Stones by William Bell

[A note: if you are studying this book in class or doing homework, seriously, I cannot and will not tell you what happens in chapter three, how it ends, what the theme is, etc. Here’s my policy on homework questions.]

Garnet’s just putting in the time at school until he’s through high school and can get on with the rest of his life. He’s never quite fit in, having been pegged by clueless teachers as everything from ADD to deaf. Really, he’s just bored. But school surprises Garnet–or more specifically, his opponent in a classroom debate knocks his feet (metaphorically) right out from under him. It’s ironic, but while arguing vehemently against the existence of love at first sight, Garnet falls hard for Raphaella Skye. Fortunately for Garnet, Raphaella finds him just as intriguing as he finds her.

As Garnet and Raphaella get to know each other, life keeps moving around them. Garnet’s jhournalist mother heads off for a dangerous assignment in East Timor, and Garnet agrees to take a house-sitting job for a friend of the family, which is where he meets another woman. But this woman’s been dead for a century and a half. Garnet is plagued by unsettling dreams, and fearful voices, and traces the mystery back to an abandoned church. He and Raphaella will have to untangle the past together.

This is a ghost story, a romance, and a book about prejudice and hate. Sounds a bit much? Not for William Bell (who, incidentally, just won the CLA YA Book of the Year Award for his latest, The Blue Helmet). Okay, the bit with his mother in danger fits just a little bit too neatly thematically into what’s going on with Garnet, but given all the good points…

We’ve got strong, capable, genuinely interesting characters. There’s tension between Garnet and his parents because he doesn’t want to finish school, yet Garnet doesn’t decide by the end of the book that school is good for him and he loves it. There’s a bit of a mystery around Raphaella, and why her mother doesn’t like Garnet. But more than anything, the people in this book are genuinely interesting, with a full range of emotions, interests and desires.

Also, it’s a ghost story. I will freely admit that I love ghost stories, and have a guilty addiction to shows like Creepy Canada. Bell does a great job at developing the suspense, the mystery surrounding the haunting, and some genuinely spooky scenes. Most importantly, there’s a strong (wrenching) story behind the ghosts. So if you like your scary stories to have some substance to them, try Stones.


38 responses to “Stones by William Bell

  1. I dont like ghost storries but it seems good one….

  2. It is pretty good, and it’s just as much a romance and a mystery as it is a ghost story.

  3. John Walter

    Hi! I really loved this book. But I cant seem to understand how does Raphalla Skye personality have been influenced by her relationship with her parents?

  4. That sounds like a question that’s part of a novel study. You’re probably best off asking your teacher, since he or she will know what kind of answer you need to give for the assignment.

  5. how does the book end

  6. I think this book was sweet! We read it in english class. IT WAS FANTASTIC

  7. This BooK is Pretty Good!

  8. what are the symbols in it?

  9. Sorry, you’re going to have to do your own homework assignment.

  10. it was great

  11. this is uch a good book. i would highly recomend this book to anyone who can read!

  12. yea i loved the novel, stones. because i can relate 2 garnet in many ways, 2.

  13. I have lost my book 😐 just a few pages b4 part 3
    can u just give a quick summary please

  14. can’t remmeber de clue @ matt

  15. who are all the characters?
    what is the plot, settings theme and message?

  16. can anyone tell me the summary of this book and the bout the characters?

  17. can anyone describe the admandond church i was supposed to be doing jounals about this book while readin but i go to into it and finished to fast and couldnt do all my jounals and i need to know wat the admandon church was i think it was tht small thing tht garnet went into during the storm but i cant remember i left my book at school and am fkd

  18. THIS BOOK SUCKS! The root of the book is not bad, it kind of surrounds epistemology. Other than that the book was quite boring.

  19. Why does the community turn against Hannah Duvalierf

  20. For god sakes guys do your goddamn english homework yourselves. Stop expecting someone to spoon feed you the answer.

  21. This is a fantastic book. I read it as part of a novel study. For the person that was asking about the abandoned church. It was a big church with a gate. It had cobwebs inside and was quite dark. The only thing illuminating it was the candle which was brough in by Raphaella if i remember correctly. Im not a fan of scary books or movies, but i enjoyed this book alot

  22. what are the symbols in the book?

    I know i should do my own work but i have read it and found nothing!!!! i am gonna scream right now!

  23. OMG!!!!! I luved the book! And I also like ghost stories! Perfect!

  24. Great book, anyone should give this one a try. Especially if mysteries and ghost stories are what you like reading.

  25. I’ve read the entire book, good read. Just one thing, does Garnet’s mom have a given name in the book? Or is she just always ‘mom’. I want to refer to her real name in my book report.

  26. I was curious on everyones thoughts of what
    the theme was.

  27. ehh… good one ))

  28. Pretty good book

  29. hi,
    I was just wondering if you could help me with something,
    I’m writing an essay on this book. I know Garnet received a letter saying he had ADD, and that he was hard of hearing, and the last one saying he was a genius. I don’t remember what the other letter he received said. Could you tell me?


  30. heyy really good book but could someonee pleasee tell me what the theme of this book is???? pleasee i need to knoww asapppp for my assignmentt!!

  31. heyy cwuts the themee of this bookkk??
    thank you

  32. hey the book wasnt my kind of book but were was hannah barried ?

  33. hey THIS BOOK SUCKED, i dont like it

  34. did anyone else notice the relationship between hannah and raphaella? i thought it was quite interesting how they were like internally connected. even one part raphaella admits they are similar

    i was wondering if anyone had any idea why they might be conected. throughout the whole story i though willam bell would reveal why he wanted them to be similar, but alas there is not obvious conclusion.

    • could you PLEASE explain how they are similar? I need to do compare & contrast for an english essay 🙂

  35. What are Raphaellas t-shirt sayings?