Feature Friday: Spring Releases

Hey everyone we are back for the month of April with our Feature Friday. This month we decided we would do Spring releases that we are looking forward to in the months of April and May. Some weeks we will each share a book we are anticipating, other weeks we will combine. To start off, we are combining for one AMAZING book that is definitely at the top of our lists (Emily is at the moment scheming how she can get to the bookstore on it’s release day so she can have it to read on her flight to California the day after release day). What book is it?

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A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J Maas

Release Date: May 2nd, 2017

It’s safe to say that Sarah J Maas is one of our favorite authors. We have both devoured the Throne of Glass series (and are excited and terrified to see it end soon!) and were both stunned by the world she created in the Court of Thorns and Roses series. While we both enjoyed book 1, A Court of Thorns and Roses, it was the second book that really sealed the deal on this series for us. This series is filled with a magical world that you can see is based off of fairy tales, it has crazy characters that we both love and hate, it has a romance that makes you weak at the knees, twists and turns that constantly keep you guessing, and a heroine you can really support. This book series has flown to the top of the list as far as our favorites go, and we are both super excited for it’s release!

QUESTION: What spring releases are you excited for?

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Top Ten Tuesday: Less Love Triangles Please

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Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

We are back with our first Top Ten Tuesday for the month of February! It’s crazy to think just how fast we are moving through this month already (I mean, it’s already the 7th…crazy right!?). This week’s topic is Top Ten Books we wish had more/less ______ in them. They could be books you want more (or less) romance, more (or less) action, etc… This week we are bringing to your attention Top Ten Books that we wish would just tune down the love triangle. We get it. It happens sometimes and that’s that. But let’s be real, if you toy around with people’s feelings like that the chances of them BOTH being done with you are pretty high, and the chances of others being annoyed with you are even higher. We personally believe in reserving your feelings for one person, and not multiple. And though sometimes love triangles make a book a little more interesting and add some extra drama, there are some times where they are just too much and need to stop. These are some books that we became fed up with the love triangle (even if we loved the book dearly).

Twilight | Snow Like Ashes | Shatter Me | The Hunger Games | Kiss of Deception | Splintered | Red Queen | The Mortal Instruments | Scarlet | An Ember in the Ashes

Twilight – Edward+Bella+Jacob.

Snow Like Ashes – Mather+Meira+Theron

Shatter Me – Adam+Juliette+Warner

The Hunger Games – Peeta+Katniss+Gale

Kiss of Deception – Kaden+Lia+Rafe

Splintered – Morpheus+Alyssa+Jeb

Red Queen – Maven+Mare+Cal

The Mortal Instruments – Jace+Clary+Simon

Scarlet – John+Scarlet+Rob

An Ember in the Ashes – Laia+Elias+Helene

Question: Which love triangles went a little too far for you?

Let’s Catch Up…on What Emily has read

Hey guys!

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As I am sitting here staring at my list of reviews to be done I started to get a little overwhelmed. For the longest time I have been the person that is on top of things. I am always quick to start typing a review (or jotting down notes so I can write it later that week) and typically have something up promptly and feel accomplished while I dive in to my next book. This has been an issue for me as of late. I had so much happening for me personally and then that bit of a hiatus while I was back home for the holidays happened. I honestly feel like I am just getting back on my feet. So, instead of giving you little individual posts about each and every book (which they all deserve) I am going to give you a few thoughts on each one (which we can discuss more later if you wish).

So…here are some things that I read recently…

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Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

I was dying for an audiobook to keep me company on my drive to and from work, and this definitely fit the bill. I kept hearing that Nicola Yoon’s work was beautiful, and this just proved that to me. She painted such a beautiful picture of a young woman who is so used to her routine and doesn’t even question it. I got so invested in finding out just what it was that Maddy had and how she was going to continue to be friends with Olly. They became these two characters that I was constantly routing for as the book went on. I responded to them in my car (and they did not listen to me) and I continued to wish for the best for them in their lives. I got lost in this story and struggled to find an audiobook once I was finished with this one. This story was unique, interesting, and something that kept me wanting to stay in my car to listen to more. I definitely recommend getting this book into your possession.

