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review 2017-05-29 05:47
Bone Gap by Laura Ruby
Bone Gap - Laura Ruby

A couple of years back, I heard how unique and amazing Bone Gap was from a number of sources. I have always kept my eyes open to it and I always told myself that I should read it at some point. Well, as it always seems to happen, years went by and I still haven't read Bone Gap. Until now. And was a fantastically bizarre little book it was!

 

I want to start off by saying that if you want to hear this book then DON'T READ THE SYNOPSIS ON THE INSIDE FLAP OF THIS BOOK. In fact, don't read the synopsis anywhere. I read it and it gives away a major plot point of the book in the synopsis. You actually don't find out about this plot point until almost then end of the book... and any synopsis you read about this book gives it away from the very beginning. I hate when publishers do that. Yeah, you can still enjoy the book even if you know it... but I, personally, feel that knowing cheapens the book a bit. I still really enjoy this book and recommend reading it even if you do know the "plot point," but try to avoid finding out anything about this book at all costs.

 

I don't even want to tell you anything about this book because I feel like it's best going into this book blind. I will say that Laura Ruby has a beautifully writing style and world building. She blends the real world with the fantastical effortlessly and has you questioning your own sanity whilst doing it. It's been a long time where I felt my mind was being messed with so badly I had to really slow down and analyze what was real and what was not within this world. But at the same time I could not put this book down. I wanted to understand this world. I wanted to know what was happening with the characters. I wanted to know everything! Laura Ruby did a great job in writing this book and I cannot wait to read more of her work.

 

And that's all I will say about this book. The characters are really well-developed, the plot is engaging, the writing is gorgeous, and I want more! Please read this book. If you like magical realism, fantasy, contemporary, beautiful writing, and complex characters, then give this a read. There's bullying, violence, sexual assault, and swearing so keep that in mind when picking this up. Otherwise, the only other warning I have to reiterate is to not read any synopsis about it if you want to know as little about this book going in. Other than that, I hope you enjoy reading this book!

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review 2017-03-29 00:00
York: The Shadow Cipher
York: The Shadow Cipher - Laura Ruby,Dave Stevenson Tess and Theo live in a Morningstar Building in New York City. The Morningstar Twins came to New York in the late 18th century, revolutionized the city with their innovative buildings and technology, and vanished, leaving behind a trail of clues to inherit their secrets.

150 years later no one has yet to successfully solve the puzzle the Morningstars left behind. While many things are different about this New York City, but real estate is still a cutthroat business. Tess and Theo are twins who are lucky enough to live in one of the original Morningstar buildings, the apartment being passed down through their family. Unfortunately the building has attracted the attention of a ruthless developer who has the means to buy the building and for out Tess and Theo and all of their neighbors. Feeling that their only hope is to follow the clues and solve the mystery, the twins team up with their new friend and neighbor Jaime Cruz. Astonishingly they stumble upon a lead. Is it too good to be true, and is the price of solving the Morningstar's puzzle worth the reward?

This was a lot of fun to read and its clear Ruby is planning on a long game with this series, laying out a lot of crumbs to entice future readers. I was disappointed in the small number of puzzles and opportunities to get involved in the game. Still, an entertaining read and decent character development for this level. I'll keep my eyes peeled for the sequel!
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review 2017-02-22 22:50
Bone Gap by Laura Ruby
Bone Gap - Laura Ruby

This is a fabulous book. It seems to be marketed as Magical Realism, but I think it slips over the boundary into Fantasy, and if that borderland is a place you like to hang out in, as I do, then this is perfect.

 

The heart of the tale is about belonging and about being an outsider, and how you can sometimes be both at once.

 

It's got a beautifully drawn relationship between two brothers, one who gave up all his dreams to care for the other when their feckless mother took off for a new boyfriend in Oregon, and the other who can't seem to quite fit in with anyone at all, including the big brother he idolises.

