Friday, April 29, 2016

Bone Gap, by Laura Ruby

Bone Gap by Laura Ruby contemporary fiction novel that takes place in the Midwestern town of Bone Gap, Illinois. Seemingly, this town doesn’t look like it's different from other rural towns with its crops, livestock, and variety of oddball inhabitants. However, there are mysterious happenings and gateways in Bone Gap, some of which citizens might know about and some they can merely sense. One day, a beautiful girl with an unusual past shows up injured and shaken in the barn of the O'Sullivan boys, Sean and Finn. 

They find Roza and let her stay in their guesthouse. Over the entire year that she is there, she becomes a very involved member of their household and the community. One day Roza disappears, and Finn believes he saw her get kidnapped. No one in town is believing him. The town's reaction speaks volumes about their past losses and disappointments. Finn and Sean, for instance, were abandoned by their mother as children and had to find a way to take care of themselves. This makes them question if Roza was just another person they trusted and opened up to who ended up walking out on them? Even so, Finn refuses to believe she left the town by choice. His journey to solve her disappearance includes romance with a beekeeper, suffering at the hands of bullies, fights with his brother, and even a majestic horse that shows up at the farm one night. The beautifully written tale blends relatable characters, adventure, and even a bit of magical realism into one story. 

All the characters in Bone Gap, including the minor ones, are well drawn and interesting. The author, Laura Ruby, is extremely descriptive and does a great job of creating unusual individuals who feel like real people. And the lives of these characters and pasts are able to strike a strong emotional chord in the reader. Although the book develops slowly, it is not in a bad way. Ruby takes her time developing all the characters and the various romantic and adventurous storylines, with the point of view switching between Finn and Roza. In the novel, the action doesn't fully kick in until halfway through the the book so Bone Gap might not appeal to less patient readers. However, I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is willing to wait a bit to get into the action of the novel, because in the long run, I believe it was definitely worth the wait. The book's major themes are love and loss: the story makes you question what is the difference between real love and obsession or between love and possession? The reader is also left to wonder about when someone leaves you, is there something wrong with you or with the other person? The analyzing of how different people are able to cope with love and loss, including romance, family, and friendship, is the best part of Bone Gap.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Tonight the Streets are Ours, by Leila Sales

The novel Tonight the Streets Are Ours, by Leila Sales is a mix of romance, mystery and wild adventure. It also shows a strong bond between 2 teenage girls. In the beginning if the book two girls named Arden Huntley and Lindsey Matson are fighting at a party. Hours earlier they took a road trip all the way to new york city from Maryland. Arden wanted to track this blogger who shares a similar life to her, so she took her car which she named “heart of gold” and sped off. During that day was arden and her boyfriends’ first year anniversary. 

To make it very special she saved up enough money to rent a room in a hotel and made brownies. While she was waiting for chris, her boyfriend, to get there she got a call from him saying that he can’t come because he got a part in a very important play and had to be there for a meeting. Arden was disappointed that he would go to a meeting instead of spending time with her on their anniversary. After that, she called her best friend to tell her what happened and that they are going to new york city. During the road trip, Lindsey finds the blogger, his name is peter and he works at a bookstore. While they were still driving their car broke down, but fortunately after they waited for it too cool down a bit, it started again. 

When they arrive they find Peter at the bookstore and Arden starts to talk to him. after they walk around New York City Peter takes them out to dinner. During dinner, Peter and Arden talk engage in conversation about his blog until he gets a call about a party at Jigsaw Manor. He invites them to go and they agree. Once they arrive, Arden and Lindsey part ways. Arden and Peter have fun and go on the rooftop and talk more until word is spread that leo is also at the party. According to Peter’s blog, Leo was his ex-girlfriend’s ex- boyfriend so they try to find Lindsey so they can get out as quickly as possible, but Lindsey is having fun with other people and she doesn’t want to leave. They get into an argument about how Arden is the person who always saves everyone and how Lindsay is hopeless without her. Then Arden says that Lindsey can find her own way home if she doesn’t want her help and storms off with peter. 

