Book Review: Bone Gap

Bone Gap Laura Ruby

5star

Title: Bone Gap

Author: Laura Ruby

Series? No.

Rating: 5/5

Goodreads

Book Depository


Bone Gap is modern fairy tale and magical realism at its finest. The book inspects the difference between the faces the world sees VS the people we are. The book also confronts how society views women: it’s uncomfortable, at times it makes my skin crawl, but it’s 100% necessary. READ THIS BOOK.

Review-Bone-Gap

I am going to write part this review in a slightly different style than usual, inspired by the strange writing prompts that Petey and Finn trades throughout the book.  I hope I do the book justice! But if this part is too odd for you, feel free to skip down to the main review below!

Describe BONE GAP using only adverbs.

Loftily. Delicately. Mysteriously. Stealthily. Touchingly. Subtly. Violently. Bravely. Remarkably. Hopefully.

Compose a haiku in honour of BONE GAP.

Corn whispers, bees buzz,
Girls, some beautiful, some not
Men looks on, blindly.

Describe the plot of BONE GAP in recipe format

I. Separate 1 girl from 2 boys. Make sure no one quite knows how.
II. Leave 1 girl to stand, trapped in a prison guarded by 1 man, 1 beast, and a pinch of misogyny
III.  Take another girl, queen of bees: ensure she has more sting than honey: combine her with 1 boy.
IV.  Marinate the remaining boy in 1 teaspon of anger, 1 teaspoon of guilt, and a heap of insecurity.
V.  Mix in a magical steed, a beast, a dash of casual cruelty, a twist on reality.
VI.  Avoid contaminating the mixture with love polygons and conventional plots.
VII. Serve with a fresh dose of perspective, accompanied by beautiful words.

Compose a poem using only quotes from BONE GAP

dozens of honeybees whirled like tiny moons in a orbit,
gaps just wide enough for people to slip through,
leaving only their stories behind,
you can’t save her now,
there is nothing left to lose,
here, here, here

Write a short story using only the Chapter Titles in BONE GAP

The People of Bone Gap. No One Is Fine. Just Like The Rest Of Us. Lost The Lamb. The Nightmare Slaughter. Get Real. Run. Jump. Showdown.


OK, I had fun with that, but if that was too weird for you guys, here’s the regular text review:

The girl they loved most – and knew least of all – was gone.

When the beautiful Roza goes missing, the previously sleepy town of Bone Gap is lights up with speculations and half-hearted gossip.  Only Finn witnessed her kidnapping, though he is at a loss in describing her captors.  The town scrutinises him, the boy who was always dismissed as spacey, and questions his involvement.  His brother, Sean, in love with Roza but too cowardly to go after her, having been abandoned once too many times.

The narration mainly follows Finn and Roza in alternate chapter.  We see Finn as he’s navigating life after the kidnap, trying to piece the mystery together despite the mistrust from the people of Bone Gap.  I love the uncertainty that shadows not only the mystery, but also the puzzle that is Finn. While we see things from his perspective, some things do not fit together quite right – though to tell you more would be a terrible spoiler. The reveal is wonderful and completely unexpected, a delightful mixture of both fantasy and real scientific facts.

“Why do you want me?”
“Why? Because you are beautiful.”
“There are a lot of beautiful women”
“You are the most beautiful.”
She didn’t cry. She said, “That’s not who I am.”

Although Finn’s chapters were a joy, I love Roza’s chapters even more.  She is trapped by a madman who’s so terrible, he resembles the monsters of old fairy tales and myths. Why? Because she is beautiful. Her chapter narrates her life, a series of mishaps and gross violations perpetrated by men who views her as an object to be possessed.  Nonetheless, she never loses her determination or her fire. I love Roza’s intense sense of self-identity, despite the labels people have tried putting on her.  I also adored that she never lost her capacity for love or trust, regardless of the hardship and uncomfortable situations she’s had to face. She is a damsel who is capable of saving herself, and would totally bake you a batch of cookies after all of her heroics (if she decides you’re worthy). In short: Roza is freaking awesome!

As much as the people of Bone Gap forgot her name, they wouldn’t stop reminding her of her face.

On the other side of the coin, we have Petey, an equally fascinating and complex female protagonist.  Petey has been told by girls to wear more make up, she’s been told by boys to wear a paper bag, she’s told by her mother that she will eventually find love – despite her appearance.  She’s viewed by Bone Gap as a girl so desperate for love, she would throw herself at any guy thrown her way.  When Finn approaches her and they start an all consuming, passionate, relationship – the commentary from other people are too much to bear:  How could a beautiful boy be with an ugly girl? I love seeing Petey’s strength, but also her insecurities. My heart ached for her, but through it all – she remained a regal queen bee in every sense.

“People look, they don’t see.”

I loved the lyrical prose and the fairy tale like quality of the writing. However, what I loved most of all is the questions that Bone Gap poses.  The ones about our identity VS the way people perceive us. Of the role of women in society, and the beautiful characters who defy the patriarchy.  We are not the sum of our appearances, of what total strangers – or even loved ones- have to say about us. I think everyone will get something different out of Bone Gap, depending on their views on these questions. In any case, if the review has not made it abundantly clear, I recommend this book to EVERYONE. Young, old, male, female, sighted, blind, whatever.  Go read it, you can thank me later!

52 thoughts on “Book Review: Bone Gap

  1. I WANT TO READ THIS SO BAD I CANNOT EVEN RIGHT NOW. It’s the whole weird title and odd premise that totally get me in. And omg your graphic *falls in love*

    Liked by 1 person

    • EEP I AM PLEASED BY THIS. I know you enjoyed The Accident Season, this one has a similar feel 😀 I hope you’ll love it as much I did ❤

      Like

  2. I’ve been eyeing this book for a while now, so now I’ll definitely pick it up! I’m really into feminism books at the moment, so hopefully this won’t disappoint!

