Parents' Guide to

Bone Gap

By Mary Cosola, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Beautiful tale of missing girl explores magic, love, loss.

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What you will—and won't—find in this book.

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Kids say (5):

This beautifully written tale blends adventure, character study, and a touch of magical realism. All the characters in BONE GAP, including the minor ones, are well drawn and interesting. Author Laura Ruby does an excellent job of creating unusual individuals who feel like real people, and their lives and pasts strike a strong emotional chord. The book is slow to develop but not necessarily in a bad way. Ruby takes her time with the characters and the various romantic and adventurous story lines, and the narrative switches between Finn's and Roza's points of view. Because the action doesn't kick into gear until about halfway through the book, Bone Gap might not appeal to younger or less patient readers. The book's overarching themes are love and loss: What is the difference between real love and obsession or between love and possession? When someone leaves you, is there something wrong with you or with the other person? The examination of the different ways people cope with all kinds of love and abandonment -- including romance, family, and friendship -- is the best part of Bone Gap.

The story's magical realism elements draw on Greek mythology, and even though the fantasy elements are interesting, they could have been more integrated into the main story. These scenes felt too far apart from the rest of the "real" world in the book, and the story would have benefited from more information on how or why Bone Gap is an entryway to that mystical world and more explanation of the nameless bad guy's motives and who he is. He clearly is a metaphor for all the wrong ways to love a person, but more on how he came to be obsessed and how he has the powers he does would have helped the story enormously. The book examines the way we internalize our own problems and disappointments, and the biggest message is that love can take many forms.

Book Details

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