 

There's a scary villain (who maybe isn't evil, although certainly bad) and a beautiful maiden (who isn't entirely a passive damsel in distress waiting to be saved), and beasts and a horse who is a literal night mare, but not a nightmare.

 

The writing is lyrical, but not dense, in fact it's eminently readable. Although it took me 2 months to get around to writing the review about it, it's easy as pie to write because the book has stuck with me, and in fact writing this has made me want to go read it again. And I read it in a day the first time!

 

No book is perfect, and there are flaws. They don't matter. For instance, one of the characters is from Poland, and the Poland of the book may have been the Poland of the 1940's, but almost hilariously isn't the modern technologically up to date country of modern times. It jars, a little... but then it doesn't matter, because it's entirely beside the point and the plot.

 

I don't read YA as a rule, but I'm very very glad I read this one.

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text 2016-08-21 21:09
JOINT POST: OBP & MR talk Magical Realism
Beloved - Toni Morrison
The Peach Keeper - Sarah Addison Allen
The Ocean at the End of the Lane: A Novel - Neil Gaiman
Bone Gap - Laura Ruby

Obsidian Black Plague & I decided it would be fun to do some joint posts to discuss what we plan to read for Halloween Bingo, as well as some suggestions for the players! Feel free to add your .02 cents to the comments!

 

First up - magical realism

 

Obsidian Black Plague

 

So I think at this point most Booklikers know that I love magical realism. Maybe because authors who write in this genre take our real world and inserts fantastic or mythical elements into an otherwise fictional book. I think personally that is a pretty tricky genre to write in. You have to do a careful balancing act of not only keeping your story going, but incorporate these elements and still have the story feel real to the reader.

That can mean you have a heroine who not only is a wonderful baker, but she can also in her own way show what she is feeling that affects everyone else around her (Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen) or you have a former slave and her daughter who live in a haunted house believed to be possessed by the woman's daughter (Beloved by Toni Morrison).

Here are three books that I think fit the Magical Realism square that I have actually read and enjoyed:

1. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
2. Beloved by Toni Morrison
3. Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman (which can actually fit a lot of other squares for the bingo as well).

Now for those readers and bingo players who want some magical realism with a side of horror, here are three books for you to look into:

1. The Wicker Man by Robin Hardy
2. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
3. The Green Mile by Stephen King

 

Moonlight Reader

 

I agree with everything that OBP said above! I also love magical realism, and am always looking for new authors. My first foray into magical realism was through the Latin American tradition, including authors Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Laura Esquivel and Isabel Allende. I've also read and enjoyed by Sarah Allen Addison and Alice Hoffman. You can't go wrong with any of those authors, but I particularly recommend:

 

1. The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende

2. Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel

3. Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen

 

Warning on those last two - do not read on an empty stomach.

 

There is also an emerging contingent of YA authors writing wonderful magical realism, including three books that I have recently loved:

 

1. The Accident Season by Moira Fowley-Doyle

2. Bone Gap by Laura Ruby

3. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

 

All six of the books that I've listed are, interestingly, by women authors. I'm sure that there are men (besides Neil Gaiman) out there who are writing magical realism, but aside from Mark Helprin, whose Winter's Tale clocks in at almost 800 pages, I couldn't think of any!

 

As for what I will be reading, this is a tough one for me! I am leaning towards The Peach Keeper, by Sarah Addison Allen, which I've been waiting to read for a long time! But, I'm a mood reader, so that could change before I get to the point of actually reading!

 

Next up: Supernatural!

 

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review 2016-08-19 00:00
Bone Gap
Bone Gap - Laura Ruby 2.75 stars

I had some difficulty figuring out what was going on with this book. I like the characters, but I'm not sure if the story was suppose to be completely realistic or what really happened at the end. When his issue with recognition was revealed it was really interesting to me, and really a lot of it was interesting to me. I was left feeling confused after reading it though.
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