    Great review. I especially loved the bits at the start – makes a review so much more original and interesting! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hope you enjoy it 😀 There is definitely a strong element of examining how the world views women! I am so glad you liked the bit at the start!

      Like

  3. WOW THIS SOUNDS AMAZING! I love magical realism and the whole premise of the story sounds really interesting! The lyrical prose that you mentioned makes me think of The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender, which I LOVED. I’m so keen to pick up Bone Gap! Petey and Finn’s relationship also sounds like it’s going to capture my heart (and hopefully not break it).

    Also, I loved your weird review. I had no idea what it meant at first but it all made sense after I read the proper summary. Super clever, Aentee! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • If you like magical realism you NEED this in your life 😀 And omg I have heard so many beautiful things about Ava Lavender. It sounds 100% like my kind of book so I’ll need to read it. There’s much of Finn and Petey to love in Bone Gap!

      Haha I am glad you enjoyed the first bit, as I said on twitter, might have been brought about by too much wine XD

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  4. OMG THESE ARE SUCH COOL WAYS TO REVIEW. Beautifulllll ❤ And it sounds kind of like Paper Towns in how it's about mis-imagining people. Basically, I'm in love and I haven't even read it.

    Also, I concur with Cait. Your graphics are the most gorgeous things in the world. Teach me your waaaaays.

    Liked by 1 person

    • EEEP THANK YOU I am glad you think so :D! You must try reading this book, guaranteed awesome!

      Let me point you in the directions of Freepik and Creative Market, it’s the resources that are beautiful, hardly any effort required on my part 😉

      Like

  5. This review… WAS FLIPPING FANTASTIC! I adored that first part of your review. I didn’t find it to be strange at all, I was so captivated by it!
    And its official. You have convinced me to buy this book. The next time I get paid, this book will be bought. 😆
    Lovely review! 💋

    Liked by 1 person

    • The book is definitely FAR superior to my review, so I hope you’ll check it out! It’s definitely a beautiful, modern fairy tale, so I hope you’ll get a chance to check it out 😀

      Like

  6. Incredible review! I’ve had this one on my TBR pile for some time now – I adore magical realism, so I’m definitely bumping it up the queue. I’m particularly interested in the way the book deals with misogyny, especially women who defy the patriarchy, as you phrased it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah if you love magical realism this one will be up your alley – it has more magic than usual for the genre! It definitely does look at how society view women in a very challenging way.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. AENTEE STOP REMINDING ME OF ALL THE BOOKS I STILL HAVE TO READ ON MY TBR! But seriously most of the books you’ve read are on my TBR. Great minds think alike?
    Awesome review btw! I love the formatting especially the short story part and it makes me want to read the book even more!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think we have established a long time ago that we share FANTASTIC TASTE in everything, Carolyn 😀
      I am so glad you liked the first half of my review, eep ❤

      Like

  8. The only reason I’d skipped out on Bone Gap was because of the cover. Bees honestly scare the heck out of me.

    BUT WOW. How stunning is this book? This story is just streaming with feminism. AND ROZA. DAT BRAVERY THO. It reminds me of Lucy Christopher’s “Stolen” to an extent. Fabulous review, Aentee! 😀

    Like

    • Just get the book and tear off the dustjacket haha. The book is BEAUTIFUL, ROZA IS THE GREATEST. I hope you’ll conquer your fears of bees and check it out!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. This must be the best review I’ve ever seen for this book. I loved the first part of your review, seriously. 🙂 I added this book quite a while ago, and I don’t really know why I haven’t read it! I promise I will soon! (For some reason I thought this was going to be acheesy stoy, but if anything, it just looks like a powerful one)

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s definitely not conventional or cheesy at all! A lot of trope subversions, I adored it and I hope you’ll get a chance to read it! Thanks Vane ❤

      Like

  10. Love this review – so creative and it gets the point across perfectly. I didn’t like this one as much as you (although I blame that on myself since I’m such a logical left-brained person and the whole concept of magical realism just doesn’t click with me), but I can imagine if I was able to click with it I would have loved it. Thanks for sharing this wonderful review! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sorry to hear the book didn’t quite work for you – though I do think magical realism is a genre that either works or doesn’t – there’s no in between haha. Thanks for the lovely comment about my review ❤

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  11. I love the creativity of the review Aentee! You did a good job. I can’t for the life of me come up with poems of any kind. It’s so hard but you made it look so easy.

    Sounds like an interesting book to read. Will add it to my never ending TBR!

    Like

  12. It sounds so dumb to say, but there really is something *magical* about magical realism. Lots of great writers in that sub-genre, too! And clearly Laura Ruby is one of them, if the excerpt about how being beautiful isn’t her identity is any indication. Absolutely gorgeous!

    Like

  13. This is SUCH a great review! I loved your experimentation, it’s so innovative.
    Bone Gap sounds like a great story, I’m putting it on my tbr to be picked up when I’m in the mood for something striking and stunning. 🙂

    Like

  14. Interesting. For some reason, I thought this book was about bees. Now that I think about it, I think I’m getting it mixed up with another book. I wouldn’t have guessed this was what the book was like from just the cover. It sounds like they used some symbolism from the book for it though, so that’s pretty cool. Great review and it does look like you had a lot of fun writing it!

    Like

  15. Firstly, I LOVE your review (especially the quirky bits). Secondly, this sounds AMAZING. I’ve only read rave reviews for this and reading thoughts makes me want to read it all the more. From the quotes above, the writing is exquisite. This looks like such a different, original book and like something I’d love 🙂

    Like

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