Book Review: Inside the Outside

Inside the Outside

by Martin Lastrapes

Published 2011 by Cannibal Press

571 pages

lastrapes

Goodreads Synopsis:

By the time Timber Marlow is fifteen years old, she has already killed three men. Despite the bloody and violent nature of their deaths, Timber is hardly a murderer. She has lived her entire life as a cannibal within a cult tucked away in the San Bernardino Mountains called the Divinity of Feminine Reproach. The Divinity keeps itself isolated from the Outside, which is the mainstream society beyond its invisible borders. When the opportunity presents itself, Timber escapes into the Outside, bearing witness to some dark and unsettling truths about the world around her and the integral role she plays in it. But no matter how long she stays away, Timber finds out the past isn’t as far away as she thinks it is. In this debut novel, laced with scenes of horrific violence and uplifting humanity, Martin Lastrapes has written a one-of-a-kind story about love, friendship, sacrifice and cannibalism

My Review:

This book was unlike anything else I’ve read recently. I was intrigued by it once I read the synopsis and Inside the Outside lived up to my expectations and then exceeded some.

First, the book took readers inside the cult, the Divinity, as it is referred to. The concepts of cults fascinates me, so I was completely captured by the source and beliefs of the Divinity. I’m happy Lastrapes offered a brief, yet detailed history to the origin of the cult. I believe this made it easier for readers to buy in to the story.

The characters were great. They were just like you and I, yet raised on a vastly different belief system. Even so, Lastrapes does a great job exploring human nature and death. While the cult dealt with a lot of death – sometimes eating their own kind – it was obvious that the deaths affected the hearts and minds of some of the cult members. It’s important to understand that while the cult was raised on the belief that human flesh in a necessary sustenance, there’s still a struggle with death and evil.

Timber, the heroin of the story, was fully developed. She was twisted with love and murder. She had a deep knowledge of human kind and no understanding of society. When she gets thrust into the ‘outside’,the story takes on a whole new dynamic. I really liked the fact the story changed settings as it did. It developed the idea of the story and allowed for the larger themes to be explored.

It is difficult to separate good and evil in this book, but it is obvious who the antagonist is. Daddy Marlow is perfectly revolting, and while we know little about his boys, readers aren’t exactly inclined to like them either, but there is certainly sympathy there. The character I most struggled with was Luna. She knows full well the murder and rape happening all around her, yet chooses to stay for the simplicity of life in the Divinity. Regardless of her disregard for the things happening around her, she cares deeply for Timber, and she is a necessary catalyst to the story.

Let me return to the whole murder and rape thing. This book really isn’t for the faint of heart. It tackles big issues, but in doing so Lastrapes includes some graphic imagery. The cannabalism is horrifying, but the rape is by far worse. Sexuality is a major theme of this novel. In the Divinity, Timber and her friends learn about their bodies, but then their bodies get taken advantage of. Once Timber is on the outside, living with a porn star, she carries on this warped sense of sexuality until she finally finds and understands love. It’s a long journey for her, but the character Timber becomes is far from the one at the start of the novel. It’s a truly remarkable journey.

I really loved this novel. It was tough to deal with at times because despite my love for Timber, she wasn’t all that good despite her best efforts. Even Luscious had a shady past. That said, there is no good character in this book, but their flaws are what attracts us to them.

I thought Lastrapes did a great job on this novel. There was some predictability with the way the story developed. With heavy foreshadowing and titled chapters, it was difficult to be really surprised by the story, but it was no less enjoyable. It took me forever to read this book because of moving cities and starting a new job. I think I would have been more impacted if I could have read larger chunks of the story at once, but I was still engrossed with the story even when I wasn’t reading it.

Like I said, it was unlike anything I’ve read before. It tackled big issues such as Good vs. Evil, human limitations, power, money, homosexuality, and love but never truly dwelled on any of them. The story was actually a very easy read, despite the more graphic scenes. It was well written. It read more like young adult fiction in that it the plot moved quickly and the main characters were quite young, but I would definitely classify it as adult fiction because of some of the graphic imagery.

