The Graveyard Book

A graveyard comes to life…

The Graveyard Book, in my opinion, didn’t have a solid plot. Nevertheless, it was very interesting to read about how Nobody Owens (Bod for short) was brought up by ghosts, following his adventures from making friends to being saved from ghouls. When Bod makes a new best friend, she has to go away to Glasgow, but I’m glad the author does not forget this girl.
I had never thought about what it would be like to be brought up by ghosts before, as it’s quite an imaginative concept. However, the magnificent Neil Gaiman has obviously spent a lot of time planning this out, resulting in a really well thought out book. For example, I liked how when Bod passed graves, the book would tell you what’s written on the gravestones. Also, the author very cleverly placed Bod with ghosts from all different ages, dating from the Roman times. Unfortunately, at times it was still unrealistic, such as how he walked through things and did what ghosts could do.
The ending didn’t really sit well with me, because it felt rushed. It had a very long sentence, distracting you from the story, where short sentences would give you more time to reflect on the ending.
I would give this book a four star rating. The only thing that let it down was that the Lady on the Grey told Bod that “‘One day. Everybody does’”, meaning that everyone rides her horse, which seemed significant to Bod. Yet when it comes to the end of the book, it only mentions her briefly. Overall, I would recommend this book to people who like to use their imagination and enjoy unexpected turns.

17 by Dameon Garnett

This play is a standalone quest for a lost boy to overcome his emotions. Scott is struggling to fit in with anyone, as his mother has sadly passed away, and settling into a new family after 17 years is always uncomfortable. Garnett has created a realistically complex character – Scott is shy and confident at the same time. He’s shy around others, but when he is with his pet snake, he feels like he can talk to anyone. The genre was hard to pick out, as it focuses on everyday life, as heart-wrenching as it can be.
The fact that there are very few characters and simple language allows the audience to focus on the key themes of this piece. The author writes confidently with a Liverpudlian dialect, clearly setting the play. However, the change in Scott’s language throughout the play implies that Scott was becoming more and more educated, little by little.
This play is a real thrill, keeping you hanging on until the brilliant twist at the end! Reading a script was a change for me, but the dialogue moved the plot along at a good pace, and the stage directions helped set the scenes clearly. Garnett’s stripped back honest writing means that I completely agreed with the fact that ‘you can’t deny Garnett’s bruising energy.’ It leaves you thinking about the details, as Garnett has deliberately left them out. Overall, I would give this magnificent novel five stars, as even though it was short, it still had the impact that ‘even the smallest thing can make the biggest difference’. If I am ever upset, all I have to do is think of what Scott had been through, and that thought would comfort me thoroughly.

Bone: Out of Boneville

Fast-paced graphic novel

Bone: Out from Boneville is a surprisingly good graphic novel and the first in a series of eleven books. The book had a much better story line than any comic I’ve read, following the adventures of three Bone cousins as they are trying to get back to Boneville after one of them was chased out.
I liked how varied the characters were, from selfish Phoney Bone to kind and caring Fone Bone. The genre was fantasy and the pictures set the scene well, taking you from the hot, blaring desert to the beautiful, paradise-like jungle. However, the pictures meant you couldn’t imagine it for yourself, which was a shame.
The different font meant that without describing the speech, I had a good idea of how the characters were speaking. This is also helped by the clear expressions on their faces.
I would recommend this novel to anyone who likes comics, as it makes an excellent introduction to graphic novel. I would give this novel a four star rating, because it was too fast paced for my liking at times, so I couldn’t reflect on what I was reading. This book reminded me that what you give in life, you get back in return.

My New Book

In this adventure (and hopefully exciting) novel, which is set in a parallel universe, there are different clans that are mostly at peace with each other, but once in a blue moon, there are a few sneaky people from all over, trying to spread havoc. However, there is one special or unlucky boy (depending on your point of view) that has to carry the weight of all the seas, ground and sky of the people on his narrow, slim shoulders, but he is not alone. A girl is with him, helping him with his burden, holding his hand every step of the way. She needs to guide him and sweep a clear path ahead of him, with the unwavering loyalty of a wolf, but even with this brute strength, the question still remains: is this path as safe as it seems? Only one way to find out!

‘The wolf seemingly understood me, crawled out and sniffed Gwail’s hand. Then he slunk back into the shadows, and that is why I decided to call him Shadow…’

There is ALWAYS more where that came from!

Boy – Tales of childhood

A lot more than an autobiography.

The late author Roald Dahl wrote amazing books, and this is no exception. I have not read many autobiographies before, so I didn’t have very high expectations, but this was absolutely amazing! Boy is about Dahl’s childhood and I liked how honest he was about how mischievous such a talented person could be. As he grew up in the early 1900’s, I could compare his experience of these times to what I’ve learnt in history.
The first few pages were a bit too factual, but I flowed through the rest of the book. This was because the anecdotes were very interesting and there was just the right amount of speech. It was as if he was telling you what happened just after it happened, meaning it was all the more engaging.
I thought that some of the letters need to be a bit more legible, but it felt realistic that the handwriting was different. Also, it developed as Dahl got into his teens. There wasn’t any plot as it was an autobiography, but the book was excellent, with lots of little short stories at different stages of his life.
Overall, it was an inspirational book for all ages, and the only bit that let it down was the illegible letters at the end of each chapter. This was disappointing, because the book was so interesting I felt like I was missing out when I couldn’t read it. I would give this novel a four star rating.

