Title: The Bones of You
Author: Laura Stone
Publisher: Interlude Press
Length: 394 Pages
At a Glance: The Bones of You is a gorgeous book that I waited way too long to read.
Reviewed By: Jules
Blurb: Oliver Andrews is wholly focused on the final stages of his education at Cambridge University when a well meaning friend upends his world with a simple email attachment: a video from a U.S. morning show. The moment he watches the video of his one-time love Seth Larsen, now a Broadway star, Oliver must begin making a series of choices that could lead him back to love—or break his heart.
The Bones of You is full of laughter and tears, with a collection of irritable Hungarians, flirtatious Irishwomen and actors abusing Shakespeare coloring Oliver and Seth’s attempts at reconciliation.
Review: What a LOVELY book. *happy sigh* I’m such a sucker for these types of stories. Laura Stone’s The Bones of You ticked so many of my fave story elements boxes: it’s New Adult (with a little YA also); it’s friends-to-lovers; it’s a second chance love story; the character development and relationship histories—and not just between the two MCs—are fantastic; and the dialogue and writing style are fresh and engaging. I fell right into this story. And despite a couple of verrry minor issues, I was completely on board for the entire ride.
I loved what Stone did with the initial setup. We first get to know Oliver as he learns what his first love, Seth, is up to via a video an old friend sent to him. Because of making an initial connection to Oliver—watching him agonize over whether to go to New York to see Seth, or whether to try to talk to him if he does go, and seeing how devastated he was over their break up—it was easy to make certain assumptions about what happened between them. As everything unfolds and we see things more through Seth’s eyes and heart as well, we’re reminded that things are rarely that black-and-white.
What is abundantly clear, however, is that at one point these guys were each other’s ENTIRE worlds. Through flashbacks, and both of their reactions upon seeing one another again, there is zero doubt about how in love they were. And still are. Their connection is undeniable, even after the five-year separation.
Seth was so sweet and earnest and so true to himself. I loved him so much. I also loved the roles that both Oliver and Seth’s dad, Big Mike, played in allowing Seth to feel secure enough that he could be himself. The love that Big Mike had for his kid was the stuff of legend. I completely adored how important Seth’s dad was to Oliver, as well. My heart tugged so hard at how much he missed having Big Mike in his life, almost as much as he had missed Seth.
Oliver was also wonderful. I was rooting so hard for him throughout the entire book. He never wavered in his conviction that he and Seth were meant to be together; unfortunately, he was decidedly less sure about what he was ultimately meant to do with his life. His indecision over whether to stay at Cambridge or pursue a program in New York was the entire point of conflict in the story. A conflict which I felt was dragged out just a wee bit too long. That was honestly my only point of contention, and, as I said, it’s a small beef. But, I did feel like things wandered a little and got a bit repetitive in as far as Oliver went round and round and round with what to do.
In fact, in hindsight, both guys were a bit wrong-headed in some of their choices, but I was so wrapped up in their feelings and longings that I didn’t consider it until later. It bothered me a bit that for some reason Oliver was the one who was supposed to compromise or sacrifice. I realize Seth was super talented, but he could have put his dream on hold to be with Oliver in Boston in the beginning, and then they could have gone to NY together. While reading the story, though, Seth was just so hurt and certain he couldn’t do it again—the waiting for Oliver and long distance relationship—that I couldn’t help sympathizing with him. These guys both had me constantly wanting to hug them!
There was so much more that I loved in the story, too… I LOVED the parallels between Seth’s musical and his and Oliver’s past relationship. So well done and clever. I loved, loved the supporting cast: Big Mike, Gus, Moira, and even the grumpy Hungarian. There was quite a bit of scene stealing going on from this crew! And, I also loved how strongly Oliver felt about his work, which he started largely because of Seth, and how important it was to him. Oliver saw first-hand the damage bullying can do and the difference support programs for LGBT kids can make. He wanted somehow to make a difference.
“Before Bakerfield, he’d been a boy determined to hide himself, to be what was expected of him. Then he realized that it was okay to be himself, that no one was judging him. Not his peers at least—he still had to pretend at home to appease his father. But until he reached out to Seth and watched him transform, Oliver hadn’t understood what real strength was, what the power of support could do for a person.”
So many wonderful, powerful messages. Stone did an amazing job with this one.
The Bones of You is a gorgeous book that I waited way too long to read. I’m so glad I finally took the time to get to know Oliver and Seth, and to discover the beautiful story that’s behind that incredibly beautiful cover!
You can buy The Bones of You here: