Review: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
After the boy's parents are killed by a man named Jack, he toddles over to the graveyard. The ghosts agree to take him in (though some quite reluctantly) and raise him as best they can. The caregiver agrees to help with the food and the clothes and the ghosts agree to help with the education and safety of the young boy. They think the best way to truly keep him safe is to keep him as low key as possible. And just like that, Nobody Owens has found a home.
Bod grows up in the graveyard, but he always yearns for something more. He wants a normal life and he can't figure out why Silas, his protector, and the ghosts are worried about people finding out about him. Bod learns some sweet ghost moves like fading and haunting dreams, but he continues to long for a traditional human experience.
We slowly discover who the man named Jack is, what he was doing in Bod's house that night, and how Bod fits into the grand scheme of things. Bod's life in the graveyard is bizarre and somewhat spooky, but he is also taught things and nurtured in a way that will prove incredibly useful in his not too distant and very important future.
I loved the dark fantasy elements of The Graveyard Book. Bod fell a little flat for me sometimes, but the subtle incorporation of magical/fantastical plot points firmly held my interest. This is one of those books that has layer upon layer of meaning, so you can take it where you're at. I like that a lot.
The Graveyard Book takes on some Big Life Questions. Who is our family? What does it mean to be alive? What is my purpose? Who am I meant to be? We see the answers for Bod and we are left pondering what it means for ourselves as the reader.
While this didn't live up to the crazy amount of hype for me, The Graveyard Book is still a solid read with a unique story and some dark twists that will keep you interested. It is worth the read if just for the hours/days/weeks of self-reflection that come as a result.
Fave quote: "You're alive, Bod. That means you have infinite potential. You can do anything, make anything, dream anything. If you change the world, the world will change." (179)
Fix er up: A more compelling main character would have helped me connect with this book on a deeper level.
Title: The Graveyard Book
Author: Neil Gaiman
Genre: Death, Fantasy, Paranormal, Coming-of-Age
Publishing Info: 2008, HarperCollins
[FTC Notice: I borrowed a copy of this book from my library. I was not compensated in any way for this review. YAY FOR LIBRARIES!]
I read this book as part of the Science Fiction Reader Challenge, Support Your Local Library Challenge, and the Rewind and Review feature. Three birds, one stone. WHAT WHAT.
Lisa is a gamer, crafter, fangirl, mother, wife and unabashed nerd who is pretty ridiculous and it's best you know that up front. When she's not binge watching Netflix or crafting into the wee hours of the night, you can find her spending a lot of her time on Pinterest and Twitter.