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Bone Gap by Laura Ruby

The Blurb On The Back:

He’d been drawn here by the grass and the bees and the strange sensation that this was a magical place, that the bones of the world were a little looser here, double-jointed, twisting back on themselves, leaving spaces one could slip into and hide …


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 goes missing, the people of Bone Gap aren’t surprised. After all, it isn’t the first time someone’s slipped away and left Finn and Sean O’Sullivan on their own.

Finn knows that’s not what happened with Roza. He knows she was ripped from the cornfields by a man whose face he can’t remember. But only Petey Willis, the beekeeper’s fiery daughter, suspects that lurking behind Finn’s fearful shyness is a story worth uncovering.




16-year-old Finn lives with his brother Sean in the small farming town of Bone Gap, Illinois. Their father died when they were young and Sean put his plans to study medicine on hold, taking a job as a paramedic in order to look after Finn when their mother got married and moved away. When Finn finds a badly injured young woman hiding in their barn, he and Sean nurse her back to health but the woman, Roza, refuses to explain where she came from or how she came to be there. Despite this the three grow close with romance blossoming between Roza and Sean but when Roza is disappears at a market fair, the only witness is Finn and he’s unable to give Sheriff Apple a credible description of the man who took her.

Gossip flows like water in Bone Gap and some suspect the boys in Roza’s disappearance. The only person who believes Finn is Petey Willis, the strong-willed daughter of the local beekeeper. But strange things are happening in Bone Gap and stranger discoveries are about to be made …

Laura Ruby’s award-winning standalone YA novel is a beautifully written, moving magical realist fable that touches on Greek mythology and takes in the difficulties of being different with an interesting twist that genuinely surprised me. Finn is a well drawn character and I believed in his relationships with his brother (especially the strain that Roza’s disappearance creates between them) and his best friend Miguel (who’s more interested in trying to get a girlfriend). The romance between Finn and Petey (who has her own insecurities about her appearance, especially as Finn is so attractive) is sweetly drawn and works well with sharp, bittersweet dialogue. However it was Roza who was the real stand out character for me – her experiences with the mysterious kidnapper are genuinely chilling and I enjoyed her backstory of life in Poland (albeit it’s somewhat rose-tinted and romanticised) and experiences in college as they all go to explain her personal strength and the decision she makes at the end. Ruby also does well at creating small town life, the gossip, the strange characters and the way that everyone knows (or suspects they know) everyone else’s business. The slow pace may deter some readers but I think it gives a dreamy quality that adds to the magic and I look forward to Ruby’s next book.

The Verdict:

Laura Ruby’s award-winning standalone YA novel is a beautifully written, moving magical realist fable that touches on Greek mythology and takes in the difficulties of being different with an interesting twist that genuinely surprised me. Finn is a well drawn character and I believed in his relationships with his brother (especially the strain that Roza’s disappearance creates between them) and his best friend Miguel (who’s more interested in trying to get a girlfriend). The romance between Finn and Petey (who has her own insecurities about her appearance, especially as Finn is so attractive) is sweetly drawn and works well with sharp, bittersweet dialogue. However it was Roza who was the real stand out character for me – her experiences with the mysterious kidnapper are genuinely chilling and I enjoyed her backstory of life in Poland (albeit it’s somewhat rose-tinted and romanticised) and experiences in college as they all go to explain her personal strength and the decision she makes at the end. Ruby also does well at creating small town life, the gossip, the strange characters and the way that everyone knows (or suspects they know) everyone else’s business. The slow pace may deter some readers but I think it gives a dreamy quality that adds to the magic and I look forward to Ruby’s next book.

BONE GAP is released in the United Kingdom on 29th December 2016. Thanks to Faber & Faber for the ARC of this book.
Tags: faber & faber freebie, fantasy, laura ruby, literary fiction, young adult
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