Meg Grehan came on my radar recently with Baby Teeth. I was intrigued for many reasons; I had read another book titled Baby Teeth and wondering how it compared. I was interested as the cover was romantic, old fashioned, but screamed modern. The colors were both perfect and overly done at first glance. And finally, it was a novel in verse, and I am always curious to see if they read as poetry or flow as a novel. And while it was not my OMG FAVOIRTE book, I was thinking that it was clever but had a few issues for me. Yet, it still made me wonder where Grehan came from. What was their first and second books like? I was able to locate The Deepest Breath but not The Space Between on our ordering site. It was not until the Evil Empire provided me with an ISBN that I interlibrary loaned requested both, having them arrive the same day as each other. After finishing, I feel I may not call Grehan my favorite author, but I do have a new author I will read and recommend.
While there are many pieces, the two most important parts in The Deepest Breath are the worries of our young narrator and how they affect her every day. Also, the fact that she lives too much in her head, and understands the knowledge, but not the things that live in the soft parts of her, like her heart, means that fuels the worries and anxiety. We watch the narrator navigate the world around her, learning to have the courage to face the unknown, and to ask the hard questions, and to talk to the person she loves the most, her mother.
The Space Between is a story of a young woman and the decisions she made that would change her life. The first, was allowing her anxiety, fear, and depression trap her in her home and the second, saying hello to a dog that happens to have a human come with it. The woman and the dog bond, allowing the human to come into her life, and eventually into her heart. And we see how over the course of a year, things can change and sometimes for the best.
I am glad I read this first novel after Grehan’s other two, as sometimes the poetic prose wandered for me, but still, this is quality Grehan. It has a more adult overtone with Baby Teeth young adult, and The Deepest Breath a solid middle reader. The main theme of Grehan’s work is that they deal with same sex love, or the possibility of it being present. It is handled with love, care, and obvious respect.