Small Spaces is a gripping YA thriller from debut Australian author Sarah Epstein, perfect for fans of Fleur Ferris. 14+.

“We don’t pick and choose what to be afraid of. Our fears pick us.”

Tash Carmody has been traumatised since childhood, when she witnessed her gruesome imaginary friend Sparrow lure young Mallory Fisher away from a carnival. At the time nobody believed Tash, and she has since come to accept that Sparrow wasn’t real. Now fifteen and mute, Mallory’s never spoken about the week she went missing. As disturbing memories resurface, Tash starts to see Sparrow again. And she realises Mallory is the key to unlocking the truth about a dark secret connecting them. Does Sparrow exist after all? Or is Tash more dangerous to others than she thinks?

"A beautifully crafted psychological thriller. I couldn't put it down." Fleur Ferris


Sarah Epstein spent her childhood drawing, daydreaming and cobbling together books at the kitchen table. A writer, illustrator and designer, she grew up in suburban Sydney and now lives in Melbourne with her husband and two sons. She is passionate about YA, especially the thriller genre, which is her favourite to read. Small Spaces is her first novel.


Small Spaces is an incredible debut. Not only is it deliciously creepy, its twists and turns keep you guessing all the way through. I’d recommend enlisting the company of a stuffed animal if you’re reading this one past bedtime.

Looney Literate

Small Spaces is a remarkable debut psychological thriller by Aussie author Sarah Epstein. The story will give you shivers and is full of twists and turns which you must decide are real or all made up in the character’s head.

The Fictional Realm

Epstein’s portentous narrative is high-wire taunt and just as nerve wracking.

Boomerang Books

This first novel is a psychological thriller for high school students and young adults that will have you spellbound from start to finish. The finish will have you panting for breath and screaming at the characters to get a bloody grip. It is frightening.

Bob's Books

Epstein has a keen eye for family dynamics and the small moments of disillusionment with adults that occur throughout childhood. The story is similarly thoughtful about the emotional toll of women whose stories aren’t believed.


This is a twisted thriller that had me guessing until the very end.

Swords and Roses

Can see it now.. all the readers and the all nighters reading this book!

Small Spaces is such a riveting, scary story, I was worried that I would still be reading when night fell.

Boomerang Books

Small Spaces is a compelling, unpredictable and consuming debut. Phenomenal.

Diva Book Nerd

Small Spaces is definitely a book you want to read, even if you don’t know it yet because you won’t be able to put it down or stop your fascination and questions until you’ve devoured that final page.

The Bookish Kirra

I just loved how this book kept me on the edge of my seat

Written Word Worlds

Small Spaces is a clever, highly entertaining read and an impressive debut from a thoughtful writer who knows how to weave contemporary concerns of mental illness through a story with stampede intensity.

Better Reading

If you love a book that’s going to keep you on the edge of your seat, flipping the pages vigorously, desperate for answers, then I definitely recommend picking up SMALL SPACES. It’s fast paced and a quick read, and will have you questioning every tiny detail!

Always & Forever Reading

Small Spaces is one of my new favourite thrillers! A+ characters who had me invested within mere pages and the type of creeptastic imaginary friend that will make you ban yourself from imaginary games forever! Such fun!

Paper Fury

This featured a decent plot, easy to read writing and really intriguing characters. I’d recommend this to anyone who’s a fan of thrillers.

If you want a good psychological thriller, pick up Small Spaces by Sarah Epstein. Shake it before you read it…just to get the bad juju out but it’s still going to stare at you in the shadows, knock on your door at 3am and keep you tossing and turning because you’re too afraid to go get that glass of water you’ll be craving all night.

Boffin Books

If you want to be creeped out of your mind by a clever YA novel get on it!

Bookish Bron

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Sarah Epstein has created a brilliant and unforgettable mystery/psychological thriller. Its superbly designed storyline and characters will have readers glued to their seats, turning pages until the last word.

Kids' Book Review

Small Spaces is the remarkable debut novel of Australian author Sarah Epstein. It is incredibly well written, fast-paced and just the right amount of creepy.

Gilly Reads

This is a stunner of a read, drawing the reader into having to decipher truth and lies.

Read Plus

This featured a decent plot, easy to read writing and really intriguing characters. I’d recommend this to anyone who’s a fan of thrillers.

Sarah Jane

A story that kept me hanging right to the end, awake at night and absolutely gob smacked in the end.


Small Spaces is truly gripping, has compelling connections between characters, will play on your mind… and might make you check under the bed before you go to sleep.

Carly Mitchell

Small Spaces is such a riveting, scary story, I was worried that I would still be reading when night fell. I was still reading … but had to keep going even though I knew I would be terrified. Congratulations on your stunning thriller, Sarah.

Paperbark Words

I do love a decent thriller, and Small Spaces definitely delivers on the suspense front. The pacing is ideal, I zoomed through in a couple of sittings. Epstein uses narrative devices like flashbacks, transcripts and an unreliable narrator and it all really, really works.

The Golden Adventures

Small Spaces is a book for brave readers. But those who dare will be deeply rewarded… Sarah Epstein is a masterful author, adept at the art of the red herring and the plot twist. Every time I thought I had the book all worked out, she tipped everything on its head.

Just Kids Lit

riddled with twists and turns… I give ‘Small Spaces’ ten bookbolts out of ten.

Children's Books Daily

5/5. This was a FANTASTIC book. I loved every page, and it truly shocked me throughout. It’s an amazing psychological thriller that I could not put down.

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Australian Book Industry Awards, Book of the Year for Older Children
NSW Premier’s Literary Awards, Ethel Turner Prize for Young People’s Literature
Queensland Literary Awards, Young Adult Book Award
Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature, Young Adult Fiction Award
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