Before I finish this review, I want to give props to Mr. Lastrapes. I had difficulty getting my epub to read correctly on my Nook. A number of sentences ran off the page and I would miss valuable pieces of the story. He reached out to me and offered me a new version of the story. I re-downloaded the new epub on my Nook and I happened to have the same problem. I did find that I could read the story on my iPad through iBooks. I might have been annoyed that I had to read it that way, but since Lastrapes was genuinely concerned with my inability to finish the story, I was happy that he took the time to reach out to me. The story was capturing and I often would find my place on my phone and read in the waiting room of the doctors office, in my car before work, or anywhere I had a few minutes to spare. It actually worked out perfectly and I’m very happy to have finished it.

 

I give Inside the Outside by Martin Lastrapes a 5 out of 5 stars.

5 Stars

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Book Review: The Last Werewolf

The Last Werewolf (Bloodlines Trilogy #1)

by Glen Duncan

Published 2011 by Random House Audio

were

Goodreads Synopsis:

Meet Jake. A bit on the elderly side (he turns 201 in March), but you’d never suspect it. Nonstop sex and exercise will do that for you—and a diet with lots of animal protein. Jake is a werewolf, and after the unfortunate and violent death of his one contemporary, he is now the last of his species. Although he is physically healthy, Jake is deeply distraught and lonely.

Jake’s depression has carried him to the point where he is actually contemplating suicide—even if it means terminating a legend thousands of years old. It would seem to be easy enough for him to end everything. But for very different reasons there are two dangerous groups pursuing him who will stop at nothing to keep him alive.

Here is a powerful, definitive new version of the werewolf legend—mesmerizing and incredibly sexy. In Jake, Glen Duncan has given us a werewolf for the twenty-first century—a man whose deeds can only be described as monstrous but who is in some magical way deeply human.

My Review:

I enjoyed listening to this book. The deep throaty voice of the narrator, Robin Sachs, brought out the character of Jacob, the werewolf. Unfortunately his American accent wasn’t all that great and some of the other characters seemed silly when they definitely should not have. Also, his voice was much too tenor to narrate a woman, but he gave it a valiant effort.

Duncan is certainly insightful towards metaphors. I truly enjoyed many of the figures of speech although some made me cringe; others made me shake my head. They just weren’t a good fit. Unfortunately I don’t have the text to draw back on, so I can’t recite any. I will say one thing, even for the metaphors that didn’t quite fit. Duncan (perhaps with the husky voice of Sachs) made valiant efforts and managed to make everything seem poetic. Speaking of poetic, the descriptive narrative gave the story major appeal. Even though some description of scenes was downright horrifying. I guess that’s to be expected in a story about monsters.

There was a lot of back-and-forth in this book. And yes, that is double entendre. First, there’s a tangle of people to keep straight and to remember who wants Jake dead vs. who wants him alive. It can be difficult to keep straight in some of the chaos, so stay sharp. But of course there is also quite a bit of sex. Not that it drives the plot in any way. Nor does it really seem all that useful towards the story at all. It’s not romantic, although you get the sense you’re supposed to believe it is. I wouldn’t call this book “steamy”, which is good since I prefer it that way, but if the romance is your thing, I wouldn’t recommend this read.

This one is graphic actually. Duncan never shied away from his imagination. Every gory detail is laid out – from the intimacies of sex to the gore of the kill, often awkwardly in the same paragraph. Speaking of killing, it happens often and quite casually. I suppose 200 years of being a werewolf can have that effect. The premise of this story is Jakes acceptance of his monster, even his delight in it. It’s raw with human emotion and detachment. Before you can feel anything, it get brushed away. While reading, I wish there had been a deeper emotional connection to Jake, but the dismissal of emotion made it difficult to feel sorry or hopeful for him.

I thought the story was paved very well. There were moments when I was completely lost for what was happening which is partly due to my distractions while listening. Still I think it was difficult to catch back up since roles changed and characters were constantly invading the story of Jakes life. I can’t be blamed for getting it backwards once or twice. I do wish there had been less secondary characters, but I’ll allow that it was important to build the chaos this novel thrives on.

Oddly, Duncan liked to compare his story to what might happen “in the movies”. This is all fine and well but the story actually was laid out like film at its moments, which for lack of imagination, the author simply described it’s coincidence as being like film. Unless, of course, it was conveniently unlike film. The whole theme was loosely paired with the events of the story and didn’t follow any recognizable pattern.