Cold Tom

Cold Tom is a loner hunted down by his merciless tribe because, being half-blind and half-deaf, he is no use to them. He is chased into Demon City, where he seeks refuge for a while, but struggles to stand the heat.
There were a variety of characters ranging from Joe, who is horrible, forceful and cares for no-one except himself, to Anna, who is kind, affectionate and is always caring for Tom. Tom doesn’t belong to anyone and is a stranger, neither kind nor horrible. The author didn’t show Tom’s emotions and therefore I never knew what his next action would be.
Normally, I don’t like fantasy as I find it hard to believe, but I really liked this book and was absorbed in it through to the end. The use of Edie as foreshadowing worked very well in making their world seem real and Tom’s experience easier to believe.
I would give this novel a four out of five rating, as I would have liked the book to be a bit longer, since it was excellent, but I think that the ending was a tad rushed. I would recommend this book to readers of all ages, because the well thought out plot would appeal to everyone.

Constable and Toop

Constable and Toop is the winner of the Blue Peter Book Award 2012, which does not surprise me! In Gareth P. Jones’ inventive novel, Sam, Tanner and Lapsewood find themselves having to save the dead, but at the same time trying not to be in harm’s way.
I liked the romantic twist at the end, which was unexpected as it is a horror book. I haven’t read much horror before, but this has definitely kick-started me in the horror genre. I found the tag line ‘It’s not the ghosts you need to worry about…’ intriguing at first. It was interesting how Sam Toop (a talker: a living person who has experienced death, who can see and talk to ghosts) helps the dead against the hell hound, when people generally think of ghosts as being the scary, evil characters. I think the author was very thoughtful with the characters, writing how exceptionally ordinary people (and ghosts) could save the dead from being devoured and exorcised.
The book was filled with grand description, which usually would be quite boring, but not this time! I flowed through this novel, able to picture what the setting was like. I would give this novel a four star rating, because it was absolutely brilliant once it got started.

The Extraordinary Cases of Sherlock Holmes

These stunning cases are eight of the fifty six short stories, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, about the only consulting detective in the world, Sherlock Holmes. All of these cases are set in Victorian times, but I still found the stories accessible and easy to get in to.
I liked the way the stories were in the first person, not in the voice of Sherlock Holmes, but in Dr. Watson’s. This is good, because we could relate better to Dr. Watson and understand what’s happening, while Sherlock is so clever that he probably couldn’t explain the mysteries on our level of understanding. Every case got me thinking and trying to unravel the mysteries and find the truth, although the answers were not as simple as they seemed. Alas, I failed to solve the mysteries, but I did succeed in one. However I found it really interesting, because notes were involved and codes that Sherlock needed to crack. I was shocked to discover that Sherlock Holmes is not real as these stories are too good to be fake.
I would recommend this book to people who adore mysteries and crime. I would give this novel a four out of five rating, because even though the cases were brilliant, some weren’t as good as others, as they didn’t contain as much action.

Uncle Montague’s Tales of Terror

This scary, but wonderful novel is one of three books in the Tales of Terror collection. These tales are told by dead children to Uncle Montague, who in turn tells them to his nephew, Edgar. These are narrated in a frightening manner, as ‘Uncle Montague smiled and nodded, tapping the ends of his fingers together and sinking back into the shadows.’ The genre of this story is horror, which I don’t usually read. I enjoyed these horror tales, as they have more sinister characters than adventure or action books, so therefore it was more interesting.
Normally I would be bored with tale after tale after tale, but I found this book fascinating, because it was filled with imagination. This novel is packed with realism to the extent that I kept reading it, all the way through until late. Making the mistake of reading Uncle Montague’s Tales of Terror after dark, I kept having to glance behind me to check Chris Priestley’s creatures weren’t hiding in the shadows.
I would recommend this novel to people who like horror told with imagination. I would give this book a four star rating, because while it was a bit slow to get going, but when it did, I just couldn’t put the book down.


Raphael, Gardo and Jun-Jun, also known as Rat, are the dumpsite boys. Their lives get turned upside down when Raphael finds a leather bag, belonging to a dead man, which has things inside that could apparently solve a crime. They choose to take the risk and embark on an adventure to solve the mystery themselves, with the police on their tails.
The story is written in the first person, but switches between the three main characters, meaning that I could relate to the characters. My favourite character has to be Jun-Jun (Rat), because even though you think you know about him, many aspects remain hidden until later in the book. These three characters are all interesting, because they work in a dump and are expected to not be very well educated, but they can be cunning. Also when the police are offering a huge amount of money, you would think they would take it and hand over what the police want, but instead they unexpectedly go on the run.
This thrilling novel taught me that even if you go through torture, rejection and hard times, if there’s something you want to accomplish, you should grab it with open hands. I would give this story a five star rating, because I flowed through the book with great momentum. I would recommend it to those who like twists and surprising turns.