(21/2/2017) Book review: Bone Gap by Laura Ruby

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.

 

This book started out giving me feelings reminiscent of Welcome to Night Vale. A mysterious, almost normal but somehow not quite right town and it’s inhabitants trying to make sense of it’s suspicious ways. But in my opinion, Bone Gap was so much better than Night Vale. Night Vale was confusing, it had too much going on, too much weirdness (which normally, I like) but the ending and the explanations were unsatisfactory and disappointing. Bone Gap, however, was the opposite.

There will be spoilers in the review to come.

In Night Vale, one main story line revolves around this guy, and people can’t remember his face. In Bone Gap, when Finn can’t remember the face of the guy who took Roza, I thought I was in a for a copycat story with just as little enjoyment. I was so wrong. It is eventually revealed that Finn suffers from Face-blindness, which causes him not only to fail to recognise the guy who took Roza, but also his brother and even himself in photographs. This is not something I’ve encountered in fiction before, and not having known much about it in real life either, this was an interesting and unusual addition to the plot.

I tried not to compared this to Night Vale when I was reading it, but with the faceless man and the weird town, I couldn’t help myself. But Bone Gap did everything Night Vale didn’t. It had the weirdness, it had the suspicious town, and the dodgy characters, but it had the character relationships, their self doubts and confidence issues, their flaws and struggles with each other, with the town, with the things happening to them. I thought it was really well written and the characters all very well fleshed out. It was a fun, cute, and quirky read, and well deserved of my 4 out of 5 star rating on Goodreads.

Katie

 

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