2016 Reading Challenge · Book review

POPSUGAR’s 2016 Reading Challenge: A book with a blue cover | Book review: The Graveyard Book

Gel’s little side note: Hello everyone! I haven’t been able to post a book review last week, so I’m a little behind on my personal schedule. Bummer!

As for the site update, I think I might want to have a new header soon. Y’know, got inspired by YouTubers I follow because they have a personalized one and it shows what day they would update. Even though I’m spontaneous at times, I am still organized and wants to have organization in life (and yeah, my course is BA Organizational Communication and yeah, I love word plays).

I was thinking of posting book reviews on Tuesdays and The Ultimate Bookish Quotes on Saturdays. Time pressure, but I could do it (hope so!). But to do that, I need to finalize my blog name (which I am miserably failing to think about as of now).

Enough of that. Hope you would enjoy reading my review!

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Gaiman, N. (2010). The Graveyard Book. New York, NY: HarperCollins

Some details:

Edition: Paperback, 309 pages

Price: ₱289.00 (National Bookstore)

ISBN: 9780060530945

Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, Horror

Characters: Bod, Silas, Jack

Setting: some graveyard in England

My Goodreads rating: 5/5 stars

Dates read: Feb. 6-Feb. 8, 2016

Do you want to know… (directed to Goodreads)

Click here for my Goodreads review version (just a shortened one from here).

“Chilling and touching. It was perfectly beautiful.”

Comment on the cover:

I was really attracted by the cover that I bought two copies. I gave the other one to my M.U. as a gift. When I saw this in the bookstore, I just knew that I would definitely enjoy it. And the medal added to my awe.

Plot summary:

IT TAKES A GRAVEYARD TO RAISE A CHILD.

Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn’t live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead. There are dangers and adventures in the graveyard for a boy – an ancient indigo man, a gateway to abandoned city of ghouls, the strange and terrible Sleer. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, then he will be in danger from the man Jack – who has already killed Bod’s family.

*taken from the back cover

Features:

There are eight chapters/short stories excellently woven to be a novel, or maybe we should call it a “shnovel”. 36 illustrated pages in the book: some containing text, some are full-page. What is beautiful in this book is that the illustrations are drawn shadow-like – the grey scale effect really added to the chills one would feel. The illustrations are also not cramped in one page – they are free-flowing in a chapter’s let’s say… first three to four pages. I loved it even if the drawings are a little bit vague.

Book discussion:

The book takes us through Bod’s journey since when he was a toddler ’til he was a teenager. Each chapter, Bod grows quite considerably and new adventures were experienced. He was friendly to the inhabitants of the graveyard and befriended lots of ghost friends. He was charming for me, because mingling with ghosts at different ages that lived at different times permeated in Bod’s language and personality, resulting in incredible reactions at all situations. Of course, with age comes increasing curiosity, which led him to insist he should, time and time again, be in the outside world. The book has very interesting and unique characters that would melt any reader’s heart realizing Bod’s impact on their lives (0r deaths), and vice versa.

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My journey:

I was back home in Cavite (a two-hour commute from my university) from my dorm when I realized I haven’t bought books I was currently reading that time. I decided to pick up something that I would read only in the weekend (and I thought this book was gonna take me two weeks). Little did I know that it would be a quick re-read.

On my last day of reading, I cried. HARD. On my bed reading the last chapter. Bod has given me too much feels and I was so moved by partings.

When I thought I was done with crying, I laid down on bed to sleep and cried AGAIN for a good 30 minutes. Ugh, reminiscing a book recently finished led me to this.

The next day, my eyes a little sore, I shared my experience reading the book to my college friends. They were amazed but asked, “Why would a horror book make you cry?” They’ll never know. They’ll never know.

What I like:

  • The mystery of Silas. Seriously, I considered in my past to be a detective but I haven’t had a single clue as to what he is? If I hadn’t spoiled myself reading too much reviews, I wouldn’t know. Damn, Gel.
  • The book’s transition every chapter. It was just perfect as it was.
  • Bod’s deep relationships with the inhabitants of the graveyard. Who could befriend those ghosts and other paranormal creatures other than our precious Bod?
  • MORAL LESSONS. You’ll pick up so much from this book. The consequence of greed, of spontaneous actions, compassion… so much more!
  • History by One Direction. I loved, loved, LOVED history.

What I dislike:

I have no particular dislike how it was written, but the character’s actions were just INFURIATING. Let’s say Scarlett, Bod’s long lost friend. He just saved her, y’know? But her reaction… ugh! Of course, I could understand why he reacted that way, but for her agreeing to erase her (spoiler alert) memories… just sad. The man Jack was an effective villain. Smart one, too… but being blind to power was definitely not good.

spongebob crying
me after reading it

Round up and recommendation:

This is really worth 5 stars! I recommend this to all readers who love the same genre and maybe non-readers or other genre readers… basically everyone. It was a quick read, engaging and unforgettable characters, and a charming young boy. Lots of great points in the story, loads of fun and feels.

Sample excerpt:

“There are always people who find their lives have become so unsupportable they believe the best thing they could do would be to hasten their transition to another plane of existence.”

“They kill themselves, you mean?” said Bod. He was about eight years old, wide-eyed and inquisitive, and he was not stupid.

“Indeed.”

“Does it work? Are they happier dead?”

“Sometimes. Mostly, no. It’s like the people who believe they’ll be happy if they go and live somewhere else, but who learn it doesn’t work that way. Wherever you go, you take yourself with you. If you see what I mean.”

“Sort of,” said Bod.

Silas reached down and ruffled the boy’s hair.

Neil Gaiman, 2010, 104

Gel’s little side note: Thank you so much again for reading!

See you soon on my next post!

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What is your favorite book with a blue cover?
Photos and GIF taken from Goodreads, io9, and Tumblr.
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