SJay's Reviews: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
A morbid book of mystery that's bursting with life - ironically - and hooks you to it from the very first pages. The story is intriguing to say the least, the emotions are very realistic, and the characters are very well developed. I think it's safe to say everyone that has read The Graveyard Book was left with a feeling of loss and emptiness, along with fulfillment and content. This may sound contradictory... but trust me, it makes sense if you've read it.
I had never read a book for Neil Gaiman before The Graveyard Book, and I think this was the perfect book to start me down the path of absolutely loving this author. I have watched Coraline - haven't read it, though - and it's one of my favorite stories. Yet, and no surprise there, when I read The Graveyard Book, I realized how good of a storyteller Gaiman actually is.
The book follows Nobody Owens, or Bod, throughout his life in separate chapters. From early childhood and well into his teens, Bod is very well developed, and I was ecstatic to find that someone in this day and age can still write a teenager that doesn't drive me nuts. He is mature, responsible, and understanding. Bod is very much attached to his guardian, Silas - I'll get to him in a little - and despite sometimes showing the expected rebellious teen spirit, he always comes back to his senses and shows appreciation and gratitude to his 'godfather'. Furthermore, there is no ridiculous 'impossible/supernatural' teen love story - because Gaiman understands that there are very important things a person goes through during those years, and that love doesn't have to be the center of it - yet Bod shows feelings to Scarlett and is quite hurt when her story wraps up. Also, it does make sense that a 14 year old girl would freak out when confronted with a psychotic assassin and a boy that has some freakish skills. Seriously... not everyone's unhinged like Bella.
Moreover, Silas is a true heart throb - well, for a person that appreciates well written characters that play their role superbly. So Silas is an unemotional, ice cold (physically and figuratively), and very intimidating character. After all (SPOILER) he is a vampire - which has nothing to do with why I dig his character. He acts like a true vampire would. But what's most beautiful about how Gaiman wrote him is that he never actually says what Silas is. He just sort of leaves you to make it out on your own, just like everything else in the story...
Finally, let me say I cried when the story ends. It's a bittersweet ending that absolutely fits in with everything else. It's logical and realistic - despite everything - and leaves much to the imagination. You are left with many questions as to what happens next, but thankfully nothing related to the actual story line. This Gaiman wrote and ended perfectly. I also think it is safe to say that every person who has read and loved this book wants a second book just for Silas. I mean... the man's amazing!