I think a part of me wanted to like this book more than I actually did. The prose was so tempting. Duncan knows how to craft words so they flow beautifully. However, the meaning was often too shallow or confusing to appreciate deeper. I liked the gore, but wish the sex and romance had been left out as they were fairly useless throughout the story anyway. However, the ending was very good. I was getting bored and worried I would be tempted to not finishing the book, just when the twist of the story came and led to an epic ending for the novel.
3 Stars

I choose to give The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan a 3 out of 5 stars.

Book Review: Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver

Vanishing Girls

Written by Lauren Oliver

Narrated by Elizabeth Evans, Saskia Maarleveld, and several others

Published 2015 by HarperCollins

Runtime: 09:39:47

vanishig

Goodreads Synopsis:

Dara and Nick used to be inseparable, but that was before—before Dara kissed Parker, before Nick lost him as her best friend, before the accident that left Dara’s beautiful face scarred. Now the two sisters, who used to be so close, aren’t speaking. In an instant, Nick lost everything and is determined to use the summer to get it all back.

But Dara has other plans. When she vanishes on her birthday, Nick thinks Dara is just playing around. But another girl has vanished, too—nine-year-old Madeline Snow—and as Nick pursues her sister, she becomes increasingly convinced that the two disappearances may be linked.

In this edgy and compelling novel, New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver creates a world of intrigue, loss, and suspicion as two sisters search to find themselves, and each other.

My Review:

I was initially captured by this story because of the relationship between Nick and Dara, sisters and best friends. It reminded me instantly of my own sister and I’s relationship. The stark differences in the two, the similarities, and the way they combined perfectly to make a lasting friendship – I could tell this was the foundation to a good story with solid characters.

Things get complicated when a boy gets involved. Parker, their childhood friend. I’ll admit the love triangle here was a bit awkward. Parker was the sister’s best friend since they were small children and now he’s dating one of them, the other obviously in love with him… it seems so unhealthy. The romance and heartbreak seemed out of place throughout the novel. It did tie in at the end, but in such a small way I thought the whole plot revolving this could have been tighter.

The title of the story is “Vanishing Girls” though, and that’s what the story kept trying to lead up to. The story of Madeline Snow’s disappearance wasn’t subtle to the rest of the plot. It was obvious it was going to tie in, but stayed separate for so long. Regardless, it was compelling to read and the mystery surrounding it was the best part of this story. Things finally started to get intense when Nick caught on the trail of the truth.

After I finished the book I realized that many of the things that annoyed me about the book were set in place for a reason. The story is ultimately about Nick’s healing and coping process. However, her time spent working at Fantasy Land amusement park bored me. Again it played a small part in the conclusion of the novel. Lauren Oliver wove a lot of symbolism into the story though, Fantasy Land included. Again, it wasn’t very subtle, but the writing was clear and engaging.

Finally we get to the twist ending. I might have appreciated it more if I haven’t read so many endings just like it recently. It’s not that its uncreative or even unoriginal, there’s just been so many variations of this already. When I reached the end of the novel, I expected to have this hurting chest, bereft of air, can’t-believe-it moment. I mean, it was good, and I tried not to compare it other novels, but the comparison was just too relevant. With the conclusion of the novel, a lot of things fell into place. I understood small details of the story that I was confused on their placement.  Everything fit together, but still, not very tightly. Some things, such as the relationship with Parker and Fantasy Land, I felt were overworked into the novel to have such small importance in the conclusion.

Overall, the novel was an enjoyable read. I read the audiobook version, which became a bit confusing at times due to the number of narrators. I believe a print version would have been easier to follow. Each narrator, particularly for Dara and Nick, would use voice variations for quotations, which is great narrating. The problem came in when the voices of Nick and Dara were read differently by each narrator, the story just lost its reality. It is more difficult to get lost in a novel when the voices literally change. Also, the return back and forth between the present and the past made it more difficult to follow in the audio version.

2.5 Stars

Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver is an entertaining read. The mystery was gripping, and the conclusion brought clarity to the whole story. Despite some loose connections and drawn out scenes, I enjoyed this novel. I give it 2.5 out of 5 stars.

Book Review: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

We Were Liars (Audiobook Version)

Written by E. Lockhart

Narrated by: Ariadne Meyers

Published 2014 by Random House

Runtime: 06:26:33

liars

Goodreads Synopsis:

A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.

