fascinate me, you know? Ugh, I don't know. Like, I said before, I don't know what type of feedback to give. If not anything, the book was unique. Like, legit, unique.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Quirks

    I'm not gonna rate this book because, quite frankly, I didn't get half of it. I mean, is it just me or did it feel like the authors might have been stoned while they wrote it? I didn't understand the pace in the beginning. I didn't get the energy thing the entire book. The whole thing about playing catch with someone using your 'energy' as a ball while your lying on the floor of their room, went right over my head. There was also this aura thing going on and coloured energy and biting into energy I'm not gonna rate this book because, quite frankly, I didn't get half of it. I mean, is it just me or did it feel like the authors might have been stoned while they wrote it? I didn't understand the pace in the beginning. I didn't get the energy thing the entire book. The whole thing about playing catch with someone using your 'energy' as a ball while your lying on the floor of their room, went right over my head. There was also this aura thing going on and coloured energy and biting into energy... I was so confused. I started to understand it better as it went on but some parts of it were still like, I might try to read this again a few years later (maybe after I'm done with college). Hopefully, I'll understand it then. Or, at least, understand it more. If anyone got the energy thing, please explain...

  12. 4 out of 5

    Isamlq

    "We were a conjugation of mess, messy, messing, messed fucking up." This is neither the wholy sexy-funny-sexy combo I've come to expect from Knox nor the Sweet-sad-real that's marked my reading experience of Mary Anne Rivers. The Dark Space is told by both their voices and what's emerged is... ...Messed up and Messy. ...DIFFERENT. ...Accurate. True. ...Confusing. ...UNEXPECTED. It's beginnings and endings and what that means to both protagonists neither of whom approach perfect and becoming mo "We were a conjugation of mess, messy, messing, messed fucking up." This is neither the wholy sexy-funny-sexy combo I've come to expect from Knox nor the Sweet-sad-real that's marked my reading experience of Mary Anne Rivers. The Dark Space is told by both their voices and what's emerged is... ...Messed up and Messy. ...DIFFERENT. ...Accurate. True. ...Confusing. ...UNEXPECTED. It's beginnings and endings and what that means to both protagonists neither of whom approach perfect and becoming more plausible to me for the same.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Camille Adams

    I get it. I mean, I get it. I highlighted several quotes from this, too. I see the concept, the frame, the execution. I like it, ideologically. But, genuinely: tiresome, indulgent, airy-fairy glitter.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Adelle (starlightreader)

    This is one of the worst books I have ever read, to put it bluntly. It was a complete waste of my time and made me want to gouge my eyes out with every word I read. My friend and I buddy read it so I’m glad I wasn’t alone on the interesting journey of reading this book. A tip for all of the people who added this to their TBR: don’t do it. Leave while you still can.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Dion

    I have never been happier to finish a book in my life. With every page I thought, surely this has to get better. It only got worse.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Bastet

    3.5 stars. It's really difficult to rate this book. On the one hand it's compelling and has an unusual style. I love both authors (*) and their writing styles, but this book is quite unlike anything they have written individually. There are many memorable lines, there is lots to think about (forgetting to play and say yes when you grow up, as others have already mentioned), and the story immediately draws you in. But... on the other hand, the whole energy thing, playing with energy, seeing the c 3.5 stars. It's really difficult to rate this book. On the one hand it's compelling and has an unusual style. I love both authors (*) and their writing styles, but this book is quite unlike anything they have written individually. There are many memorable lines, there is lots to think about (forgetting to play and say yes when you grow up, as others have already mentioned), and the story immediately draws you in. But... on the other hand, the whole energy thing, playing with energy, seeing the colours of energy... there was just too much of it. I liked the concept, but after some time it got a bit tedious and I longed for some "normal" interaction between the characters, something that's easier to relate to. I think the book does a good job of capturing this exhilarating state when one falls in love and immediately feels a connection to somebody - two people are suddenly in sync and can read each other's thoughts. However, I can't help but feel that some connection beyond this insta-love/insta-energy thing that develops once the initial rush is over is missing. Maybe the book was simply too short for that; but even for a novella, this style was too... well... high-energy. Reading it felt like riding a roller coaster that kept going at super speed at the highest point - I knew there wasn't another high I could look forward to (as there was no change in dynamic), so at some point I was just waiting for the whole ride to finally come to an end. I do hope that these two authors keep up their collaboration and that there are more books to come. This one might not be everyone's cup of tea, but it is definitely unique and - in my opinion - worth reading, even though I have mixed feelings and can't really tell whether I like it or not. :D (*) Ruthie Knox is my favourite contemporary romance author and I've read all her books.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Betsy

    So very weird. I usually revel in the weird, but this was a bit too new-agey for me. I am putting this up front to warn off my friends who might jump on what I say next...the sex was hot. And, the characters were likable. Calvin and Winnie were great and I really liked Cal's parents. But the clouds/bubbles of energy and their many individualistic colors, yada yada, baloney cakes was far too skimmable. While reading The Dark Space (and in retrospect) I have to wonder what the authors were trying So very weird. I usually revel in the weird, but this was a bit too new-agey for me. I am putting this up front to warn off my friends who might jump on what I say next...the sex was hot. And, the characters were likable. Calvin and Winnie were great and I really liked Cal's parents. But the clouds/bubbles of energy and their many individualistic colors, yada yada, baloney cakes was far too skimmable. While reading The Dark Space (and in retrospect) I have to wonder what the authors were trying to achieve and who they were trying to reach with this acting class exercise?. To some degree, I began to treat it like a Christopher Guest parody and it made the pink bubble of energy yearning for me a bit more tolerable. Meanwhile, I can't entirely pan it because, dang I liked the characters and frankly, it was hot.

