First, this book gets bonus points for referencing Blankets, which is a beautiful graphic novel that everyone needs to read. Seriously, I love that book.
Okay, in this book, Finn lives with his older brother, Sean, and Sean’s girlfriend, Roza in a rural town called Bone Gap. When Roza goes missing, everyone assumes that she left town just as mysteriously as she arrived. Only Finn knows that Roza didn’t leave willingly. He saw a strange man force her into a car, but Finn is unable to give a good description of the man. Finn has always been a little strange, so the townspeople think he is lying about the kidnapping.
I love the main characters. This book doesn’t have an action-packed plot, but I never got bored because I was so invested in the characters. Finn is a sweet boy who doesn’t quite fit in. He has a hard time relating to people. He rarely makes eye contact with anyone, and he always seems a little “spacy.” This book has multiple perspectives, and Finn’s is my favorite. I like the unusual way he looks at the world.
Roza is another wonderful character. She’s a Polish immigrant who’s on the run from a mysterious stranger. The reader gets to see parts of her life in Poland and parts of her life after she’s kidnapped. Her chapters are slightly confusing, but they’re confusing in an intriguing way.
Sean is my second-favorite character (after Finn). I feel bad for him. He had to give up his dream of becoming a doctor after his mother left him to take care of his younger brother. He’s bitter about the things that have happened to him in his life.
Even though the characters are brilliant, I have issues with the rest of the book. I wish the magical realism elements had been more developed and more integrated into the story. This book doesn’t really feel like magical realism to me. It feels more like a contemporary book where some conveniently weird stuff happens. I like most of the book, but I’m not a huge fan of the fantasy-ish ending. It just got too weird too fast.
I also wish I knew more about the villain. I’m not entirely sure who—or what—he is, but I wanted to know. I wanted to know more about pretty much everything in this novel.
I have some problems with this book, but I’m still glad I read it. It’s a well-written story about small-town gossip, beauty, and bravery. It’s worth reading for the great characters.