We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.
Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.

My Review:

I listened to the audiobook version of We Were Liars, narrated by Ariadne Meyers. I really enjoyed this as an audiobook since it was simple to follow and Meyers did a great job with voices.

We Were Liars is a stunning tale of friends who only know each other on the island their wealthy families own. The island is a paradise, and in its description it’s hard not to believe just that. But as the synopsis will suggest, there is ALWAYS trouble in paradise.

The plot was slow to form, but it is clear early on that there is something horrible about the Sinclairs. It’s nothing shocking honestly. The family is filthy rich and battles for inheritance become threat to the threads that hold the family together. But that’s not what this story is about. It was an entertaining part of the novel and in many ways I thought it was going to play a bigger picture in the story. No, this story is about the children. What happens to the kids of a broken, wealthy family?

Drunk on power and the realization of the lack thereof, this novel is a roller-coaster of hope and failure. There is pain that no one talks about and the healing is slow. I was fascinated by the characters in this book. The liars, each beautiful and terrible in their own ways. Not that you can blame them. And then you have the aunts and their constant bickering, and grandad and his dementia. Lockhart creates a family portrait that intrigues readers. All set in the picture-perfect setting of their private island.

Amidst the bickering, there is also romance. I was less impressed with the romance. Of course Lockhart’s teenage love was much more realistic than many other young adult novels.The love felt shallow and constricted although I think we were supposed to believe it was more than that.

As I mentioned above, I thought the novel was a bit slow moving. With a lot of focus on Cadence’s self-pity. It was all worth it in the end when the reader finally understands everything. There is genuine horror in this novel. I was shocked so much that my mind was reeling my entire shift at work. I had the fortunate experience of finishing the book moments before my shift started. It really messed with my head.

I don’t want to give away anything, so all I can say is that I loved the conclusion of this novel. It was a harsh pull back to reality. I highly recommend this book!

4 stars (2)

I give We Were Liars by E. Lockhart a 4 out of 5 stars

Book Review: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Ready Player One

Written by Ernest Cline

Published 2011 by Random House NY

374 pages

ready

Goodreads Synopsis:

In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the  OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.

My Review:

This book was a thrill to read! It’s a nostalgic blast from the past for anyone who grew up in the 80’s or had parents that impressed 80’s culture upon you *raises hand*.

You didn’t have to grow up in the 80’s to enjoy this book though. For any fans of futuristic novels – science fiction and dystopic novels alike, this book has appeal to all nerds, geeks, and totally normal people. Cline explores a future not too different from today, except food is even more scarce and the environment is even more screwed up. Oh, and there’s this virtual reality that has entranced most of the globe’s population.

Before you turn away, know this book isn’t a campaign for sustainability and lack of human integrity or anything.  While Cline does make small remarks to the poor health and uncleanliness of some of the OASIS users, this is foremost a tale of a heroic gamer.   Wade Watts or Parzival as he goes by in the massive online game doesn’t have much of a life on Earth, but in the Oasis he can educate himself and socialize with new people. It is a haven. But with all good things, someone wants to monopolize it and essentially destroy its worth. That’s why the competition for a billionaire’s fortune could mean salvation for so many like Wade. And the only way to win is by knowing the game.

I really enjoyed this book as a light, comic read. It’s a classic hero on quest tale, root for the underdog, that kind of thing. You’ll have a blast following Wade and his friends Aech and Art3mis on their journey through the Oasis and deciphering some cryptic 80’s trivia.

The best part is when the story becomes a mix between real life danger and virtual. There were moments in the story that I forgot were taking place on Earth and not on some planet within the Oasis. Wade’s mission to find the video game’s egg will go as far as putting his own life on the line. With billions of dollars at stake, there’s a high cost to this hunt. And to add on top of the dangers of the egg hunt, Wade seems to have fallen in love with one of his fellow gunters (that’s what they called the gamers who were hunting for the egg). It’s an emotional thrill ride.

Perhaps my favorite part was when the characters are revealed in their real life. Even as a reader its easy to imagine virtual relations in a certain way. Everyone in the Oasis has an avatar, but that doesn’t mean that’s what they actually look like. It certainly levels the playing field. What Cline does with this understanding was the best part and satisfying for the conclusion of the novel.

