Bone Gap – Laura Ruby
Everyone knows Bone Gap is full of gaps—gaps to trip you up, gaps to slide through so you can disappear forever. So when young, beautiful Roza went missing, the people of Bone Gap weren’t surprised. After all, it wasn’t the first time that someone had slipped away and left Finn and Sean O’Sullivan on their own. Just a few years before, their mother had high-tailed it to Oregon for a brand new guy, a brand new life. That’s just how things go, the people said. Who are you going to blame?
Finn knows that’s not what happened with Roza. He knows she was kidnapped, ripped from the cornfields by a dangerous man whose face he cannot remember. But the searches turned up nothing, and no one believes him anymore. Not even Sean, who has more reason to find Roza than anyone, and every reason to blame Finn for letting her go.
Review: First, this book gets bonus points for referencing Blankets, which is a beautiful graphic novel that everyone needs to read. Seriously, I love that book.
Okay, in this book, Finn lives with his older brother, Sean, and Sean’s girlfriend, Roza in a rural town called Bone Gap. When Roza goes missing, everyone assumes that she left town just as mysteriously as she arrived. Only Finn knows that Roza didn’t leave willingly. He saw a strange man force her into a car, but Finn is unable to give a good description of the man. Finn has always been a little strange, so the townspeople think he is lying about the kidnapping.
I love the main characters. This book doesn’t have an action-packed plot, but I never got bored because I was so invested in the characters. Finn is a sweet boy who doesn’t quite fit in. He has a hard time relating to people. He rarely makes eye contact with anyone, and he always seems a little “spacy.” This book has multiple perspectives, and Finn’s is my favorite. I like the unusual way he looks at the world.
Roza is another wonderful character. She’s a Polish immigrant who’s on the run from a mysterious stranger. The reader gets to see parts of her life in Poland and parts of her life after she’s kidnapped. Her chapters are slightly confusing, but they’re confusing in an intriguing way.
Sean is my second-favorite character (after Finn). I feel bad for him. He had to give up his dream of becoming a doctor after his mother left him to take care of his younger brother. He’s bitter about the things that have happened to him in his life.
Even though the characters are brilliant, I have issues with the rest of the book. I wish the magical realism elements had been more developed and more integrated into the story. This book doesn’t really feel like magical realism to me. It feels more like a contemporary book where some conveniently weird stuff happens. I like most of the book, but I’m not a huge fan of the fantasy-ish ending. It just got too weird too fast.
I also wish that the book had included more information about the villain. When I first read the novel, I wasn't entirely sure who—or what—the villain was, but I wanted to know. I knew that his identity had to do with mythology, but I don’t know very much about mythology, so I had to rely on Google to help me out. I feel like I missed a lot of this story because I don't have a strong background in mythology.
I have some problems with this book, but I’m still glad I read it. It’s a well-written story about small-town gossip, beauty, and bravery. It’s worth reading for the great characters.