Friday, October 23, 2015

Book Review: Coraline by Neil Gaiman

"Be wise.
Be brave.
Be tricky."
- Coraline, Neil Gaiman

I read Coraline thinking it would be a funny, light read.  It wasn't.  Actually I'm surprised it was even in the children's section. I'm pretty sure if I had read this when I was ten I would have never been able to open up doors again.

The story starts off with a small girl moving into a dreary, grey house that has been separated into four different flats.  A crazy old man training mice lives above, two old actresses live bellow, and another is empty.

Coraline's parents are usually working and leave her alone for the most part.  Bored and angry with them she begins to explore the woods around the house. A sassy black cat appears a few times but besides that the place is a vast empty grey.

So Coraline begins to explore the house.

She decides that the man upstairs is quite crazy.  Miss. Spink and Miss. Forcible from bellow tell interesting stories but they also seem to be cracked as they insist that she is in danger and give her rock as protection.

Her own house is fairly quiet until she can't get a door open.  When she ask her mom about it they open the door and theres a solid brick wall behind it. Coralines parents tell her that it used to lead into the empty flat and its been bricked for privacy but Coraline feels like something strange is going on.

After her parents are gone Coraline grabs the keys and unlocks the door.  Instead of a solid wall of bricks Coraline finds a long, dark passage.  Something scurries through the blackness and Coraline starts to walk down into the dark.  A light ahead appears and she finds herself back in the kitchen, her mother at the stove.  But when her mom turns her eyes are two large black buttons.

Neil Gaimans books are full of all things dark and sinister. Coraline isn't an exception. The idea that "another" mother with buttons for eyes in the next flat over wants you is probably one of the scariest things ever.

Coraline has a very big heart. That was one of the things I loved about the book. Shes angry at her parents in the beginning but as it progresses she starts to realize just how much she loves them and fights to get them back.

Same with the ghosts of the past children who are in the mirror. Coraline feels so sorry for them and tries to save them from the "other" mother.

And then theres the sarcastic black cat that keeps showing up. My heart was so happy when Coraline made sure that the cat made it home.

I recommend this book to anyone whose a fan of classic horror stories.  The spooky "the monster under the bed" theme is perfect for October.

 Thanks for reading!

My Rating: 4/5 Stars
 Author: Neil Gaiman
Genre: Dark Fantasy
Published: January 2002
Art: Dave McKean

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