Bone Gap review || *squints* what is this??

Author: Laura Ruby Date Published: March 3rd, 2015 Genre: young adult, fantasy, magical realism, mystery, contemporary, romance ...




Author: Laura Ruby
Date Published: March 3rd, 2015
Genre: young adult, fantasy, magical realism, mystery, contemporary, romance
Pages: 378

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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.

REVIEW

When I decided to read this book, I must admit that I had some expectations built on half glanced at information. I was under the impression that this would be an old timey western, like Vengeance Road or Walk On Earth A Stranger. At the very least, I was expecting Cowboys vs Aliens. And lots of bees. I love bees. Then, on top of my plot expectations, there was quality expectations- I had glanced through the numerical ratings and reviews of my goodreads friends. There were a lot of 5 stars and bold screeches of how GREAT the story was. So that was my overall impression- epic western I would absolutely LOVE.

I WAS SORELY MISTAKEN
It's a modern contemporary fantasy magical realism mystery romance.



WHAT I LIKED:

  • Roza. She's a polish sweetheart who just loves to garden and cook, and if she thinks you're an idiot boy, she'll tell you.
  • Petey's mom. She was a darling beautiful bee keeper and totally cool with however her daughter lives her life. Her daughter wasn't cool with how cool her mom was, and those situations cracked me up.
  • That dog who slept in the middle of the lane. He just laid in the middle of the road, not caring if cars swerved around him or ran him over. He wasn't going to budge. He's the real hero of the story- truly fearless. Or so bored with the town he's willing to chance death. Idk which one.
  • Charlie Valentine looks like Gandalf in an old grimy rock t-shirt.
  • Bees. Loads and loads of Petey and her mother's bees. And honey.

WHAT I HATED:
The book has a lazy summer vibe, and it totally reflects the story. And it's also titled Bone Gap, and there are definitely gaps in the story. I can appreciate these elements, and what the author was trying to do, but in my opinion it didn't work at all. And here are my reasons for disliking this story so much-

Pacing:
Like I said, the book moves slow. About 6/7ths of the book keeps with that lazy summer feel, and then things speed up in the end to wrap up the story. I feel like most of this book could have been cut or scrapped, and the ending should have been lengthened to make it a more interesting read.

The story is paced in such a way that it gives the reader gaps in their knowledge on who the characters are. You think the story is one way, but it's actually another. It's unreliable, which some people enjoy, but for me, I think the story withheld too much information. With so much held back and kept from me, I wasn't able to care for the characters. 

For too large of a portion of the story, I didn't know who Roza was. I knew she was kidnapped, and taken from the brothers, but I didn't know what her relationship to them was. Was she a beloved housekeeper, aunt, sister, family friend, girlfriend? I didn't know, and therefore I didn't care when Finn mourned her absence (this was resolved eventually though, so I did start to care about her later on). All of the pieces of the puzzle come together too late in the story for me.

As is, the most compelling aspect of this story was searching for the moment that everybody thought was brilliant. If I hadn't of been waiting for that moment, if I didn't have expectations, the pacing of this story would have had me quitting the book a few chapters in.


Characters:
I didn't really like any of them. At all. Some of this was my own personal problem (Like I literally could not give less of a crap about Finn. I'm convinced it's just because of the mood I was in, but he was the most boring Main Character I've ever encountered), and some of this is due to the fact that the characters were just bleh. The Bone Gap secondary characters seemed so typical, and like paper cut outs of each other. The main characters biggest interests were college essay questions. I don't know if Finn's bullies- The Rude Boys- were supposed to be taken seriously or not, but I just found them comical. They weren't mean. They were annoying. They said things like, "I wouldn't go out with you! YOU LOOK LIKE A BUG!" Cue the buzz cut hick's giggling. Cue me rolling my eyes.

The stories I most wanted to hear were Petey's and Charlie Valentine's, and even more of Roza's. But the thing is, there were so many stories packed into a slow plot that it ...I don't know how to word this... it's like the characters were so half baked, that they weren't worth caring for, but I knew with a little more time and dedication that they could have been wonderful stories all on their own. They had potential and weren't given the space or spot light long enough to make me deeply care for them. 

They were all jammed into one story, and had their stories dumped on the reader. Like with Petey, she's the girl with the rockin bod and ugly face that will go down on any guy who thinks she's pretty. I've heard this story before, and it's an interesting one, but right here and right now why should I care about PETEY'S version of it?


Plot:
With as many gaps as there were in this story, I found it incredibly predictable. I figured out who Roza's kidnapper was well before it was revealed. And I found the plot unenjoyable because even the romance was delivered awkwardly. It's not insta-love or a slow burn romance. It was like a slow burn romance presented to the reader as insta-love because we didn't have a chance to read their pre-existing history (hope that make sense). Don't get me wrong, it was a good romance. I just felt detached from it.

There was too much going on in one story. Too many themes, too many stories, too many characters, which lead to info dumps and boring plot in the middle. It was too much and too boring. Just look at how many genre's it covers- fantasy, magical realism, mystery, contemporary, romance.

IT WAS LIKE READING ALL OF THESE MOVIES INFUSED INTO ONE STORY 

sadly, there are no bee assassins in this book *weeps*

Other:
These characters react poorly to things. And by poorly, I mean not at all. Finn gets trampled and dragged down a highway and he's like, "I'll walk it off. I should be dead but absolutely no big deal." They fly on a horse and see all these trippy, impossible things, and hardly react to it. It's the first time they ever see anything like this, anything magical, and Finn is just like, "Hm. Strange." He barely even notes it!

And I was left with some remaining questions. Like, Who is the bad guy? I mean, I know what vessel he was, and his symbol (I guess that's what you'd call it) But ultimately what was he? What did he represent? I feel like he just came out of nowhere. And this story is a partial retelling, so what story is it retelling? AND WHERE DID THAT HORSE COME FROM? WAS IT JUST SOME COSMIC GIFT? This book had me slugging through 6/7 of it, and then it decides to quickly wrap everything up with all the speed of a road runner on roller skates. I'm thoroughly displeased. 

I think this book is worth checking out. I might have just been in a funk while reading the story. To anyone who loved this book: I'm not judging you. I think I disliked this book because I was confused and disappointed. 

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2 comments

  1. Brilliant review and I agree with you a 1000%. Finn is boring, the story and plot wasn't all that interesting and simply put I rather hated the book. Took me forever to read. Maybe if the book didn't have so many gaps and your questions were answered this book would be way better. Plus I think the characters needed more development.

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    Replies
    1. same here. I think the concept was really cool, and everything had potential, but just the execution could have been better. I needed less of the beginning and more of the end.

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