Review: Coraline | Neil Gaiman

This review is spoiler free.

“Because,’ she said, ‘when you’re scared but you still do it anyway, that’s brave.”

Published: 2013, by Bloomsbury.
Pages: 192
Format: Paperback
Genre: Fantasy, Horror, Young Adult, Fiction, Children’s
Contains: Violence, Blood/Gore, Neglect, Death

‘Coraline’ tells the story of Coraline Jones, and her home which has something strange about it. It’s not the mist, or the cat that always seems to be watching her, nor the signs of danger that Miss Spink and Miss Forcible, her new neighbours, read in the tea leaves. It’s the other house – the one behind the old door in the drawing room. Another mother and father with black-button eyes and papery skin are waiting for Coraline to join them there. And they want her to stay with them. For ever. She knows that if she ventures through that door, she may never come back.

This book is one of my all-time favourite stories ever, falling in love with the tale around a year ago when I listened to it for the first time, and the film adaptation that I adored growing up. This story has become a comfort read for me, and I couldn’t wait to finally get my hands on the paperback and return to the world of ‘Coraline’. Needless to say, I adored every second in it.

Coraline Jones is a brilliant protagonist, being brave and cunning and confrontational. She’s not fearless, but she’s the closest that she can be for the things she has the face. You’re on the edge of your seat reading through her eyes, and you can’t help but cherish her company.
The Other Mother made for an incredible antagonist, being terrifyingly attached to Coraline in a possessive way. She claims to love Coraline, but her true intentions are clear from the moment she was introduced, and I loved that about her. She’s as cunning as the other characters in her own way.

The writing style is brilliant for the younger target audience, but is also extremely enjoyable for older readers also. This edition is also illustrated by Chris Riddell, having beautiful illustrations at the beginning of each chapter that suited what was behind every page perfectly. There was something eerie about the artwork, and continued to impress the further you delved into the story.

Overall, I adore this novel, it being my happy place and is a story I will return to again and again in different forms.


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