Bone Gap by Laura Ruby Book Review

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Ruby, Laura. Bone Gap. HarperCollins Children’s Books: New York, NY. 2015. ISBN 978-0-06-231760-5.

Plot Summary

A young girl named Roza goes missing. However, the people of Bone Gap aren’t concerned. It’s not the first time, and they assume it won’t be the last. However, Finn O’Sullivan knows that she’s not just missing, but rather, was kidnapped. But no one believes him.

Critical Analysis

Characters: Bone Gap is very much driven by its characters. Our main character, Finn, defy stereotypes. He’s the prettiest boy in the town, but people think he’s strange. They call him names. An outcast, despite being beautiful, Finn sees people. He really sees them. He doesn’t base anything off of looks, as he knows looks can be deceiving. He’s in love with Petey, which no one believes, because why would someone so pretty love someone so ugly. I love that he truly does see others. He’s in love with Petey for who she is, not how she looks.

We see her characterization defying stereotypes with Roza as well. She’s beautiful. Stunning, really. The kind of beautiful that makes her the center of sometimes unwanted attention. But she’s headstrong and can take care of herself.

The only time we really see some stereotypes are with Petey. She’s not pretty. Her self worth has been mutilated by harsh words of others. She can’t see how Finn loves her. What she doesn’t understand is that it is her intelligence and independent spirit that Finn loves. And even though it’s a bit of  a stereotype, it’s not cliched at all. I think the author did a marvelous job writing her her characters.

They are all very well rounded and are a refreshing break from the constant stereotyping we see in young adult books.

Setting: Bone Gap is a town that is very mystical. The novel has a touch of magical realism to it, so you don’t really know where you are, but you know that there is something different about it. I thought she did a good job making this place mysterious and somewhat unsettling. It keeps you on the edge and keeps you from getting too comfortable.

Plot: It is very strange. It’s actually really really strange and I wasn’t entirely sure I would like it. It makes you question reality. You don’t always know everything, or anything. But the mystery keeps you going. You want to know what’s going on, why it’s going on, and how it will all end, so it keeps you hooked. But it’s still weird and can be for some people, a turn off.

Theme: The biggest theme, and the main point of the novel is that we don’t see. We look, but we don’t see what’s beneath the surface, and that is very much true. How often do we judge people based on looks. On their clothes, their appearance, their houses, their cars, etc. How often do we judge situations without seeing the big picture? Always. This book is very much about slowing down and analyzing situations in a way you never have before. It’s about seeing people for who they are, not how they look. It’s a message our children desperately need to learn.

Style: Poetic language that flows beautifully is what really captivates an audience, and the author did just that. I loved how it was written and how it kept me pulled in every second I was reading. I wasn’t jerked in and out of the book, which, for the type of book it is, is rare.

Review Excerpts

From School Library Journal: “The author defies readers’ expectations at every turn. In this world, the evidence of one’s senses counts for little; appearances, even less. Heroism isn’t born of muscle, competence, and desire, but of the ability to look beyond the surface and embrace otherworldliness and kindred spirits. Sex happens, but almost incidentally. Evil happens, embodied in a timeless, nameless horror that survives on the mere idea of beauty. A powerful novel.”

From New York Times: “It’s a novel about actual changes in worldview, and all its science and myth and realism and magic are marshaled, finally, to answer crucial questions about empathy and difference, and the way we see people we love.”

From Booklist: “With rich characters, captivating world building, and a stunning secret at its heart, BONE GAP is utterly bewitching.”


Other books by Laura Ruby:

Bad Apple ISBN: 0061243337

Lily’s Ghosts ISBN: 0060518316

Good Girls ISBN: 0060882239

Other books like Bone Gap:

The Girl Who Could Silence the Wind by Meg Medina ISBN: 9780763664190

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lanvender by Leslye Walton ISBN: 9780763665661

All Our Pretty Songs by Sarah McCurry ISBN:9781250027085


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Adrinna Davis

Hello there! Not much to me, I'm just your average author and librarian who is obsessed with Harry Potter, Doctor Who, Sherlock, Merlin, Divergent, ect... who is married with two kids. :) And now blogger. I love children's lit and want to share with you all the amazing books I find!

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