I really enjoyed this book and I think it would be a fun read for all ages. Although some of the details from the 80’s pop culture can become overwhelming. It wouldn’t hurt to have Youtube and Google readily available if you’re not familiar with all of the references. The one dislike I have for this story was the predictability. It was difficult to be completely satisfied with the ending because I was already prepared for it. Of course I wanted that ending. I loved it. But I thought it was missing something. For that reason only I deduct one star. Overall, I thought Ready Player One was a refreshing read and I would read it again in a heartbeat.

4 stars (2)

I give Ready Player One by Ernest Cline a 4 out of 5 stars.

Book to Box Office: Fifty Shades of Grey

Here’s a Book to Box Office I’m not quite sure what to do with. I’ve decided to combine my review of the book and film here.

I realize this isn’t the only source you can get opinions about this highly controversial series by E.L James, but I’ll be damned if I don’t make my peace along with the rest.

It wasn’t that I was never interested in reading the book after it hit the best-seller list, it just wasn’t the science-fiction I was used to and therefore missed my opportunity to form an opinion before the hype of the novel became so notorious. That said, these are all of my original thoughts while reading the book and watching the film, despite what has been written about them online.

50

The first thing I realized was that I really hated Kate, and I kind of hated Ana for putting up with her. Why were there two extremes of terrible role models in this book? The only other woman that takes presence is Ana’s mother and she’s just a hopeless romantic who chooses to nurse husband number 4’s wounds rather than attend her daughter’s graduation ceremony. Are we afraid of having strong, female protagonists? I understand this was fan-fiction and Ana is just another version of Bella Swan, but at some point someone has to stand up for this misinterpretation of women.

Kate probably could have been a great character. She’s strong-willed, confident, a fighter. But she was mostly represented as a bitch who makes Ana do her bidding and who questions Ana’s relationship without actually trying to offer advice besides “be careful”. Do something Kate!! She’s the closest one to Ana, yet seems so distant. Now that I think of it, this book could be re-written without her and I’m not sure it would really make a difference.

And Ana, well, she’s all kinds of messed up. Honey, it is NOT okay to let a man control you if it’s not what you want. Sure, I don’t argue exploring one’s sexuality within a defined relationship and with a trusted partner, but this was so far from that. Ana’s inner dialogue constantly let the reader know, that while she was thrilled to have the attention and to feel him there, she wasn’t sure it was what she wanted. Even Christian Grey was aware that she wasn’t totally comfortable with his behavior.

And Grey, well he has issues, a bad past or whatever. This is not an excuse to take a woman in bed or elsewhere when she hasn’t given full consent. She was attracted to him, obviously he’s attractive. And the things he did to her felt good. okay. This doesn’t make them right. Not to mention Christian’s unnerving stalker qualities. Why does no one question these things? Why doesn’t Ana?

Essentially, while reading this book I had a difficult time getting over the disturbing nature of each character. The sex scenes weren’t all together bad, but how the story led into these scenes simply made me angry. I was engaged with the development of Christian for a small portion of the book. He seemed to be developing as something more than the handsome and rich gentleman every woman already fantasizes about. I guess his past misery will stay a mystery. In the meantime, just know that he’s 1. really hot 2. filthy rich 3. a good guy at heart. He really is boring isn’t he?

I don’t mean to bash this book. With all of the negative reviews out there, a secret part of me wanted to prove to everyone that this was a revolutionary piece of literature. I’m glad a first time novelist was successful, I’m glad fan fiction got a nod, I’m glad that kinky sex was unabashedly described in this top-seller book. Only, I’m being a little extra harsh here because this book is in such a great place to bring exciting change to the literary industry. Instead, it followed the unimpressive characters – women who are only admired if they are weaker than men and men who are sexy, dangerous, and (honestly!) just misunderstood.

I give Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L James 2 Stars

2 Stars

Regardless of my disposition on the book, I went to see the film with an open mind. Again, this film is in a unique position to cater to female sexual fantasies when most film caters to men and their fantasies. Also, sexual awareness and acceptance of new and different sexual behaviors is another viral topic among millennials. The film was bound to break some kind of record, and hopefully make a solid point to film companies and moviegoers.

