There are no spoilers in this review.
The Bone Garden, Heather Kassner
“Remember, my dear, you do not really and truly exist.”
Made of dust and bone and imagination, Irréelle fears she’s not quite real. Only the finest magical thread tethers her to life—and to Miss Vesper. But for all her efforts to please her cruel creator, the thread is unraveling. Irréelle is forgetful as she gathers bone dust. She is slow returning from the dark passages beneath the cemetery. Worst of all, she is unmindful of her crooked bones.
When Irréelle makes one final, unforgivable mistake by destroying a frightful creature just brought to life, Miss Vesper threatens to imagine her away once and for all. Defying her creator for the very first time, Irréelle flees to the underside of the graveyard and embarks on an adventure to unearth the mysterious magic that breathes bones to life, even if it means she will return to dust and be no more.
With echoes of Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book, debut author Heather Kassner crafts a gorgeously written story humming with magic, mystery, and dark imaginings.
- The Bone Garden is a very, very atmospheric read and that was most likely my favorite part of it all. The author manages to create a creepy, tense, almost haunted atmosphere within the pages, in the house, in the cemetery, overall as every character takes a step and I really enjoyed that. It reminded me indeed a little bit of Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book.
- The writing was beautiful, too, I feel like Heather Kassner’s writing has so, so much potential, I loved some of these sentences in the story so much.
- The main character, Irréelle, was just so endearing, all I wanted was to hug her and for her to be okay, free and happy. She was so innocent and warm and sweet and I really loved her growth through the story as she slowly, but surely, stood up for herself and believed in herself and her worth.
- Another thing I really enjoyed in The Bone Garden, was the importance of friendship and its strenght. If, in the pages, the links between the characters quickly grow strong, I really loved how Irréelle stood up for her newfound friends and wanted to protect them at all costs.
- The Hand! An original, unique addition to this atmospheric read. If I thought I would be a little creeped out, I ended up feeling for the Hand and ahh, it made me smile and was such a unique character in itself.
I HAD A HARD TIME WITH…
- I thought that the world could have been a little more explored, because I appreciated the seeds we got of it all, the house and its owner, Miss Vesper, the cemetary, the strange magic and spooky atmosphere of it all, I just wish we got to explore it a little more.
- I liked the friendship and the secondary characters, but I wish we got to know and understand them a little more, too, but maybe that’s just my love of characters speaking.
The Bone Garden is a really good, entertaining middle grade book and, with its spooky, tense atmosphere, its endearing main character and strong friendships, will certainly appeal to a lot of readers. I’d definitely recommend it if these themes seem up your alley!
Final rating: 3,5 drops!
Thank you so much to Titan Books for sending me a free review copy of this book. This did not, in any way, influence my thoughts & rating.
Trigger warnings: abuse.
Diversity: not specified.
Did you read The Bone Garden? Do you want to?
Do you have some middle grade books recommendations for me? Let me know in comments!