I won this book in a Twitter giveaway and wow am I glad I did! Bone Gap was such an odd adventure, but a totally wonderful one too! There’s masses of magic & mystery buried in this book; but none of it is too in your face & I personally loved this style of fantasy writing.
This wonderful story also teaches some wonderfully important lessons as well, & these lessons have been presented in a perfect form; they left me feeling very emotional & I’m very grateful to Laura for including such themes & addressing them in such a considerate way.
This review contains some spoilers.
Bone Gap is, in part, a story about a girl who goes missing & the devastation that is left behind in the town of Bone Gap because of it; but it’s also a story that teaches some very important lessons… one of the quotes on the cover calls it a fable, & I completely understand why it has been named such.
Bone Gap is a small town in which everyone knows each other; everyone in the town knows everyone’s business & not much goes on without the town knowing about it. Finn is a teenage boy who is at that awkward stage of teenage life where he’s not quite sure who he is – he’s just starting to develop romantic & sexual feelings, but he also gets bullied & he’s just starting to realise that maybe he should stand up for himself more.
From the first few chapters we start to learn that Finn is different, & the townsfolk aren’t afraid to make sure he knows this; as a reader I found myself really wanting to know more about Finn so I could understand him & his struggles better. As I read further & further into the story I became very attached to him & his troubles, & so when we are finally told what it is that’s different about Finn… well, it really is quite emotional.
I contacted Laura directly to tell her how much I appreciated her including this aspect of the story – Finn’s difficulties aren’t the center of the main plot, but they do affect it in a very natural way & although Finn isn’t necessarily disabled, my disabled heart was very touched by how delicately & carefully Laura had written the passages of text that focus on Finn’s issues. As I’ve said, Finn isn’t necessarily disabled, but authors who want to include disabled or different characters in their stories should read this book in order to get a better idea of how to do it right.
There may be some readers that see the unveiling of Finn’s difficulties as a plot twist, which a lot of people won’t agree is appropriate, but there are a couple of reasons why I didn’t judge it to be this way; Finn’s difficulties are never hidden from the reader, the signs & symptoms are there from the very first few pages & we also get to read about what the rest of Bone Gap think about Finn & his “strange” ways. The unveiling also isn’t sudden & doesn’t hit you like a brick wall – there is a delicate build-up to it & the character that helps Finn to realise why he’s different does it in a loving & caring way. Finally, Finn’s differences aren’t portrayed as bad, despite how the townsfolk talk about him, the author makes it clear that they are just a part of who Finn is. All of these points meant that, for me, Laura handled this idea very well & I am in awe of how well she wrote it – I’m very grateful to her for it.
This isn’t the only lesson that can be learnt from this book though – the man who takes Roza does so because of her beauty; he wants her to love him because she is beautiful – & this of course doesn’t go to plan. This part of the book has some very creepy & skin-crawling moments within it, but it’s also really captivating & I found myself totally enthralled in this part of the plot. This is the part of the book where magic is most obvious, but there’s still an air of mystery around it, despite how prominent it is.
The final main part of the plot is the relationship that Finn starts to develop with a girl within the town – these scenes were very sweet & cute, but Laura also managed to capture what it really is like to be a teenager. The attitudes of all the teens in this book were spot on & none of it felt overdone or badly done. Petey, Finn’s love interest, and her mum interact so wonderfully & their relationship felt very realistic to me – Petey was also bloody fantastic. Petey & Finn have a very intimate relationship & it becomes obvious very quickly that they really care for each other – sometimes I think romance sub-plots can ruin a book, but this relationship enhanced the story.
If you couldn’t already tell, I really loved this book – it was totally gripping & the characters were all written very well. All the different aspects of the plot were done wonderfully & all fit together very snugly. I’m definitely going to be reading more of Laura’s books!