In the past few months, I’ve heard a lot of good things about Neil Gaiman’s work, and so I was really excited when I realised that Coraline was one of his novels. I can confirm that what I had heard was true, I wasn’t disappointed!
Coraline is the story of a young girl who just moved into a new house with her family. Sadly, her parents are really into their work, and so they don’t really pay attention to their daughter. Actually, they don’t pay attention at all, and at first I was really shocked and angry at them (until I understood that the book was based on this).
So one day when it’s raining outside and she can’t go play in the garden, Coraline gets really bored and her dad tells her to go and explore the house. Count the doors and the windows. And so, she reluctantly starts on her mission and soon discovers a door. The door is locked, but her mom has the key. When she unlocks it, Coraline only sees a wall of bricks.
A little while later, Coraline tries again, and this time there isn’t any brick blocking the way. She goes through a long tunnel, and then she’s surprised when she realises she’s back into her flat. Only it’s her “other” flat. Where her “other” family lives.
The “other mother” takes advantage of the fact that Coraline isn’t really happy with her life to try and get her to stay. Her “other” room is amazing, the “other mother” cooks great foods and she plays with her. But ultimately, she wants to sew buttons into Coraline’s eyes.
That’s when Coraline gets creeped out and notices that her “other” mother is an evil creature. From then on, Coraline with the help of a cat tries to save her real parents and get back to the real world. And of course, get rid of the key forever.
I’d like to think there’s a lesson to be learned from this story… But all I can think of is “pay attention to your child or else their other parents will kidnap them.” Which I guess is good advice.
This book is simply brilliant. It’s got everything a good children’s book needs: action, humour and suspense. Oh, and great characters!
Coraline is a very smart girl. I keep thinking she’s 8 year-old, but she might be older. She handles everything really maturely, but she’s still vulnerable. Yes, at times she cries. She’s terrified. Anyone would be. I like that the author didn’t try to give her this heroic toughness. This makes her a lot easier to relate to.
Their neighbours are also great. Miss. Spink and Miss Forcible are hilarious. They are old actresses, and they still think really high of themselves which made me laugh a lot, but at the same time they are the ones who told Coraline she was in danger and gave her the tool she needed to win over the “other” mother. Mister Bobo, the upstairs neighbour is the world’s craziest old man with his circus mice!
The story is really fast paced. It took me about 3 hours to get through. I just couldn’t put it down. And I really like that there were illustrations at the beginning of every chapters. The drawings were spooky and gave the book an extra touch of creepiness!
Overall it’s just a really fun and creepy read! I’m definitely going to check out the graphic novel. The movie in 3D was also really really good! I highly recommend anyone to pick up this book, you won’t be disappointed!
You can buy this book HERE
Have you read it? What were your thoughts on it?