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Unashamed by Lecrae Moore

Lecrae is an artist that I have always been interested in. This rapper has lived quite the life and really turned it around to bring a message to the public that we need to hear. In this book Lecrae tells us his story, which is a story indeed. This story opened my eyes to what people can go through while also giving me a little idea of the inspiration for his style of rap. Lecrae tackled of life of drugs, alcohol, abuse, and a lot of bad choices and situations. He was put through the ringer over and over and many times could not see a way out. Every time he tried, every time he thought he changed his life around and followed the path he was supposed to, something pushed him back. This story is about rising above your circumstances  to bring out what God wants from you. This book is about faith and trust and not letting the past define who you are in the moment. This book gave me a whole new perspective on Lecrae, his music, and his message. It was eye opening and inspiring.

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The Boy in the Black Suit by Jason Reynolds

This book was something else, in the best way. I am not entirely sure if I have the right words even. To me this was a portrayal of grief that I found relate-able, realistic, and, in a way, beautiful. This young man lost his mother and is dealing with all that comes after you lose a parent…kids at school treating you funny, developing odd routines to help you cope, the dreams, watching a parent cope. At first I thought some of his coping mechanisms were weird, but the more I read the more I get it. In the end, while grieving, you don’t want to feel alone. You want to know that you aren’t the only person in the world that has ever felt this level of a loss. Matt was looking for that, and he found it. I loved the story. I loved the writing and the relationships between characters. I really don’t know how else to describe it without giving away my feelings towards this book. In the end I just want you all to know that you NEED to read it and pass it along. It explores a life that is tough, but with ways to find the bright side in the darkness.

A few other things I have listened to lately in the car….Bossypants by Tina Fey and Yes Please by Amy Poehler. Yes, I am laughing my butt off in the car. I love these two women and the work that they have done. Their books are entertaining and kind of empowering. I love listening to them to and from work. A great thing to listen to after a stressful day.

QUESTION: What are some books that you have been reading lately?

emily

Top Ten Tuesday: Freebie!

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Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Happy Tuesday all! Can you believe we are getting so close to the end of January already? I sure can’t (but I was also in Chicago over the weekend, and it was 55 and sunny and that is not typical January weather around here so I am super thrown off to begin with). This week is a freebie for Top Ten Tuesday, and while we were both debating what to do we realized that we hadn’t really talked to you about our winter TBR. So, here are some books that we are HOPING to read this winter!

Emily:

NOTE: I will try my darndest to cross these books of my list and devour them, but we all know my mood reading ways may get the best of me. Lets see what I can do!

The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig | Passenger by Alexandra Bracken | Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum | Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton | Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco | Candidate by Rachel E Carter | 738 Days by Stacey Kade | A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro | Ivory and Bone by Julie Eshbaugh | I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith

Arika:

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo | Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton | The Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons | Last Stand by Rachel E. Carter | The Kommandant’s Girl by Pam Jenoff | Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers | The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss | The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen | Shadow Study by Maria V. Snyder | Dominion by John Connolly and Jennifer Ridyard

QUESTION: What are some books you hope to read this winter?

Why We Need More Books like A Monster Calls

8621462The monster showed up after midnight. As they do.

But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting. He’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the one he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming…

This monster is something different, though. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor.

It wants the truth

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There are no words for me to say that could accurately review this book. It is incredible. The writing is amazing, the pictures that are added in are great, and the content is so heartbreaking and NEEDS to be heard. I can tell you all of these things until I am blue in the face, or…I could tell you why we need more books like this one in the world (and hope that I do it justice, but I am so scared that I won’t be able to).

Sometimes the subjects of books can be the hardest thing to read. They can be graphic, they can show situations you don’t want to imagine, and they can hit too close to home. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness definitely hit too close to home, but it was this feeling that had me power through this book.

I needed this book, and there are so many others in the world that need this book (possible spoilers ahead, but I swear I will try to keep them out of here).

In this book Conor is dealing with life with a sick parent. His mother is fighting cancer. A boy is taking care of his mother and trying to grapple with the idea that this could be it. Just process that for one minute. A child is taking care of his parent who is more than likely dying. No child should ever have to do this, but he did. And so many other kids in the world today are probably going through a situation similar.

Not only did this book show Conor taking care of his mother, but it showed him facing the demons that all children with a sick and/or dying parent face. The sympathetic smiles, the teachers that let you get away with anything because you are going through a lot, the friends who are kind of there but not there, the feeling of being invisible, the anger…all of these situations and emotions are portrayed in this story; all very real, all I have dealt with. And if I have dealt with these things myself, what are the chances that there are many other people who have dealt with or are dealing with this in their lives right now? Pretty high.

