The important thing about the setting of The Gaps by Leanne Hall is that it could be set in almost any urban area in almost any predominantly English-speaking country. The main characters could be our neighbors or even our own daughters. Most of the book takes place in and around Balmoral Ladies College.
The story is told from the point of view of Natalia and Chloe. Natalia is the leader of the mean girls at the school. Chloe is a transfer student who is struggling to find friends.
Their classmate, Yin Mitchell, has disappeared. It is very possible that she has been abducted. Natalia and Yin used to be friends. They went their separate ways after beginning high school. Natalia wanted to be popular and Yin wanted to be in the orchestra.
Chloe and Natalia begin to form a friendship when Natalia offers to help Chloe with her art project. The project is loosely based on the disappearance. When the project is going to be censored, Natalia takes it upon herself to protest.
She’s going through a bit of an emotional upheaval. The disappearance of Yin has made her think about their friendship. The things that Natalia thought were important – popularity, image, etc. – don’t matter as much as she thought. So where is her place in the world now?
Chloe doesn’t fit in with most cliques. She’s Asian but not an international student. She was born and raised in the same country as the Caucasian students but doesn’t fit in with them either. One of the students tells her, “You’re not a real Asian, you know what I mean? You’re from here.” Where is Chloe’s place in the world?
If you like YA fiction that confidently tackles some pretty big social issues, then The Gaps could be next on your TBR list.
Unless they are ready to change their viewpoint, then racists won’t like this book. Sorry racists that you are missing out on a great book, but you cannot hold onto this book and your racism.
- I received this ebook from NetGalley. All opinions are my own. Obviously.
- Amazon Affiliate link included in this post.