Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 12 to 15
- Grade: 7 to 9
- Reading age: 12 to 15
Fourteen-year-old Jake MacRae’s life is spinning out of control. He’s making all the wrong choices — gambling, drinking, hanging around gang members and now he’s been asked to make a special delivery. What should he do?
Jake knows either way that his decision will seal his fate, but what he doesn’t realize is that this choice might not only destroy his life but the lives of those close to him.
Before Jake has a chance to make up his mind, he receives a mysterious text message inviting him to a flash party on a midnight subway train. As Jake steps off the platform and onto the ghostly 1950s-style Gloucester car, he has no idea he has just boarded a train bound for his worst nightmare. And what’s more — he can’t get off!
About the author
Marina Cohen is an elementary school teacher in the York Region District School Board. She has been nominated for the Sunburst, Red Maple Award, Rocky Mountain Book Award, and Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award, and been an OLA Best Bet, JGL selection, and Amazon Book of the Month. She is the author of Chasing the White Witch, Ghost Ride, and Mind Gap. She lives in Markham, Ontario.
The novel’s premise is a clever one, and Cohen paints an effective picture of the realities the characters inhabit. Cohen is clearly a talented writer: she can craft a compelling plot and knows how to keep her audience engaged.
Quill and Quire
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.
Fast-paced and compelling, this is a novel young readers will truly relate to. Marina Cohen’s well-crafted writing keeps the pages turning as we follow Jake on his journey through time. His emotional turmoil may be heightened by paranormal circumstances, but his feelings will be familiar to many readers. In the end we see him move through his rage and powerlessness, toward something more like responsibility and empowerment. A satisfying read.
Canadian Childrens Book News
Mind Gap is an absorbing story that ends with a poignant surprise.
Marina Cohen’s chilling, paranormal thriller features a teen with feelings which will be familiar to many readers. It’s satisfying to see Jake eventually emerge from the thoughtless past behaviour which has hurt his family, to assuming responsibility by the end of the story.
If you're looking for a quick, fast-paced read, Mind Gap would be an excellent choice. It's action from the start and doesn't stop until the last page.
The Bodacious Pen
… keeps you on the edge of your seat.
Mind GapFourteen-year-old Jake is living on the edge. Nursing the bitterness of having been abandoned by his father years ago, he’s on the outs with his mom, and he’s just lost his little brother’s savings in a poker game. To make matters worse, now his best friend wants him to do “a favour” for the head of the local street gang. In the words of many adults, he’s been “making some bad choices.”
And he’s just about to make another one. As he sneaks out of his apartment at midnight to meet his best friend, Cole, at a “flash party,” little does he know that by stepping onto a Toronto subway car, he’s actually stepping into a true nightmare.
Jake’s ride becomes an adventure reminiscent of Ebenezer Scrooge’s in A Christmas Carol. As he encounters spectres of his past, present and future, Jake is forced to face the consequences of his choices, some of which deeply affect the people he loves. These experiences leave him scrambling back to reality to right his wrongs, but, thwarted by street punks, zombies and his own mistakes, he may be too late.
Fast-paced and compelling, this is a novel young readers will truly relate to. Marina Cohen’s well-crafted writing keeps the pages turning as we follow Jake on his journey through time. His emotional turmoil may be heightened by paranormal circumstances, but his feelings will be familiar to many readers. In the end, we see him move through his rage and powerlessness, toward something more like responsibility and empowerment. A satisfying read.
Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Spring 2011. Volume 34 No. 2.