I found that this book was something I could relate to, and something I needed when I was 13 and dealing with my dad being so sick. This book described the feelings that I had, the motions that I went through, and the anger that I felt. It also gave me the most accurate definition of the truth, and had me realize that back then I also had those truthful feelings. I know that not everyone loves reading about something that hits this close to home, but I am one of those people that needs these books to relate. I need these books to help me see that my grieving is ok, that my feelings are ok, and that I am not totally and completely alone. I can’t be the only person that has had this thought.

This book is also an excellent way for someone who does not quite understand the situation or the grief. This is the perfect way for someone that feels like an outsider looking in to find a way to communicate to whoever it is that is going through this situation. Honestly, I have yet to find a book that handles this better. And I am not saying that you should read this book to feel bad for them. No one wants you to feel sorry for them, especially in this situation. They want someone to listen, to attempt to relate without saying they relate, and to be able to kind of get it.

It is so rare for me to find a book about grief, about handling cancer in the family, that I feel just really hits home. This book shook me to the core. It had my body aching with grief, and it was a great way for me to deal with some of the depression and sadness that I have been feeling lately. I connected with this book, and I am so sad that it took me so long to find. This book will forever be a favorite of mine.

emily

SST: A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess + Giveaway!

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Sunday Street Team comes from the fabulous brain of Nori over at ReadWriteLove28. Basically we act as a street team for a particular author (or authors) every month, promoting their book and basically flailing about (we do that right?). To learn more about it you can visit the Sunday Street Team page over on Nori’s site.

I am SO excited to be a part of this particular month because this is a book that I was HIGHLY anticipating. I read the synopsis and instantly added it to my ever growing TBR because it should so cool and so unique.

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I am Henrietta Howel. The first female sorcerer. The prophesied one. Or am I?

Henrietta Howel can burst into flames. When she’s brought to London to train with Her Majesty’s sorcerers, she meets her fellow sorcerer trainees, young men eager to test her powers and her heart. One will challenge her. One will fight for her. One will betray her. As Henrietta discovers the secrets hiding behind the glamour of sorcerer life, she begins to doubt that she’s the true prophesied one. With battle looming, how much will she risk to save the city—and the one she loves?

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This book is released on September 20, 2016 and I am HIGHLY recommending you get your hands on it. This book was an adventure, filled with twists and turns and a unique look at a pretty typical troupe in fantasy books. I found myself diving right into this book and just being completely and totally lost to the real world (because I was in this world, and this world…oh it was good). Some specifics that I really loved about it…

  • A unique take on someone being The Chosen One. Because how many times have we read that? Don’t get me wrong…I love this kind of thing. I have been hooked on books about The Chosen One since Harry Potter and have never looked back. This book…well it has someone who is considered to be the person to fulfill their prophesy, but in all honesty…things don’t look so good for her. It started off with so much promise for her, and so much excitement…but then she had to work a lot harder than most prophesied ones and dealt with a lot of heartache and frustration along the way. That is kind of all I can say about it without giving away some plot details, but I promise you…it’s really unique. I haven’t read too many books that tackle this particular plot point in this way.
  • Henrietta was relate-able to me. She is thrown into this new world, this world she didn’t necessarily know if she wanted to be a part of. And once she is there she has to choose. She has to make a lot of choices for herself, and for the people that she holds most dear. She finds herself not really knowing where she stands and where to turn, which is a situation I tend to find myself in from time to time (and I know I am not alone). I just hope that I can tackle my real world problems with the strength and fierceness that Henrietta did.
  • There were amazing friendships and some female empowerment. Henrietta enters a world that is dominated by men. There are very few female sorcerers, and these guys sure let her know it. They test her, challenge her, and make her grow even more as a person. I think that without them she would have been lost. The group really formed a bond towards the end, and found themselves needing to work together more than anything. And while doing all of that Henrietta is working to prove that she, a woman, can do this just as well as any guy can…and she does this in the least obnoxious way possible. I won’t get into my views on feminism because that could take awhile, but I do believe there is a right and wrong way to do it…and this book did it right. Because, lets face it, this world is filled with men AND women. What are the chances you are going to have to work together? Pretty darn high. This book shows the teamwork between sexes, and it shows that it’s possible to do so with class but it is also possible to maintain some snark and attitude if you really need it.

Bonuses: Victorian era, monsters that were quite honestly terrifying, a romance that really grew on me, an amazing ending that was NOT a cliffhanger, a world I felt I could easily wander and get lost in.

