Coraline – Book Review

Book Rating: ★★★★☆   (4 / 5 stars)
Audio Book Performance: ★★★★☆ (4 / 5 Stars)

After moving into a new flat in a big old house with her parents, Coraline is finding herself facing the ultimate test: boredom on a rainy day. She has explored everything…until a mysterious door leads her to a house identical to her own, but even more fantastic. There, she meets her “Other Mother” a woman identical to her mother but with button eyes. Everything seems perfect! Until they want to replace her eyes with buttons as well. Now, Coraline has to escape her Other Mother’s clutches and save her own parents…otherwise she will be stuck forever.

Of course, I have seen the movie Coraline. It was years ago, but it still sticks fresh in my mind. Delightfully reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland, Neil Gaiman brings to life the story of a girl who wants more out of life. Or…so she thinks. But with the opportunity to have everything, she learns that having everything doesn’t really mean anything. It’s the boring days that make life count. 

Creepy in every way, Gaiman paints a picture of the experiences Coraline goes through as she fights her Other Mother. The monsters are the type that will haunt nightmares, all while showing Coraline’s strength and determination to overcome them. In a way, they are a message for growing up: escaping temptation, accepting new things, and learning to embrace selflessness. These are messages that adults and children can all carry.

I will say, some parts didn’t hold my attention and I think were better translated onto the screen. In addition, the ending was a bit slow, considering the anxiety pumping action throughout the middle of the book. Perhaps this was the audiobook narration and not the tale itself. It is hard to tell at times. This can be the case with Neil Gaiman’s writing though; its poetic nature can wind in just the wrong direction, losing the reader for a moment in both good and bad ways. 

Overall though, Coraline is a wonderful story that both adults and children will like. Just remember though, if you find a strange door in your house, be careful where you put the key. Otherwise, you might just find your Other Mother! 

What’s it about?

“Coraline discovered the door a little while after they moved into the house. . . .”

When Coraline steps through a door to find another house strangely similar to her own (only better), things seem marvelous.

But there’s another mother there, and another father, and they want her to stay and be their little girl. They want to change her and never let her go.

Coraline will have to fight with all her wit and courage if she is to save herself and return to her ordinary life

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