Coraline by Neil Gaiman {Kelly’s Review}

Posted 29 October, 2012 by Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal / 23 Comments

Coraline by Neil Gaiman {Kelly’s Review}Coraline by Neil Gaiman
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Fiction, General, Young Adult
Pages: 208

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.

Button eyes, grasping hands! Oh, my!

My Thoughts on Coraline

Standard disclaimer on all things Neil Gaiman related: I love the dude’s writing. I think it’s only fair to warn everybody in advance so we don’t have any misconceptions going into this review. I HAVE MAD LOVE FOR ALL THE THINGS THAT FALL OUT OF HIS HEAD. Are we clear? Good.

Coraline’s story is oddly captivating. Her parents practically ignore her, no one ever gets her name right (“It’s Coraline. Not Caroline. Coraline,” said Coraline. -pg 4), and there’s a door that goes to nowhere in the corner of their drawing room. Or, at least it seems to go nowhere when Coraline first looks at it. The mother and father on the other side of the door seem to want her far more than her own parents do, but Coraline is cautious and careful and she knows in her heart that things aren’t right. Of course, any mother who wants to sew black buttons onto her daughter’s eyes isn’t to be trusted in my book.

Bravery and intelligence are key in escaping from the Other Mother. Coraline shows both of those in spades. Her time in the other world is full of horrible, creeptastic things — ghostly children, dogs that roost in the rafters, and rats that report what they see back to the Other Mother — and yet she keeps marching forward.

Wicked and dark at times, Coraline’s journey is full of all the things that made me love the rest of Neil Gaiman’s books. The black button eyes are the capper, though. So SO creepy. *shudders*

Kelly Loves Books... and you!


Filed under: ESR: 9, Fantasy, Review: Kelly, YA,


23 Responses to “Coraline by Neil Gaiman {Kelly’s Review}”

  1. That cover terrifies me beyond belief. I’ve been forced to watch all kinds of scary films this week, but none as terrifying as that piece of creepiness!

    I really need to get round to reading this. I wasn’t a massive fan of The Graveyard Book but maybe this one sounds a lot more adult.

  2. NEIL GAIMAN IS A BLOODY GENIUS!! How does he think of such things? Much less write them in a way where they’re scary and creepy and yet still…friendly. BLOODY GENIUS!!

  3. I agree the buttons thing freaked me out. The animated movie was done really well. Stays true to the creepy part while also hanging on to the MG feel. Gaiman’s got tons of weird stories, but he holds my attention every time. Definitely check out Graveyard Book. It was awesome.

  4. I’m a little nervous to admit this to you Kelly, but I’ve never read anything by Neil Gaiman. *runs away* Clearly this is a mistake of epic proportions. I’ve heard great things about Coraline and I did get a copy of it for review, so I’m thinking maybe I should get on that yes? Yes.

    • You don’t have to run away! I promise not to get mad! I love his imagination, but I know he won’t be for everyone. However, since you do have a copy for review, I think you should read it. You know, just because it’s there. *finger guns*

  5. I’ve never read any Neil Gaiman, but you sure make me want to. I’ve never much been interested in Coraline because I never REALLY knew what it was about. But it sounds like an interesting and perfectly creepy story. I may have to add this to the TBR. NIce review!

    • It’s an easy read (as in, it’s written for a younger audience and you can read it quickly) so it’s a perfect way to ease your way into his head. Give it a try! I promise you buttons! No, wait. That’s not right.

  6. KELLY.

    And… I can’t believe I haven’t read Coraline. Because I’m seriously considering calling my future imaginary-daughter Coraline. Because I LOVE the movie.

    But… the way you’re describing the books, and mother and father, and ‘bravery and intelligence’ and and and…

    *happy place* OK. I’m getting it. I’M SO GETTING IT *runs off to Book Depository*

  7. This man’s work is truly off the wall incredible. I definitely have enjoyed everything I’ve read and have a very long list to get too.

    Coraline was an incredible book. Fantastical, creeptasitcal, magical, lots of -icals! Other Mother tops the creep fator, in my book.

  8. The black buttons! Yes! Super creepy.

    I LOVE Neil Gaiman. Like, he’s a rock star to me. Has been since I read Stardust about 12 years ago.

    This book is really great in audio format — Neil reads it and it has a super creepy vibe to it, even more so than in paper format.

    I’m so happy you loved this! And I’m happy to see so much love for the things that fall out of Neil’s head. :)

  9. I think MG books is where Neil Gaiman really shines. Seriously his characters and humor are perfect for that age range :)

  10. First of all, let me just say that I read this book thinking it was a children’s book. I’m a huge fan of Neil Gaiman but I didn’t think this would be any creepy since it’s supposed to be for children. How wrong I was.

    It terrified me so much I couldn’t sleep after reading it! I totally loved the book though and even recommended it to my little sister, but she wouldn’t read it because she saw the movie already and thought it was way creepy.

    Great review! :)

    -Kimi of Geeky Chiquitas