Thursday, May 11, 2017

Audiobook Review: Bone Gap by Laura Ruby

Title: Bone Gap
Author: Laura Ruby
Narrator: Dan Bittner
Publication Date: March 3, 2016
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
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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.

As we follow the stories of Finn, Roza, and the people of Bone Gap—their melancholy pasts, their terrifying presents, their uncertain futures—acclaimed author Laura Ruby weaves a heartbreaking tale of love and loss, magic and mystery, regret and forgiveness—a story about how the face the world sees is never the sum of who we are.

Finn and Sean O'Sullivan have been going through the motions and managing to eke out a life in Bone Gap since their mother deserted them for her new boyfriend - until a mysterious girl named Roza appears in their barn. Roza changes their lives, giving them a new purpose and filling their days with excitement. Bone Gap begins shortly after Roza has vanished from their lives as rapidly as she appeared in them. Sean and the townspeople of Bone Gap believe that Roza left just like their mother, seeing a better opportunity and chasing after it. But Finn knows that Roza was kidnapped. He saw her being abducted, but he can't seem to remember the face of the man who took her.

Bone Gap seriously blew me away. I actually picked up this audiobook thinking that I might not enjoy the book, so I planned listen to it quickly so I could cross another book off my TBR. Well, shame on me. This book was wonderful. Bone Gap follows the perspective of multiple characters throughout the town in the present and in past reminiscences. This was the perfect way for this story to be told. It would have been unfair to the weird and quirky cast of characters to tell the story from only one point of view. The writing was beautiful as well. It wasn't necessarily flowery writing, but it was beautiful. Laura Ruby certainly knows how to put words together to paint an amazing picture. (I am obviously not as eloquent as she is.)

I adored every single character in Bone Gap. Finn was so sweet and good-natured. I really enjoyed the chapters told from his perspective. The other characters made fun of Finn, saying he was weird and spacey, but his worldview was so unique and sincere. I loved his relationship with Petey and her determination to be happy with herself despite what others thought. The cast was so dynamic and all of the characters felt so real...even the creepy ones.

My one critique about Bone Gap is that I didn't realize there was magical realism in the story until the very end. I was following along with the mystery and waiting for everything to be solved. And then it got....weird. That being said, this was probably one of the first times that I have actually enjoyed reading magical realism. I am normally left wanting answers, but I felt pretty satisfied with the ending of Bone Gap, even despite the strange unanswered questions. I just wish I had known that there was magical realism earlier on in the book. I feel like it could have been incorporated better throughout the novel so it wasn't so staggering to encounter at the end.

I think Bone Gap could be a great read for people with a variety of different tastes. It has a contemporary feel, but there is also a mystery in need of solving, with a magical realism twist. There is also a character discovering a disability and learning to live with it. I know that disability should not be a spoiler, but this character discovering their disability is a MAJOR plot point that spoils the entire mystery of the book. (I'm happy to tell you privately what disability is included if you want to know, but I will keep it out of this review.) Ultimately, I think a wide range of readers could enjoy Bone Gap and should give it a try. I enjoyed it so much, and I will definitely be checking out Laura Ruby's other books in the future.