BOOK REVIEW: The Graveyard Book – by Neil Gaiman

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Title: The Graveyard Book
Author: Neil Gaiman
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, YA, Children
First published: September 30th 2007
Finished reading: July 1st 2014
Pages: 327
Rating 4

“You’re alive, Bod. That means you have infinite potential. You can do anything, make anything, dream anything. If you can change the world, the world will change. Potential. Once you’re dead, it’s gone. Over. You’ve made what you’ve made, dreamed your dream, written your name. You may be buried here, you may even walk. But that potential is finished.”

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At first glance, the story seems to be about a little boy who grows up living in a cemetery. After his entire family was brutally murdered by mysterious man called Jack, the orphaned boy managed to escape and was adopted by a ghostly couple called Mr. and Mrs. Owens. The book actually goes a lot deeper than that: it’s a story full of dangers, adventures, supernatural creatures and sprinkled with Irish folkore. The Graveyard Book is both creepy and heartwarming… And scary and funny at the same time. It might not be the typical children’s book and not the ideal bedtime story for the youngest under us, but it will manage to amaze young and old when read at the proper moment. Definitely recommended!

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So we have an orphaned toddler that finds his way to a very special graveyard when he is trying to escape the killer of his family. He promptly gets adopted by two ghosts in order to protect him and they give him his new name: Nobody Owens (because ‘he looks like nobody but himself‘). Little Nobody is then given the freedom of the graveyard and is able to go where normal living beings couldn’t. Together with a solitary guardian Silas, the ghosts try to raise Nobody (or Bod) as ordinary as possible. But the education they give him isn’t all that normal, and soon Bod learns how to Fade and other ghostly tricks normal humans cannot master… Although Bod knows he is only safe when he stays within the bounderies of the graveyard, his young curious mind soon gets him into trouble. Both inside the graveyard and outside adventures are waiting for him, and not everybody is as friendly as they appear… And of course the mysterious man Jack is still out there looking for him as well.

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This story is not just another typical fantasy story. It is also about a little boy growing up surrounded by a curious environment; a boy who is very wise for his age, full of energy and wishes to finally explore the world out there. His guardians protect him from harm and help him in trying to achieve his goal, teaching him everything they know both about the real world and the world beyond… But little boys grow up, and I have to admit the end had me almost crying. A beautiful, unique and unforgettable story… Although I would have loved reading more about the world the various supernatural creatures live in.

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WWW Wednesdays #3 – July 2nd

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Originally featured at Should Be Reading… WWW Wednesdays is all about answering the following three questions:

  • What are you currently reading?

1984I was planning on reading 1984 later this month, but after all the positive comments on my Top Ten Tuesday post, I decided to start reading this classic by George Orwell right away. I’m not too far into the story yet since I only started yesterday evening. But until now I’m glad I choose to read this one next.

 

  • What did you recently finish reading?

graveyard2I just finished The Graveyard Book last night. I will probably write the review later today or tomorrow, but what I can say for now is that I enjoyed the way Neil Gaiman told this children fantasy story. The ghosts in the story aren’t scary, and for the main character Bod it’s the most normal thing in the world growing up living in a cemetery. Interesting indeed.

 

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

boneeeI’ve seen Shadow And Bone by Leigh Bardugo around quite a lot during the last few weeks. Apart from the various positive reviews I’ve read, the cover is really convincing me to read this one. I love simple covers with pretty calligraphy and a splash of color…

 

 

These are my answers; how about you?

Teaser Tuesdays #3 – July 1st: The Graveyard Book

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TEASER TUESDAYS is a weekly book meme originally featured at Should Be Reading. To participate, just open the book you are currently reading to a random page, and choose two ‘teaser’ sentences from somewhere on that page. (no spoilers!)

The book I’m currently reading is The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. I’m about halfway done and although I didn’t realize beforehand that it is a childrens book, I’m still enjoying this fantasy story about a little boy growing up in a cemetery.  Below a quote taken from one of its pages:

graveyard2“You are obvious, boy. You are difficult to miss. If you came to me in company with a purple lion, a green elephant, and a scarlet unicorn astride which was the King of England in his Royal Robes, I do believe that it is you and you alone that people would stare at, dismissing the others as minor irrelevancies.”

 

What are you reading right now?

Top Ten Tuesday #1 – June 17th: Winter TBR

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Originally featured at The Broke And The Bookish, every week a new top ten with a different theme. And this Tuesday I will post my Top Ten Books On My Summer Winter TBR list! I know that officially it’s suppost to be the Summer TBR list, but since I’m living in Argentina and will be facing winter instead of summer, I made this little adaption. During winter I love to curl up somewhere warm, with a good book in my hands and a cup of steaming tea/hot chocolate nearby. These ten books below I think would be perfect to help me survive those cold and dark winter nights. In no particular order and with short descriptions copied from Goodreads:

  • The Name Of The Wind by Patrick Rothfuss: “…the tale of the magically gifted young man who grows to be the most notorious wizard his world has ever seen.”

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  • The Shining by Stephen King: “Danny … was a ‘shiner’, aglow with psychic voltage. When his father became caretaker of the Overlook Hotel his visions grew frighteningly out of control.” 

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  • And The Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini: “…novel about how we love, how we take care of one another, and how the choices we make resonate through generations.”

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  • Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell: “Slowly, steadily, through late-night conversations and an ever-growing stack of mix tapes, Eleanor and Park fall for each other. They fall in love the way you do the first time, when you’re young, and you feel as if you have nothing and everything to lose.”

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  • The Boy In The Striped Pajamas by John Boyne: “…Bruno longs to be an explorer and decides that there must be more to this desolate new place than meets the eye. While exploring his new environment, he meets another boy whose life and circumstances are very different to his own, and their meeting results in a friendship that has devastating consequences.”

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  • Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi: “Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days. The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal.”

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  • The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith: “A brilliant debut mystery in a classic vein: Detective Cormoran Strike investigates a supermodel’s suicide.”

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  • The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman: “After the grisly murder of his entire family, a toddler wanders into a graveyard where the ghosts and other supernatural residents agree to raise him as one of their own.”

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  • Black Roses by Jane Thynne: “Clara Vine is young and ambitious, and determined to succeed as an actress. A chance meeting at a party in London leads her to Berlin…into an uneasy circle of Nazi wives…Then Clara meets Leo Quinn who is undercover, working for British intelligence. Leo sees in Clara the perfect recruit..”

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  • Winter In Madrid by C.J. Sansom: “…this tale follows the fortunes of three young men, navigating the tumultous world of 1940s Spain. As the Second World war begins, one is sent to spy on another and the ramifications of a tragic love story will haunt them all.”

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