by Laura Ruby
Young adult, magical realism
Printz Book Award Winner, 2016
National Book Award, 2015
5 out of 5 stars
This book is amazing — the writing is high-quality, with incredibly imagery and symbolism, and the story itself is unique and original. The cover describes the book as magical realism, which is true, but it is also a story about family, real love, and seeing people for who they are, while including mystery, and a little something that would be Stephen King-ish.
The main character is Finn, a young man who lives with his brother after his mother left the boys behind to follow a new boyfriend. A mysterious woman named Roza appears in their barn one day, and transforms the boys’ lives with her love and ability to grow things, making their lives grow. One day Roza disappears, as suddenly and mysteriously as she had appeared, and Finn is the only one who saw it happen. However, no one believes him because something stops him from being able to fully describe the events he witnessed. The novel is told in alternating points of view featuring Finn, Roza, and Petey, Finn’s love interest, and tracks the journey to find themselves while trying to find Roza.
There is so much else that I could add about this novel, because it is so rich and full of meaning. Alternate worlds, mysterious men who can transform the setting and seem to float, bees are featured on the cover, and appear in the story, but they aren’t a huge part of the plot. So what do they mean? If you want to read an engaging novel, with unique, well-developed characters, then Bone Gap is for you!
Marketed as a young adult novel, the book does feature high school aged characters, but adults will easily enjoy this amazing and rich book.