So…this book…ORDER IT! BUY IT! READ IT! PASS IT ON TO YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY!

But seriously…it’s worth your time and money.

Anyone planning on getting their hands on this one? Or if you have gotten the opportunity to read it, what did you think?

About the Author:

JESSICA CLUESS is a writer, a graduate of Northwestern University, and an unapologetic nerd. After college, she moved to Los Angeles, where she served coffee to the rich and famous while working on her first novel. When she’s not writing books, she’s an instructor at Writopia Lab, helping kids and teens tell their own stories.

CLICK HERE FOR THE GIVEAWAY!

Let’s Chat About Some Amazing Fantasy

So, I have been having a solid book year. Most books seem to have been a 4 or 5 star read on goodreads, and I just want to push ALL the books on you guys. Unfortunately, I have been reading way faster than I have had time to review for the most part. And because of that, this summer I had started writing shorter reviews to make sure that I can keep up. However, I have about 4 books that seem to have missed my gushing and love. So here are 4 fantasy books that I have absolutely loved and adored this summer.

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Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

This book takes you back to the world of the Grisha, back to Ravka. And even though this isn’t directly a part of the Grisha Trilogy, it does take place in the same world but years later. Six of Crows follows a group of criminals and outcasts as they take part in a massive heist that could leave than richer than they could ever imagine. The heist is dangerous, but so are the criminals running it.

This book is packed with action, intrigue, and suspense. Honestly, it was a page turner from the very beginning. Not only did we jump right back in to the world that I absolutely love and adore, but we are thrown into the story of Inej, Kaz, Nina, Jesper, and Mathias as they are dealing with their own problems while taking a part of the most dangerous heist they have every been a part of. Their story just MOVED, and I was completely lost in this world. I loved that the chapters were from the perspective of different characters. I think that I really got to see in to the minds of each and every one of the main characters. I got to see the strengths of each and every character from every view point. I got to know more of their back story and what their end goal was. I fell in love with each and every one of them. There was so many twists and turns that I did not see coming, and I was left shocked by many different things by the end. Also, can we talk about the swoons that Leigh Bardugo writes!? MY GOSH! IT was intense and I cannot wait for the next book to come out OH SO VERY SOON!

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A Court Of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas

To be perfectly honest, I am not going to sum this one up for you. This one picks up with Feyre’s story right where A Court of Thorns and Roses left off. The first book…I liked it, but I wasn’t 100% sold on the story. BUT THIS BOOK SOLD IT FOR ME! This book was filled with so many twists and turns and characters that I grew to love. Feyre became so much more to me. She became stronger. She became a fighter. She became someone who finally figured out how to stand up for herself. Rhysand became a man that I absolutely adored. This book really showed the reader more of him, and once you understood Rhys he became the most amazing and loveable character ever. I am so sorry for doubting you in the first book Rhys. My opinions on a lot of characters changed, which really shows that you can’t judge someone by first impressions. So many people come off as one thing and then you find out they are the complete opposite, and the characters in this book really reflected that. Besides the characters this book was full of action and a plot that just wouldn’t slow down. There were moments that I literally yelled out loud in frustration and confusion because I was not expecting these things to happen.

This book seriously blew the first book out of the water, and my need for book 3 is INTENSE!

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Rebel Mechanics by Shanna Swendson

Set in 1888 New York City, this story follows Verity Newton in a world where the British still rule the colonies. Verity lands a job as a governess for a prominent family and is thrust into a world where mechanics and magisters are at war. As she gets further into her job she finds herself torn between the sides; a spy for the mechanics and the governess for a magister family. This book follows her journey in this amazing alternative history.

I absolutely loved this book and had so much fun reading this book. I forgot how much I really enjoy a good steampunk, and this book definitely fit the bill.Verity became a fast favorite of mine. She was thrown into this world that she knew little about and forced to really dig deep and find out more about herself. She learned, she failed, and she grew from her experiences. By the end of the book she became a brave individual who was totally capable of holding her own. I absolutely adored the family she fell in with. The children were always good for some comedic relief and Henry, their uncle, was absolutely amazing. There is so much you don’t know about him, and he becomes more interesting and intriguing throughout the entire book. I loved watching their journey through Colonial America as they decided which side they were on and how to fight for their beliefs. You will fall in love, be betrayed, and go on an amazing adventure with Verity.

