Sensory Time Warp Syndrome: a rare condition in which one of the five senses triggers the individual to time travel to a specific moment in time linked to the trigger. For Aimee Roh, that trigger is smell. When she disappears for nine hours—the longest she’s ever been gone—into a memory that doesn’t line up with what she’s always remembered, Aimee travels to Korea in search of her estranged mother. As she searches, she finds herself reconnecting with her past in an unexpected way.
I love me some good speculative fiction and this book did not disappoint! The world building is masterfully done, utilizing new characters or certain situations in order to explain how STWS works in a way that feels completely natural. Not only are we able to see how the condition works, but we also see the fallout that comes afterward and the stigma behind it, as with any other condition that people don’t understand.
While we are treated to an adorable budding romance subplot between Aimee and Junho, it never overshadows the journey she is taking to understanding herself, her condition, and her identity. In addition to Junho, other side characters like Aimee’s father and her best friend Nikita are incredibly nuanced and have their own things going on apart from Aimee and, while we don’t see a ton of them, they never feel like they have fallen to the wayside.
Though the story centers around a fictional condition, the journey that is taken is one that I’m sure many people will be able to relate to. This story plays with the idea of memory in a way that we all forget from time to time and really dives deep into how your feelings, particularly grief and loss, can affect how you remember things. Suk tackles a lot of tough emotions with compassion and care and I think a lot of readers will find a way to connect to Aimee’s journey.
THE SPACE BETWEEN HERE & NOW by Sarah Suk is available now and you can grab a copy for yourself here.
Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher for free and have voluntarily written this review. If you purchase a copy using my Bookshop affiliate link above, not only will I receive a small commission (which will fuel my coffee and tea addiction and help to keep me up all night reading more books to recommend to you), but you will be supporting indie bookstores as well! If you prefer Amazon, visit my Amazon storefront and click on the list titled "2023 Book Recommendations."