Review * Coraline by Neil Gaiman

October 17, 2012 Reviews 21 ★★★

Review * Coraline by Neil GaimanCoraline by Neil Gaiman
Published by William Morrow on January 24, 2002
Genres: Horror, Middle Grade
Pages: 162
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Add to: Goodreads
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.

What I Thought…

  • I’ll admit I was a little surprised by how much I liked it. I’m not really a fan of middle grade, and the last middle grade book I read, The Wishing Spell, fell flat for me. However that didn’t happen for Coraline. I don’t know if it’s because Coraline didn’t seem like a whiny brat or because I didn’t feel like Gaiman was “talking down” to me.
  • The plot was genius! The idea of the other mother, so perfect at first, but yet still “off” was great. I was definitely kept on my toes as to what might happen next. I also found his creation of the alternate world fascinating in how it was the same… yet different, which only added to the creepiness factor.
  • This book had just the right amount of creepiness in it for a middle grade book (which is pretty much where my scare level is)! There were a couple of parts that had me on my toes.
  • Coraline herself was enjoyable. She cared not just about herself, but others as well.
  • The other mother could easily become a complete psychopath in an YA or adult book. And those button eyes… shudder.
  • The pictures in Coraline were so creepy. Especially the one of the other mother. That one gave me the willies!
  • I wish that Coraline would have been a little longer, at only 162 pages (with pictures) it’s much shorter than any of my normal reads.
  • This is a perfect read to get you into the Halloween spirit.

Notable Quotes

“I will be brave, thought Coraline. No, I am brave.”

“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?”

On the Wings of BooksParticipating in Bloggers Dressed in Blood? Be sure to link up your reviews and posts below.

Throughout the month I will be reviewing scary (ok, creepy) books to get you into the Halloween spirit. Join Kate, Steph, Danielle and I in our Halloween Fun.


21 Responses to “Review * Coraline by Neil Gaiman”

  1. Jen Ryland/YA Romantics

    Oooh, I love the “recommended by” thing on your book summary. Great idea!
    I’ve actually never read this, and I probably should!
    And I’m all for a short book now and then. These 600-pagers are killing me!

  2. Kate Midnight Book Girl

    I do like the the review template (personally I love good quotes!), and I would have recommended Coraline to you if I had only thought to! ;) The other mother is creepy as HELL.

  3. Marce

    I have this on my TBR list, it sounds great even though it is Middle Grade, I feel a pull towards it.

  4. Marce

    Forgot to say you made me laugh when you said your scare level is about at a middle grade, lol

  5. Jenny

    I’ve only seen the movie of this one and I have to admit it sort of creeped me out. I’m not sure I could handle the book.

  6. Alexia561

    Enjoyed your review! I’m a huge Gaiman fan and have a copy, but haven’t read it yet. Glad to hear that it doesn’t disappoint!

  7. Bittner

    Great post Kim! I really like this author and I did see Coraline in theaters but I’ve never read this one. I’m glad you liked it. Even for a middle grade book 162 does seem pretty short.

  8. fakesteph

    I didn’t love this movie and I haven’t read the book (yet), but I’m glad you liked it. And there is so much great middle grade out there and most of it won’t talk down to you. Promise!

  9. Christina

    Three stars. I agree with your opinions on Coraline and the rating. Somehow I’ve never loved any Neil Gaiman I’ve read, though I feel like I should. It’s mostly in the 3-3.5 range. Oh well.