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The Mirror King by Jodi Meadows

Again, another book that I am not going to sum up because it continues right where The Orphan Queen left off. Meaning yes, if you are still dying to know what happens after that cliffhanger ending you WILL know what happens after (though it may take quite a few chapters but I could be wrong..). I loved how this book wrapped up this series. We were thrown back into Wil’s story and all of her challenges that she faces as she tries to take back her kingdom. She is learning who she can trust, who will be at her side, and who is going to try everything in their power to destroy her. Wil learned more about who she was and who she could be. She became a stronger individual than she was when we first met her in The Orphan Queen, and she handled all the situations thrown at her with grace and ease. I still absolutely adore her friend Melanie. The most trustworthy friend a person could have, and Wil was so fortunate to have her by her side as took on each and every obstacle. This book was filled with so many plot twists, so much suspense, and so much action that made it just move. For a 500+ page book it did not get dull. I was hooked in instantly and could not turn the pages fast enough. There were moments where I yelled, where I talked back to the book, and there was at least one moment where I jumped in shock at what was happening. This book did not disappoint and it is a duology that I will always treasure in my list of favorites.

Have you read any of these books? I would love to hear your thoughts!

August Wrap-Up

I typically don’t do a wrap-up at the end of each month. I don’t tend to get a lot of books from month to month, so really no hauls to show you. And some months I hardly read a thing, so there is no reason for me to call it a wrap up when I am just reviewing the book and urging you to read it.

This month, however, I was hosting the #EOSChallenge on instagram with some fabulous people from the Book Blogger Creativity Project. Together with the other awesome ladies on The Rose Team, we came up with some fun prompts for every day in August to show off and really try to get us all into bookstagraming. This was definitely a challenge for me. I, for one, am not a bookstagram-er. I like to take pictures of what I am reading from time to time, but otherwise I really don’t do it. I love seeing how creative people get and the different types of pictures they can take, but it’s just not something I have really taken a huge part of. Enter the #EOSChallenge (if you forgot all about the project here is the original post).

I started the month off pretty strong I think. But the further into August we went the harder it was for me to remember to get that taken care of AND take care of whatever else I had going on that day. I think I only missed 1 day without making up for it, but there were definitely a few close calls. It was really fun to dive further into this type of social media and to try to come up with different ways to fulfill each day’s challenge.

Here are a few of the pictures that I took this month that I really like.

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So, after this challenge am I a bookstagram-er? Honestly…probably not. I think it’s really cool that people put so much time and effort into it. They have all kinds of props and take their time to get good lighting and everything. I don’t really have the patience for all of that. So I think that I will continue on doing my occasional book pictures, but otherwise I will be keeping my instagram account the way that it was before.

So, as for my August TBR…..

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I read…2 books. Yep, only 2 of those. I knew that 5 was asking a lot. Especially with me, someone who cannot commit to a TBR to save her life. I am happy to say that I did finish (and LOVED) My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows and Rebel Mechanics by Shanna Swendson (which also counts for RockMyTBR!!). I am still working on The Mirror King by Jodi Meadows, but I have been so easily distracted by everything.

Not pictured (and not on my TBR) books that I finished…Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and The Crown by Keira Cass. 4 total books is not bad at all for me in a month. I mean I have done better, but I have also done way worse.

Other updates…I started blogging for My Trending Stories! Look me up on there and discover a wide variety of posts by so many other awesome people.

How was your August book-wise?

Top Ten Tuesday: School Reads

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Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish

Oh my gosh, can you even believe that it is already the end of August? I am honestly quite shocked. Though I have not exactly had the best summer in the world, you best believe it still flew by. And as of September 1st I will be back at the high school and back to the grind. SO. Weird.

It seems that in celebration of this time of year the ladies over at The Broke and The Bookish thought we should make our lists school related. Today I am going to show you the Top Ten Books I read in college. Yes, some of these books I did not read until college. And even with that I still see their importance and loved them so much. If you haven’t heard of some of these or were toying with adding them to your TBR I highly recommend you check them out. A wide range of books, some of which I would never have been introduced to had it not been for my college lit classes.

