The Graveyard Book

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missed the mark and shallow
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2.0
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2.0
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Reader reviewed by Dede

I was so excited to read this book after reading the reviews and although the book was initially interesting, by the end I was disappointed.  Bod is a boy whose family was murdered.  On the night his family was murdered he was about a year and a half and climbed out of his crib, down the stairs, out the door and up the hill into a graveyard.  The killer "Jack" follows the babies smell to the graveyard but is outsmarted by the dead people and his would be guardian, Silas, and walks away from the graveyard without finishing the job.  An elderly dead couple decide to raise Bod as their own.  Silas is a part of the graveyard but is not truly dead, so he can go out and get food or anything else Bod may need.  He is taught things as he grows, how to fade and other ghostly things, as well as being taught "human" things.  When Bod is 5, he strikes a friendship up with a little girl who comes to the graveyard with her mother.  The girls parents think that Bod is an imaginary friend.  She eventually moves away.  When he is older, a strict woman comes to teach him more while Silas goes away.  Later in his teen years, the little girl from the beginning moves back and becomes friends with him again but it doesn't go well.  During all of this "Jack" is still trying to find Bod to finish the job he started.  That is basically the premise of the book. 
Why I didn't like it:
It was disjointed:  None of the characters were ever written with much depth so I didn't really care about them.  I also didn't feel the strong emotions they were supposed to be feeling because it was written with a shallow edge. 
Didn't answer any questions and there were a lot of questions:  Only one example:  When the schoolteacher and Silas go somewhere to try to protect Bod in the future, you are not really told when they left, how long they were gone, what happened, or how they knew where to go and what to do. 
Bod was not written well for his age - a one and a half year old climbs out of bed and doesn't go to his parents room and has the energy and sense of mind in the middle of the night to go to a cemetary?  When he's 5 and meets the little girl, he talks and thinks like a teen, I thought he was until the book pointed out otherwise.   
Bod never listened!  Every time Silas or his ghost parents warned him not to do something or to stay away from here, etc, he always did the exact opposite.  It was exasperating and not believable. 
To me, Bod was just not a well written, likeable character and it tainted the book for me. 
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Okay, What?
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Reader reviewed by TheBookworm

Okay, What?
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
2 out of 5 stars

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman was a depressing, lifeless book.

Nobody Bod Owens has lived in the Graveyard with his dead ghost adoptive parents for as long as he can remember. As he grows, his studies expand. He learns more about his Freedom of the Graveyard, and its privileges such as the art of The Fade, The Fear, The Dreamwalk, and etc. But it doesnt take long for Bod to realize that he enjoyed being surrounded by breathing, living people rather than the dead of the Graveyard. As Bod roams farther from the Graveyard he learns more about the dangers in the living world. When his Guardian disappears for longer than usual he dwells more and more in the thought of searching and destroying his faceless enemy. But could a no name, parentless, lonely boy win?

This book was very creative and original, but I didnt really enjoy it. All it seemed to do was depress me.

I loathed the fact that every time Bod made a friend they left him, feared him, or died. Why did he have to be so alone?

With no one to talk to, why did he not fall into a pit of despair? A pro of the character Bod was that he is strong. Not physically strong, but mentally strong. No matter how bad things got he tried to move forward.

At the end, I wasnt sure where the author was going with the story. Bod had no friends or great knowledge to survive in the living world. He left the Graveyard with nothing, but his name, heart, and mind. One small speck in a big world. It felt rather depressing. Especially when you read that he left the Graveyard to live his small life until he to would ride the Ladys horse to his finally resting place, the Graveyard.

The Graveyard Book was a dark, one-of-a-kind story.
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