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What Hooked Me: Bone Gap by Laura Ruby

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Megan: So, Lauren Ruby has written this incredibly complex, lovely, funny book that takes place far from more popular settings. (OMG, if one more YA novel is set in the Northeast, I’m going to blow a gasket…there are other locales, people! Not that I mind these novels–in fact, I have some favorites set in NYC and New England–but…). Anyway, I think what I loved about this book, even more than the beautifully constructed writing, was the weaving together of the farm town location, with the sprinkling in of the international. What do I mean by that? Well, I’ve been to Poland. Actually, I am Polish. And I think it was so incredibly clever to make the beautiful girl a foreigner in this story. The culture barrier was perfectly imperfect, and I wish more authors would be comfortable with a more global approach, because I think teens (and yes, us grownups) can really benefit from trying to look at our world through the eyes of those who grow up in a different cultural experience. So I loved the Polish aspect, as much as I loved the corn being a character. It just struck the right balance between what we think we know, and what we don’t.

John: Bone Gap is labeled as magical realism, and one thing that really wowed me was the magically real dialogue. The banner is quick and witty and often makes wonderful use of brevity. In WWAT crew discussions, we decided that some of the instances actually could have used more dialogue tags (he said/she said) or descriptive tags (an action that lets the reader know who is speaking. But for me, I really got caught up in the speed at which the back and forth takes place. Ruby does a wonderful job of making sure that each of the characters has a unique personality expressed through the way he or she speaks. Characters sounding too similar is an issue that’s often commented on in Amazon or Goodreads reviews, so it’s wonderful to see an actual text-study in how to do it right. Bravo Ms. Ruby!

Jess: I was hooked by Bone Gap’s imagery. The magic of this story is in Laura Ruby’s words. Using her magic wand (keyboard), potions (personification), and elixirs (metaphors), she magnified her setting and charmed the mundane.

Reader beware, you will be enchanted and unable to observe bees, corn, or love the same way. The pages were filled more so with the real seen in new light, than fantasy. It was the imagery that maintained believability and inspired hope. As a reader I fell in love with the possibility of the ordinary. I had moments where I wished it was contemporary just to make it more plausible. But that won’t stop me from pausing, allowing my senses to take in the natural world, and hoping to find the same brilliance of the bees that Laura Ruby captured.  

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