Coraline by Neil Gaiman  ~Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson  ~The Kite Runner by Hkaled Hosseini  ~In the Time of Butterflies by Julia Alvarez  ~Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis  ~Secret Letters from 0 to 10 by Susie Morgenstern  ~The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo  ~Before We Were Free by Julia Alvarez  ~Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor  ~The Farming of Bones by Edwidge Danticat

So…anyone read any of these books? Some of these books I have found very few people who have read them, which is so sad. So if you have read them I would love to hear your thoughts. And if you haven’t read them I highly recommend looking into some of these (especially Julia Alvarez’s books. So powerful).

In which I tell you the benefits of Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book

Before diving in to this post you should know, this was the FIRST post that I had put together for My Trending Stories (you can find the original article HERE!!). I was so unsure where to start. I mean, I have been on this blog for a long time. I kind of know what I am doing (or I pretend and am super good at that) and feel so at ease with this. Starting to blog for another website is an entirely different story. I was unsure where to start, and even now I am panicking about running out of things to say. But when push comes to shove I can really crank it out, and after writing this post I fell in love with this book all over again. So here you have me fangirling, flailing, and running out of ways to express my love for the The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (this was my first Gaiman!!).

The full synopsis of The Graveyard Book can be found on the Goodreads page.

To sum it up, the book is about a young boy named Nobody Owens. Nobody experienced tragedy at a young age; his parents were murdered. How was he not murdered? Well this toddler got out of the house and wandered over to the graveyard near his home before the murderer could get to him. From that point on Nobody, also know as Bod, was living in the graveyard with the ghosts and other supernatural creatures.

As one can only imagine, there are many adventures to be had in a graveyard, though not all adventures are safe. But Bod continues to have those adventures and to be educated by those that reside there. Outside of the graveyard, the killer of his family still lurks and Bod isn’t completely safe. So in the graveyard he stays as he grows up.

This book is, in fact, classified as a children’s book. There are illustrations to go along with the book, which really does add to the story. I mean, right from the beginning you can see just how well the text and illustrations work together. However, just because this book is classified as children’s does not mean that adults will not enjoy it. In fact, when I really think about Neil Gaiman’s books I find that I actually enjoy his children’s books more than his adult books (though his adult books are wonderful too). I think that, as a children’s author, Gaiman isn’t scared to really push the envelope. As adults we may read this and see it as creepy and possible nightmare fuel for a child, but they just see it as a funny thing. How funny would it be to run into a kid who said that he was raised by ghosts? How much of a laugh would your 9 year old self get at the stories he tells and the adventures he might take you on? On top of that, think of all the things that children these days go through. So many are going through way more than I ever did at their age, so don’t you think that this would be a great escape for them? Maybe they can relate to something and work out some deeper issue without even knowing. Most children wouldn’t find this book too scary, and if they did then they wouldn’t read it.

I loved the strangeness of this book. A boy raised by ghosts and spirits. You best believe he knows a lot of history, but how much does he know about his real world? This becomes an issue, and an issue I think that we all can really relate to. How much do we concentrate on the past instead of what is really happening? I know I struggle with that, and I know that while I read this book I was suddenly aware of it. I noticed just how much time I spent thinking about the ways people may have hurt me or events that I could never change. I thought about what had happened instead of what was happening. This story really explores that topic that we all really need to hear in the best possible way. How will Bod deal with his present situation? Will he live in the graveyard forever? Will he be stuck in the past for the rest of his life? So many good questions came from reading this book.

On top of the importance of living your life, Gaiman touched on the most important lesson we can tell children…be yourself. Nobody Owens is definitely a unique character. He is raised by ghosts, some which are hundreds of years old and remember so many different historical events. They were raised in different time periods, and think of how much our world has changed even from just ten years ago. The people who raise you, or ghosts in this case, definitely influence and help shape who you become. Who will Bod become, and will he always be true to himself?

This book is essentially told in short stories, where each chapter is a year or so in his life and the next chapter takes place a year or two later. It’s really incredible to read, and gave me some moments of laughter while also letting me sit and think of the big picture stuff. A few quotes that I really loved from this book…

“Face your life, its pain, its pleasure, leave no path untaken.”

“If you dare nothing, then when the day is over, nothing is all you will have gained.”

“You’re alive, Bod. That means you have infinite potential. You can do anything, make anything, dream anything. If you can change the world, the world will change. Potential. Once you’re dead, it’s gone. Over. You’ve made what you’ve made, dreamed your dream, written your name. You may be buried here, you may even walk. But that potential is finished.”

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman is just ONE of my many favorite books (and just one of my favorite Gaiman books). I cannot wait to share more recommendations with you from my shelf.

What is one of your favorite books?