What an absolute gem of a book.
I acquired this book from a friend of mine who likes to fall in love with book covers, buy said pretty book, bring it home & read a page then lose interest. A book really needs to pull her in and for her, Bone Gap failed to do that. Thankfully for me this meant that I could nab it off her and bring it home for myself. Once I got home I popped it on the shelf beside another pretty hardback, only to discover that they were both written by Laura Ruby! The book I already owned is ‘The Wall and The Wing’ and it was one of my absolutely favourites growing up – a quirky, fun, warm, exciting read – so I had had even higher expectations for Bone Gap!
Summary: This book is about a girl called Roza who goes missing, two brother’s who are very different; Finn who has his head in the clouds and is bad with faces, and the Sean who closes up like a clam shell when he gets hurt, a girl called Petey who loves bees and has a whole lot of sass, and a scattering of other interesting characters. It is about how they learn to see each other, love each other and save each other. (Can I get any more vague? No probably not but I hope this makes you want to pick this up nonetheless hehe).
Writing: I loved the description in this book, the way language was used to create such vivid images of the characters, of Bone Gap, and of the gaps within Bone Gap. Everything felt real with a touch of magic but not in a way that threw me, but rather a way that made me think ‘yeah it makes perfect sense that the corn is speaking to him’. It was sweet and warm and also absolutely terrifying in places, one of the characters is so freakin creepy! I also laughed out loud and found it so easy to pick up and just slip right into without having to concentrate.
Plot: The beginning was a little slow, and that’s probably my only criticism – how the heck do I find cons in things I adore? I enjoyed the first few chapters but it wasn’t until I was a chunk into it that I realised that I was absolutely loving it. The plot is interesting and twisty and absolutely refreshing! I loved Finn’s reasonings for needing to find Roza, and that they had nothing to do with any romantic attachment – that a boy could value a girl in a platonic way while being in a relationship with another totally awesome girl was so excellent! I LOVE THAT THERE WASN’T A LOVE TRIANGLE!! The plot moved fluidly and comfortably without being too slow and without rushing anything. I loved how the background of the characters were interspersed throughout and that it didn’t take away from the movement of the central storyline. I was also a MASSIVE fan of all the creatures that showed up throughout?? Calamity Jane and her kittens!! Night!! Rus!! Night’s goat best pal! I am a sucker for animals in general, so when they feature as sweet, fierce, loyal companions in books, I just melt. The plot overall felt layered and real, despite it feeling like a relatively short read.
Characters: Such complex, interesting, original characters! I loved Finn as a narrator, and I really enjoyed learning more about him throughout the story, and how he stood up against the lack of faith from the entirety of his town and his brother! What a champ. I also love that he slept with Calamity Jane and her kittens, and how he almost killed himself trying to save Night from getting hit by a vehicle. A character who loves animals has my soul. Then Petey, who was probably my favourite character. I loved her sass and vulnerability and how she cooked smores at night and was friends with Roza, and liked to read and ride Night with Finn into weird gaps that made absolutely no sense. Roza was bad-ass and brave and her befriending Rus was the best thing ever and one of my favourite parts. I also really liked Sean, despite him not believing Finn and moping about a lot. I found him to be very real and I could understand his pain. They were just all so wonderful, complex, and interesting!
Overall, I really don’t have much to criticise. It was just the kind of book that makes you feel warm and fulfilled. I laughed, I was disgusted, I was swoon-y and I just felt all of the emotion which is all that I want in a story. It was a light read, the kind that I always wanted to pick up, and one I could read over breakfast or in a loud room, or when curled up before bed. I highly recommend this if you are after something refreshing and a little magical.