The Graveyard book by Neil Gaiman was my first introduction to this author. Although I was running on the biased opinion of my friends, I was left feeling cold and slightly confused about all the hype surrounding this author. Don't get me wrong, I'm not going to throw all his books to the side just because of one bad experience but I really don't see the fuss.
Gaimans books are loved by adults and children alike, however I was mystified as to which bookshelf this belongs. The story itself was very dark and disturbing, I mean the title in itself is a dead giveaway really - if you'll pardon the pun, and although I'm sure it was written for a younger audience, it is so graphic at times that it should nearly come with a warning!
"Nobody Owens" is the main character in the story, who as a baby is taken in by the ghosts in the local graveyard when his family are murdered by "the man Jack". We follow Nobody or "Bod" as he likes to be known, on his journey of discovery and development, while also trying to stay hidden from the evil Jack.
For me, the story fell flat. I found myself willing it to end from almost the beginning.
As I said at the start of this review, I won't let this one book tarnish my view, I'm looking forward to giving Coraline a read next, but this book is not one I'll be recommending in the future.
It's a retelling of The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling, so my enjoyment of it might be coloured by my love of Kipling. It didn't strike me as particularly graphic, just dark in the way many fairy tales are.
If you want to try his adult books, American Gods is great fun. Coraline is a good one for younger readers. My five year old really liked the audio book version read by Gaiman himself. It is dark and spooky though, so it may not be for you.