50.2

It might be because I watched the movie after a ten-hour shift, but I couldn’t help but yawn. It was still boring, but thankfully it didn’t anger me the way the book did. It truly made a difference cutting out all of Anastasia’s “inner goddess” nonsense. With a female lead, I was pleased that the script or Dakota Johnson’s acting or a combination of both allowed Ana’s character some more depth than the book. She started out the squeaky, shy girl as expected, but the relationship really developed her blooming ferocity. Her relationship with Christian really drove her to decide what she wanted and Dakota Johnson really understood this. Slight changes in her behavior meant Ana was defining herself as a woman and wasn’t going to simply accept all kinds of abuse. Whereas in the novel, Ana’s inner voice would tell herself “I already knew I would.” There was more maturity without this kind of dialogue.

The sex scenes were mild. While there was a lot of female nudity, most scenes were short. It’s a good thing too because honestly there was no passion, no chemistry, absolutely no desire in these scenes. It was almost painful to watch. Perhaps the true pain was Christian’s (Jamie Dornan) stale personality, if he even had one. Dornan made it almost impossible for there to be any hint at chemistry between the two. He seemed far removed from the character and solely focused on the stone-like personality that Grey often hid behind.

I give Fifty Shades of Grey directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson, starring Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan  a 2.5 Stars

2.5 Stars

All in all, I agree with many critics of both the book and film. The series by E.L James pushes exciting, new boundaries. The actual story, its writing and plot, don’t quite deliver any exemplary points. Nothing that says, “look here, look at this one important thing.” Mostly there is a continuing tragedy in the submissiveness of women and the social conflict of men overpowering women and getting away with it. The film takes some positive strides with a little rebellion in Ana’s character, but in the end of it all there’s not much to take away from the book or the movie

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Book Review: The Graveyard Book

The Graveyard Book

By Neil Gaiman

Harper Collins, 2009

GB

Goodreads Synopsis:

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.

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. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, then he will come under attack from the man Jack—who has already killed Bod’s family . . . 

Beloved master storyteller Neil Gaiman returns with a luminous new novel for the audience that embraced his New York Times bestselling modern classic Coraline. Magical, terrifying, and filled with breathtaking adventures, The Graveyard Book is sure to enthrall readers of all ages.

 

My Review:

Well, I loved it. As a fan of Gaiman’s works, this did not disappoint.

The story of Nobody Owens, while flecked with spine-chilling terrors, is a Romantic story of adventure and bravery. Not to be presumptuous here, but I think that every child dreams of a life in the wild; Gaiman’s approach is a delightful little twist on that imagination. Bod is raised in a nature preserve, one that happens to be a long forgotten graveyard. The home of the dead becomes Bod’s life and protection. From  a toddler tumbling through the overgrowth to a teenager protecting a land he memorized in his youth, Bod’s life is anything but ordinary to readers, yet he is an ordinary boy. Gaiman tells of a whole new adventure, one I’ve never even fathomed.

The premise of the book is fascinating with old devils and myths retold. Bod’s strange friends make the book exciting on every page, but his encounters with some pretty nasty men and the supernatural (beyond ghosts, of course)are absolutely captivating. I hated putting this book down. You know, one of those books that’s so good you become so anti-social your friends and family begin to murmur concerns about your well-being. It’s a quick read though, unless you have to keep putting it down for work.

Bod faced new struggles everyday- learning which of his neighbors whom not to disturb to having to deal with lessons and homework when there was so much exploring to do. In so few pages, all of Bod’s youth was covered. And in doing so, much of time was completely passed. One chapter Bod would be five years and the next chapter he was eight. It could get difficult to follow. Along with that, some scenes seemed to have been written early and didn’t quite match the flow of the novel. Entire chapters took a complete turn from the previous one with little to no transition, it made the story seem like it might take a new turn, only to end up back on the same storyline as before. The story itself never falters to engage readers, but it does include some scenes that don’t seem to fit the entirety of the novel. Not to say they were distracting, they were great, just a bit curious is all.

The Graveyard Book is a great read, another Gaiman classic. It intrigues the imagination while covering important coming-of-age issues. It is a story of a boy raised in a graveyard, but it is a story for boys and girls alike. If you have children, I recommend this one as  read-aloud. It is a great story to share with the family. It has supernatural elements, romance, growing up sympathies, adventure and danger.

 

I give The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman a four and a half out of five stars!

4.5 Stars