 In the novel, the chapters go back into the future, before everything happened. Arden attends Allegany High School and was doing her work in spanish class until she was called to the principle’s office. While she waits in the office she texts Lindsey to tell her. Lindsey replies with worry and Arden is confused. When the principle calls her in he tells her that they found a bag of drugs in her locker. Arden realizes what Lindsey’s text meant because lindsay and Arden share lockers so they wouldn’t be late to their classes. She is told to wait after school so the principle, her father and her can talk about the situation. After school Lindsey drops in to apologise. Arden says she will be ok and takes the blame for it because the punishment for having drugs in school is that you can no longer play in-school sports, and lindsey is on the track team. When her father comes in at 6pm, he tries to make sure that lindsey’s transcript is clean but that won’t be possible because of the “0 tolerance”. Ardens father also explains that the recent behavior is probably caused by the absence of her mother, which happened a month ago. Arden has a flashback where she is a little girl and is was walking in her private woods in her backyard until one day she finds another girl standing near her. She tells the other girl that it’s her property but she doesn’t seem to mind because “There are plenty of woods to go around”. The girl introduces herself as Lindsey and tells her that they just moved here from a farm. Arden Likes farms so Lindsey tells her that they had horses on it. Arden asks what will do in the summer, and Lindsey tells they have to save up money for her dad because he has cancer. That night Arden felt bad for Lindsay and told her parents that she wanted to give her family the disney trip to her, and her parents agree. After her flashback, arden asks chris if he would like to go to matt washington’s party with her. since chris is not friends with matt and does not want to be, he refuses and tells her that he will spend his friday night with the theatre club. Every friday night chris and arden spend time with the theatre group, playing board games and watching movies. a few days later, the road trip and the argument happened. after the argument arden and peter find her car. They find Ardens car it breaks down for good and doesn’t work. Arden gets really frustrated and kicks her car. Peter solves the problem and hails a limousine, since he is rich. Arden is clueless where they are going and Peter won’t tell until she sees for herself. After the limo drops them off somewhere they begin to walk and talk about Peter’s ex-girlfriend, Bianca. Peter doesn’t understand why she left her. Arden notices that they are walking to a large cube. Peter tells the people that are sitting under the cube to move, then instructs her to push on the corners until the cube starts to move and Arden lifts her feet so she can feel like she is flying. When the cube stops arden asks peter if she can take her to a secret location to. They walk for an hour or so until the end up at a doll store and points at a doll that looks like her. She shows peter but he looks at the reflection of the glass and agrees that it it is her, he is a little bit drunk. 

Then she realizes that the doll was just a doll and it is just an inanimate object. It was getting pretty late so they end up going into his apartment to sleep. When she wakes up in the morning, Peter is not there and meets bianca, who is mad at her for “hooking up” with peter just 4 days after bianca and him broke up. Arden politely explains that she is not from new york and she just met him last night. She had no place to stay so Peter offered her his apartment. Then Bianca apologises for not hearing her out and offers to take her out to brunch. Arden tells bianca that she is a fan of Peter’s blog and she tells him that he has been lying the whole time. Bianca tells Arden that Leo is Peter’s adoptive brother so that’s why she broke up with him. She explained that she felt guilty when she broke up with Leo to be with Peter. After the brunch, Bianca said her goodbyes and headed off somewhere. Arden realizes that she has one more place to go to- her mom’s apartment. She remembers the address her mom put in a letter. Since she has no money and a dead phone, she walks all the way to her apartment. When her mom opens the door she hugs her daughter. Arden explains why she is in New York and explains what happened in the past 24 hours. Ardens mom explains why she leaves. After that they go and find Ardens car. As Arden and her mom are walking, she notices peter. She walks to him and explains that she knows that his blog was a lie. He said that it is his life and he can do whatever he wants with it. They say their last goodbyes and Arden walks back to her mother. Surprisingly, Lindsey is laying on the hood of the car. When Arden sees this, she races to hug Lindsey and apologizes for what she has said. Lindsey said that she called a mechanic to fix her car. Arden says goodbye to her mother and Lindsay and Arden drive off to maryland. I really liked this novel because it shows who you are to different people. I would recommend this to my friends because it was very interesting and kept me reading until I finished.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Swagger by, Carl Deuker

Swagger is a book written by Carl Deuker in which Jonas Dolan is the point guard for the Redwood High basketball team, and his coach thinks he can get a legitimate scholarship for college. But right when he gets a shot at it, he must move to Seattle and start all over because his father lost his job and got a new one there. He has a good shot at the scholarship except for one thing: his grades. Once Jonas moves, in his new neighborhood he makes a new friend named Levi. 

They play at Green Lake Community Center over the summer with a couple other kids that are on the Harding High basketball team with Levi. They meet a pretty interesting person at the center. Jonas' grades were getting better as well as his chances as a player in the team. He has gotten the backup role and is working up to a starter. Coach Knecht’s view point is very different from Jonas’ so he doesn’t get much playing time and this hurts his scholarship chances. 

 When their coach gets hurt, he is replaced by a familiar face and Jonas' chances rise rapidly as this new coach likes to fast (unlike Coach Knecht) and Jonas was the man for the job. Another problem is born when Levi begins having problems with his grades and is threatened to be taken of the team, but the new coach comes into help by tutoring him. During the playoff push, Levi admits a secret to Jonas. Jonas must choose between telling someone for the better and keeping shut for his friend. This is a nice book and was very interesting. I would recommend this book because it is not extremely hard to read and is very enjoyable. If you a sports person or someone who likes reading regardless, this is a good book for you!