“Bone Gap” by Laura Ruby is lots of things…a realistic tale of two brothers, a touching first-love story, a glimpse into an oddly warped magical world, and an interesting look into the problems associated with a very rare and unusual disability. Mostly, however, it’s a wonderfully readable story.
The basics: Finn O’Sullivan has a hard enough time navigating high school, his disability (face blindness, which IS a real thing), his relationship with his older brother, and his feelings for the girl he’s starting to fall for. Add to this the mysterious disappearance of his brother’s girlfriend and the fact that some odd and not logically explainable things start happening to him, and you have the basis for “Bone Gap”‘s plot.
What I liked the most: The major characters are well-drawn and realistic. Finn, his brother Sean, and his love interest Petey are all unique and defined individuals, and all ring true. Likewise, the relationships between Finn and others are believable. Other characters, both quirky and standard, round out the cast. The book also delightfully captures small-town life, and the unique aspects found therein.
What I’d like to see more of: The story’s villain was intriguing, and just evil enough to make the reader truly despise him. I would have enjoyed reading a bit more of his back-story to find out what made him this way and give him a bit more depth.
Overall: I enjoyed this story very much. Magical realism is a fairly new genre for me, and this book provides a perfect example of this style of writing. Highly recommended!
“What I believe is that when it comes to big things in life, there are no accidents. Everything happens for a reason. You’re here for a reason–and it’s not to fail and die.”
–Emma Bloom to Jacob Portman, “Hollow City” by Ransom Riggs (Of course, this quote is situational in the story, but I think it applies to life in general.)
“I Was Here” by Gayle Forman, the story of a young woman coping with the aftermath of her best friend’s suicide, sounds like it would be the most depressing book of the year. However, despite being based on a terrible tragedy, I did not find it hard to read. It was sad, of course, but was truly more about recovering from tragedy than focused on the tragedy itself.
Cody is asked to sort through her friend’s belongings after her suicide; in the process, she learns many things she didn’t know about Meg, and a decent bit about herself. The author has obviously done a great deal of research about her subject, and shares some horrifying truths about “Suicide Assistance” groups, as well as some useful information about depression. It’s important to note that the novel never comes across as “preachy” or overly focused on providing factual information. It reads like a well-paced, intriguing story.
My recommendation: Give this book a try as a good story about unraveling the mystery of a vibrant young woman’s life. Also read it to learn more about depression and suicide. Even if you’re blessed enough that these issues have not touched your life, it is always good to be informed. You might someday find yourself in a position to help someone else.