Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Bone Gap by Laura Ruby

Bone Gap
by Laura Ruby

Hardcover, 368 pages
Published March 3, 2015 by Balzer + Bray (First edition)
Genre: Magical Realism, Fantasy
Awards: Booklist Top 10 SF/Fantasy/Horror for Youth,

MLA: Ruby, Laura. Bone Gap. New York: Balzer + Bray, 2015. Print. ISBN-13: 978-0062317605. Hardcover, $17.99.

Find it in your local library!

Finn O’Sullivan doesn’t look people in the eye. He has a tendency toward wistful distraction and a bad habit of sneaking up on people. Finn is all too aware that the citizens in his small farming town of Bone Gap, Illinois think he is both beautiful and strange, though he doesn’t fully understand why.

When their mother abandons Finn and his older brother Sean for an orthodontist in Oregon, Sean delays his medical school plans to stay with Finn until he finishes high school. The one bright spot in their lives appears in the form of a beautiful Polish girl named Roza, who Finn finds one morning huddled on the floor of their barn, bruised, dirty, and clearly traumatized. As the wounded threesome each begins to heal, Sean and Roza fall in love, and all of Bone Gap loves her too. But when Roza abruptly disappears, everyone – including Sean – is convinced she left the boys, just like their mother. Everyone, that is, except Finn, who witnessed Roza’s abduction by a strange man whose appearance he can’t describe, except that he moves “like a cornstalk in the wind.”

Roza’s captor can seemingly change the fabric of reality in the blink of an eye. He considers Roza “the most beautiful woman in the world” and confines her until she declares her love for him. Roza bravely fights off his advances, desperately searching for a way back to Sean and Finn.

With no one left to believe him and his brother shutting him out, Finn befriends the local beekeeper’s daughter, Petey, who is relentlessly teased for her looks. As their relationship deepens, so too does the small-town gossip about Finn’s intentions with unattractive Petey. When the pair accidentally discovers a magical gap in the seams of this world, Finn starts to believe he might find a way back to Roza after all.

Bone Gap beautifully illustrates not just a surreal, fantastic otherworld, but also the simple enchantments we find in our every day lives. What magic might we find in each other once we stop looking and finally start to see?


You guys… wow. Just wow. This book blew me away. In fact, Bone Gap might be the best book I've read this year.

Everything about it -- the story, the characters, the magic and unpredictability, the subtly hidden mythology... *swoon* The writing is stunning and lyrical. The author breathes genuine life into the town of Bone Gap and its citizens, and even with all its mystical elements it still looks like the small town I grew up in and still feels like rural America. Roza and Petey represent feminist ideals in a major way as they both refuse to conform to societal expectations of female beauty, yet they are fully formed characters who drive the story forward independently. I highly recommend this book to… everyone. If you like beautiful writing and original, compelling stories, read Bone Gap. Ages 13 and up.

MTV News teamed up with author Melissa Grey to create nail art tutorial inspired by Bone Gap that I am most definitely going to try sometime soon.

YALSA interviewed author Laura Ruby wherein she discusses feminism, fairy tales, and being a teenager in the 1980s, and it is FANTASTIC.

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