  18. 4 out of 5

    SaturNalia

    Winnie is quiet and constantly hiding in the background. She joins and improvisational class and meets Cal. Instant lust flares between them and they quickly fall into a sexual relationship. This story was too wierd for me, with a lot of focus on light and colors, this was not a paranormal but they could hear each others thoughts and throw their energy around. Too metaphysical for me. On the plus side, the sex was hot.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Eleanor (The Book Hammock)

    This was difficult for me to relate to. On almost every level. I can, and did, however, appreciate the delicate nuances this story presented in two young adults about to embark on a new journey. I feel there's a deeper meaning to some of it, and accept I'll never really get it. Fabulous writing from these ladies, as ever.

  20. 5 out of 5

    K D

    A weird little mix of magic, metaphysics and romance.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Cc

    Pretentious.

  22. 5 out of 5

    CynnieRose

    This was fantastic, running in circles, hands in the air fantastic. BRAVA!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Tracy's Place

    I'm not sure how to rate this one, or if I even should. It was...different. It contained beautiful writing and some pretty funny parts but it was extremely existential. The whole personal energy turning into a type of mind reading was too bizarre for me. I did love Cal and Winnie together but it was definitely love at first sight.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    Ok, here's the thing. I'm giving this 5 stars, but it is...and it isn't. I only ever give 5 stars for two reasons: either the writer is one of my go to, never miss, always get it on the first day of publication, read everything they've ever written, kind of authors (Karin Slaughter, John Sanford, Molly O'Keefe, etc.), or the book, itself, has changed me in some tangible (and intangible) way...has affected me on a deeper level...is something I will keep with me (in spirit), always (The Hotel New Ok, here's the thing. I'm giving this 5 stars, but it is...and it isn't. I only ever give 5 stars for two reasons: either the writer is one of my go to, never miss, always get it on the first day of publication, read everything they've ever written, kind of authors (Karin Slaughter, John Sanford, Molly O'Keefe, etc.), or the book, itself, has changed me in some tangible (and intangible) way...has affected me on a deeper level...is something I will keep with me (in spirit), always (The Hotel New Hampshire, The Handmaid's Tale, Catcher in the Rye, anything from Judy Blume). Occasionally, it's both. With this book, Dark Space, again...it is, and it isn't. First, Knox and Rivers are writers I've only very recently discovered. But they are definitely, with each story, entering favorite author territory. They are both amazing. Second, there are parts of this book that are just so...valuable? It's such a crazy little disjointed, crunchy granola, crystals in your woo-woo aura, liberal arts tea narrative (sometimes)...not at all what I was expecting...that I wasn't completely sure I wanted to finish it. That sort of thing just isn't my thing, generally. But then, there are parts (and over-arching themes and messages) that are just so perfect and wonderful and important to remember (and try really, really hard not to let go of), that I'm so glad I pressed on. Things like this bit about remembering that joy comes from our sense of play: "Our joy lives in the dizzying impulse we all learn to stifle as we grow...the voice of Yes that tells us to close our eyes on the swings so we can feel the earth fall away beneath us, to lie in the grass with the sun warming our faces until we’re certain that it’s spinning, it’s really spinning, and we’re all spinning with it." It's a good quote, out of context, but trust me...it resonates so much more when you're reading that chapter, that it will have you in tears. We DO need to remember that. We DO let that sense of joy and play fall away, too much, as we age. We get so used to saying "no" all the time, when we should be brave enough to say "Yes!". I guess it's not exactly news that we need to stay in touch with our inner child, but we do need to be reminded of that, and Knox and Rivers have done that for me with this story. I don't think I can quite call it a great book, or a perfect one (half the time, I just kept thinking of a book I read, a million years ago, called "The Harrad Experiment", about a whole lotta sex at a small, liberal arts college back in the mother of all crunchy granola, woo-woo, sparkly aura decades (the 70's). But don't throw the baby out with the bath water. The metaphysical/physics stuff is interesting, and though I'd usually rather chew on tinfoil than get cornered at a party with a spacey, new age-y true believer (I fucking hate the smell of patchouli), I do believe in some of this stuff (energies, time not being linear, etc.). The love story is good. And I'm seriously regretting the fact that I didn't go to a small, private, liberal arts college when I had the chance. I missed out on a lot, I think. I might've been a completely different person if I had. Or not. Maybe I would've been exactly the same person, with a different set of memories, but still saying "no" too much, instead of "Yes!" But that's why I'm giving this book 5 stars, even though I think, objectively, it's kind of a mess (or genius...I'm really not sure, honestly)- it really made me think. And I'm walking away resolved to saying "Yes!" just a little bit more. This book makes me really want to try to do that. I think that's worth 5 stars, don't you?

