Book Review: Bone Gap

Before I start, I just wanted to say that I acknowledge that it's been a long time since I've written a book review. The truth is, I've had to step back in the past six months and reevaluate why I was reading, why I was doing book reviews, and why I was choosing the books I did. I've decided I want to write book reviews on books I enjoy because I want to write book reviews on books I enjoy, and for no other reason than that. Thank you for being patient with me<3

Summary: Bone Gap by Laura Ruby is a contemporary fantasy mixed with realistic fiction, that artfully combines elements of mythology with the trudge of daily life and themes of love and loss. It uses multiple character perspectives to explore these concepts. Finn and Sean live together in Bone Gap, abandoned by everyone and more alone than not. Roza has been abducted by a strange man and is trapped within his hell disguised as heaven. And no matter how many times Finn tries to describe to the people of Bone Gap her kidnapping, nobody believes him. From magical horses and bee-eyed girls, Finn tries to sort out the truth from the myth, and endlessly searches for his missing friend.

I started this book hesitantly, the style felt unfamiliar and awkward for the first few chapters, the characters were confusing, and the plot impossible to follow. I thought about putting it down, but I decided to give it one last chance.

And I'm so glad I did.

This book, once it got into its' rhythm, was amazingly written and so delicately and artistically dealt with complex concepts. I was amazed, by the end, by the way the author had basically defined love and at the same time left it open for reader interpretation. The themes this book expressed were profound, and I appreciated the fact that if focused on many emotional aspects of life, instead of just one static issue. It allowed the characters to be whole people, instead of defined by a trait or feeling. I also loved the style of this book, and the way it was written. There were so many good metaphors and similes in this book, and excellent comparisons. The writing style was so freshly unique and beautiful, I couldn't get enough of it.

I loved the characters in this book. Basically all of them. I enjoyed reading from every point of view, and that's saying something.

Another favorite aspect of this book was how it combined mythos and reality, without defining anything as mythology. Other nerds like myself may have recognized the Fields of Asphodel and the allusions to the myth of Persephone and Hades. But it was never explicitly stated, just carefully woven into the story. It was excellent. I also loved how myths were, before that, constantly mentioned, but only in a background way, like a books on a shelf in Petey's room. Other themes and symbols were threaded throughout as well, the most obvious being corn and bees. It gave the book a strong aesthetic and sense of personality, that keeps it differentiated from other books in your mind.

Finally, I loved the exploration of relationships throughout this book- relationship between brothers, lovers, bullies, dogs, cats, plants, nature, town, etc. Also the way it dealt with beauty- as an appearance and as a true expression of a person.

My only drawback to this book was that I felt the ending was rushed, and not all of the plot was closed. Some things in the ending still didn't quite add up, and I found myself feeling like it was too easy.

Overall, I thought this book excellent, and highly recommend picking it up. What did you think of it? Did you pick up all the subtle themes threaded throughout? Comment below <3

Pleasant Land // Psalm 16

dedicated to my trailhead family. I love you all. you grow flowers in my heart, and this poem will forever be written for you. <3

Crumpled leaves
People bind their books in gold thread
Or wrap them in grocery paper bag
Either way
Words on my cheeks
He writes them in day-old tears and copic marker
I hear acoustic guitar somewhere behind the library’s cold walls, whispering Psalms, the distant sound of my tired, heavy feet crunching over that hot concrete months ago
Where were you in the crisis?
I say
Clinging to tree branches, poetry, song lyrics, flower petals, blue skies, bus stops, and most of all
To refuge
And now
I am in the blessing
For honey is on my tongue and I wake up with it dripped all over the screen of my phone
Ripe apples
Bright red
And heartbeats
I am in the blessing but I hear the shadows behind me, whispering
“Three leaved clovers mean nothing”
They grab at my heels
And bite my neck as I shake in bed
Quietly terrified
I say to them
Lips trembling
“I am in the blessing”
“This land is pleasant”
They hiss in reply
“Blessings are a lie and pleasantries a falsehood”
“All flowers die eventually”
I crouch on the dirt floor
Dead oak leaves scattered around me
And ask my Father
When the demons learned to imitate His voice
He replies
“they are the deceiver but I am the Truth”
He carries me
Dried out
To a cool room made of stone
With stained glass windows letting in murmurs of gentle sunlight
He carries me there and places me on a bed of white
And helps my dead body learn
To rest
And grow lilies out of my ribcage
I’m so shaky
In my prayers I scream frantic apologies for crumbling bone and unsteady fingers on piano keys
And a loss of trust that means a loss of hope
I’m terrified because somehow I’ve lost the puzzle pieces to the space under the couch and pictures don’t make sense anymore
Screaming screaming screaming
To blurry windows and cracked mirrors
Somewhere above my hurricane
The sky
Blinding Light
He Says
And I am
I am
I Am
And I drown in tears and grace because
My poetry
Never ends
But neither does
His unfailing love