Publisher: Harper Perennial
My Rating: 5 out of 5
Summary (from Goodreads): In Neil Gaiman's bestselling adult fantasies, telling the difference between reality and illusion can sometimes mean your soul. With Coraline, the author of American Gods develops this favorite theme for a younger audience, taking us through a deliciously frightening door to an "other," harrowing world.
Coraline's often wondered what's behind the locked door in the drawing room. It reveals only a brick wall when she finally opens it, but when she tries again later, a passageway mysteriously appears. Coraline is surprised to find a flat decorated exactly like her own, but strangely different. And when she finds her "other" parents in this alternate world, they are much more interesting despite their creepy black button eyes. When they make it clear, however, that they want to make her theirs forever, Coraline begins a nightmarish game to rescue her real parents and three children imprisoned in a mirror. With only a bored-through stone and an aloof cat to help, Coraline confronts this harrowing task of escaping these monstrous creatures.
Gaiman has delivered a wonderfully chilling novel, subtle yet intense on many levels. The line between pleasant and horrible is often blurred until what's what becomes suddenly clear, and like Coraline, we resist leaving this strange world until we're hooked. Unnerving drawings also cast a dark shadow over the book's eerie atmosphere, which is only heightened by simple, hair-raising text. Already compared to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and suited for readers of all ages, Coraline is otherworldly storytelling at its best.
My Summary: Coraline Jones is an unhappy young girl. Having just moved to a new house in a new city, Coraline has no one to play with except her parents, who are too busy working to pay her any attention anyway. There are the neighbours - Mr. Bobinski, the mouse-tamer, and Ms. Spink and Ms. Forcible, retired actresses who can't seem to leave behind their days in the theatre - but there is nobody around her age, and Coraline is bored out of her mind.
One day, while her parents are out, Coraline decides to explore the house, which is hundreds of years old. What she finds, though, is far more terrible than anything she could have ever imagined: Coraline find a door to another version of her life, where her 'other' mother and father cater to her every whim and desire.
The only catch: they want to sew buttons into her eyes and keep her there with them forever.
Now Coraline must fight to escape the clutches of her 'other' parents and save her real ones before time runs out.
My Thoughts: Let me start off by saying that I got the movie version of Coraline for Christmas last year, and it is definitely one of my favourite movies of all time! I have watched that thing so many times that I decided I wanted to read the book as well, being the dedicated bookie that I am.
The thing I liked about the book (and the movie, as well) is that is it classified as a children's novel, but the topics go much deeper than most children's novels. Here's an example of one of my favourite quotes:
"I don't want whatever I want. Nobody does. Not really. What kind of fun would it be if I just got everything I ever wanted just like that, and it didn't mean anything? What then?"
Neil Gaiman's writing (as usual) is awesome - although it was a lot simpler in comparison to his writing in The Graveyard Book. His words flow together beautifully, and it only took me an hour in total to finish the entire book. His writing was simple (no complicated, flowery descriptions or overly-long words) but it never feels like he is talking down to the reader, which I really admire in children's writers.
And Coraline was such a great character! You really see her growing up during the book, and she really shines even while trying to deal with the bleak situation she's in.
Final Thoughts: While I did enjoy the movie better, Coraline was still a really great book, and I recommend it to anyone who likes paranormal novels. I don't think it's a great movie to show / book to read to a young child though, since there are some scary parts that may frighten them. I think it should be alright for kids over 10, though. I also recommend watching the movie after reading!