  25. 4 out of 5

    Maria Rose

    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 inv 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. A copy of this story was provided by the publisher for review.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    Don't Postpone Joy This was a different kind of read for me because the sexuality in it is so raw and the characters are as well. But I kept reading because I have always liked the journeys Mary Ann Rivers stories take me. This story, in the end, is no different. It just has a little more of a contemporary telling, so to speak. Through a college coarse called Contact Improv (a class theater majors apparently take to aid them in reaching outside of themselves to project real feelings on stage) the Don't Postpone Joy This was a different kind of read for me because the sexuality in it is so raw and the characters are as well. But I kept reading because I have always liked the journeys Mary Ann Rivers stories take me. This story, in the end, is no different. It just has a little more of a contemporary telling, so to speak. Through a college coarse called Contact Improv (a class theater majors apparently take to aid them in reaching outside of themselves to project real feelings on stage) the main characters Winnie and Cal meet and fall in love. And not only that, they learn to step outside of themselves, leaving their insecurities behind to live life and to experience joy, love and intimacy with others. I believe it's something we all learn to do while we're living our lives and gaining experience. But didn't you wish you knew Then what you know Now? 'Course you do. For me, Ruthie Knox and Mary Ann Rivers found an incredibly inventive way of illustrating what can happen between two people, and perhaps everyone else one meets, if we could just step outside ourselves, take a risk, leave our self consciousness and insecurities behind and reach out to them. My favorite boss has a bumper sticker I tacked up in our lab that says "Don't Postpone Joy". It became my mantra for our patients as I worked in that office. And the patients responded to it. All of us staff members seemed to have the same goal. Anyway, that's what I felt this book was about. When you step outside yourself and let others in, the possibilities are endless.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Chelsey Langland

    I'm having a hard time rating this one. I absolutely adore Ruthie Knox, she is one of my favorites. And this collaboration is fantastic. It's seamless and I think that the two authors working together produce a product that is better than either one of them alone. That said, I just didn't like the central premise of the book. I don't have a theater background, so the class as described just seems completely implausible to me. The fact that they put a sort of disclaimer in the back suggests that I'm having a hard time rating this one. I absolutely adore Ruthie Knox, she is one of my favorites. And this collaboration is fantastic. It's seamless and I think that the two authors working together produce a product that is better than either one of them alone. That said, I just didn't like the central premise of the book. I don't have a theater background, so the class as described just seems completely implausible to me. The fact that they put a sort of disclaimer in the back suggests that my reaction isn't unusual. But if you need the disclaimer, maybe choose a different premise? And I also disliked the slightly mystical aspect to the story, just because that doesn't appeal to me. But despite not liking anything about the structure of the book, I found parts of it just lovely, and it really does capture so well that time of transitioning out of college. So it's probably worth a read, just know what you're getting in to.

  28. 5 out of 5

    JG

    A liberal take on a coming of age theme Dark Space was written by two of my favorite authors so I basically was familiar with both of their writing styles. Its a pretty straightforward plot about two people in the last year of college taking a contemporary improv class that kind of opened their eyes into possibilities in life, how scary and terrifying it could be and how in all the uncertainties finding out who you are, who you love and who you become are the only certainties that matter.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    This might be the most tastefully erotic cover I've ever seen (I just love it). But alas, the cover is about the only thing I really liked about this book. I'm honestly just going to say that I didn't get it. It was weird, erotic, and had a supernatural-mind-reading-feeling type thing going on between young college students taking a difficult to get into acting class. What goes on in the class is a deep, strange and sexual connection between the students, especially for Cal and Winnie, whose rel This might be the most tastefully erotic cover I've ever seen (I just love it). But alas, the cover is about the only thing I really liked about this book. I'm honestly just going to say that I didn't get it. It was weird, erotic, and had a supernatural-mind-reading-feeling type thing going on between young college students taking a difficult to get into acting class. What goes on in the class is a deep, strange and sexual connection between the students, especially for Cal and Winnie, whose relationship is more intense and complicated than the others.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Sierra Hill

    I'm not sure where to start with this book. It was unique, to be sure. Different. Original. I liked that the two characters were 'human' and average. But the writing itself was difficult to grasp and understand. I honestly didn't get it or the situation that Winnie and Cal found themselves in. I couldn't put myself in their place or in their head space. I had to reread sections because it got lost on me. I applaud Ruthie and Mary Anne for taking the risk on this concept. It was refreshing but al I'm not sure where to start with this book. It was unique, to be sure. Different. Original. I liked that the two characters were 'human' and average. But the writing itself was difficult to grasp and understand. I honestly didn't get it or the situation that Winnie and Cal found themselves in. I couldn't put myself in their place or in their head space. I had to reread sections because it got lost on me. I applaud Ruthie and Mary Anne for taking the risk on this concept. It was refreshing but also kind of frustrating to read.

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