Saturday, 22 September 2018

Book Review: Coraline by Neil Gaiman

In their new house, Coraline opens a door that leads to an other world with her other mother and other father, where things seem a little too good to be true...

“It is astonishing just how much of what we are can be tied to the bed we wake up in in the morning and it is astonishing how fragile that can be.”

First of all, where the hell does Gaiman get off thinking this book is acceptable for children?! 29 year old me was certifiably creeped out by that scene in the cellar! Younger me, who was a huge wimp, would have been paralysed with fear reading this one! That’s not to say I won’t force this one upon my future kiddos... I also loved Gaiman's introduction at the start of the book, explaining how he started writing it for one of his daughters - but it was put to the side - and so he ended up finishing it for another daughter before she got too old to appreciate it (or rather, provide a child's opinion on it).

I absolutely LOVED this book. I just adored the concept of Coraline going through a door and entering into a parallel universe almost, with the other Mother and other Father. And the vivid imagery was so terrifying too... I mean, buttons for eyes?! And doughy faces?! The illustrations for the Other Mother in my edition are so freakin scary - and I love the figure that @margaritathedrink (instagram user) has on her page too. Other Mother is pure nightmare fuel!! It's such a strange and surrealistic book - before reading I was almost afraid I would have another Alice in Wonderland on my hands (I absolutely loathe that book), but the difference between the two is that Coraline isn't just a pile of nonsense. There's a clear plot and it doesn't nosedive down into the non-sensical. 

Coraline herself is such a fantastic female protagonist. She’s brave, feisty and tricksy - a fantastic role model for young girls reading this and the exact kind of girl I wish had been my friend growing up. She shows so much courage for her young age and Gaiman writes her perfectly! Special shoutout to the cat as well, who was so sardonic and provided some light relief amongst all the unsettling horror (reminder that yes, this IS a children's book).

Short and sweet and one that won’t be forgotten easily. I thoroughly enjoyed every page of this one. I’m trying to be more strict with how many 5 stars I give out, but Coraline, not Caroline *wink* deserves them! Neil Gaiman is quickly becoming one of my favourite authors.


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