Coraline by Neil Gaiman had been making the rounds on the blogs and I was really curious about it. So, finally I picked it up at the library and gave it a read.
The book starts with Coraline and her parents moving into an older apartment complete with a lot of odd neighbors. Coraline is bored. She’s not in school and her parents are always too busy to do anything with her.
So of course Coraline wants to find something to do or something to explore. Now in her apartment there is this closed door that when opened is covered in bricks. Behind that door ends up being another world that is eerily the same as her old one with some strange differences like toys that are alive and dancing rats. Not to mention that she has another mother and father who look just like hers except for the black button eyes.
However, here she has all the attention she could want along with lots of good food and nicer clothes. Things are ok until she decides that she’d still rather be back at her real home with her real parents. This does not go over well with the ‘other mother’. She wants to keep Coraline all to herself. They end up in a battle of wills for Coraline to get back her freedom to live in her real world.
You know this book is classed for a younger audience, ages 9-12 I believe. Well I’m here to say that it scared the pants off me. I did enjoy it. I wouldn’t say it’s my favorite book but it was ok for me. It did however creep me out. The rats that are alive and there is all this fog outside and at one point Coraline gets locked in a closet. Sheesh, if I was her age I would have died of fear. I enjoyed how Coraline was portrayed in the book as a young, brave girl and not the kind to go hide under the bed screaming (hmmmm, maybe like I would have). One thing that has stayed with me long after reading the book (I finished it the other day) is the black button eyes on the ‘other mother’. That picture is still vivid in my mind and truthfully I still find it scary.
Here are some of my bloggy friend’s reviews on this novel:
I’m a big chicken so it would probably scare me too.
Yes this totally creeped me out too!
I think with all books the age recommendations are a bit iffy. This was definitely a creepy read and with kids it’s so hard to tell. Some kids are alot more sensitive to scary things than others.
Great review btw 🙂
Boy that does sound scary! I would have been screaming right with ya.
This seems to be a book that is scarier to adults than to kids. Maybe because we can see the implications of everything that’s happening, while younger readers may not fully realize the trouble Coraline’s in. I’m glad you enjoyed it, Dar 🙂
Sandy Nawrot says
I’ve been reading “The Graveyard Book” (by the same author) to my kids out loud. It is pretty creepy too, almost to the point that I doubted my good judgement. It starts off with a a bad guy murdering an entire family, except for the baby, who crawls away to a graveyard, where ghosts adopt him as their own!? Yikes. The kids love it though. The creepier, the better I guess.
Not being a fan of scary books, I would’ve been under the bed too! I think reading The Exorcist in my early teens did me in.
What about the hand?!?! :-O
Kathy, Jo-Jo, I actually like scary things but I found this creepy.
Joanne, I think with the kids you’re the best judge of what your kids can handle right. I think sometimes kids handle creepy better than the adults.
Nymeth, I think you’re right. As adults, the fear seems more real and kids look at is as fun. I do plan on reading The Graveyard though. lol.
Sandy, that’s exactly it. The kids seem to take it better than we do. I was just mentioning that I plan on reading The Graveyard Book next.
Mary, The Exorcist has freaked me out more times than I can count. lol. I’m crazy that way though, I keep going back for more.
Jill, darn, I forgot about the hand. Well I didn’t forget. I meant to mention it and then forgot. Who can forget the hand creeping all over. I think I’ll have to add that in to my review. I don’t know how I forgot because when I went to copy your url down I saw that pic of the hand right there. lol.
Beth F says
I’m not a fan of scary books either, but I did read this one. Creeeeeeeepy!
I’ve heard a lot about this one, too! I just put in a request for it at my library. They show about 12 copies in circulation, so I should have it soon 🙂
I’m so glad to know I’m not the only one who didn’t find this a spectacular read but still managed to get the pants scared off her. Chris at Stuff as Dreams are Made On has a fabulous video of Neil Gaiman (I just discovered I’ve been pronouncing his name wrong) at his blog that is just a little creepy and a lot wonderful. He’s just as good an actor as he is a reader and writer. And, that hair. I just love that hair.
I’m totally interested in this book. I don’t read too many scary books, but this one sounds pretty interesting… thanks for the review!
I totally agree with the creepiness of this one. I never read stuff like this when I was growing up – I guess I just enjoyed sleeping too much. After a tale like this, at a young age, I surely wasn’t going to get any sleep.
Red lady-Bonnie says
I’ve been curious about this book as there is a movie out or coming out soon. I saw a trailer and it actually looked good. My son is 10 and he may be creeped out by this book too. I’m not sure we’ll read it but the movie must be pretty scary too….the characters look scary too!
Michele at Reader's Respite says
Dar – I saw the first TV trailer today and it looks gorgeous! At least the movie ought to be fun for the adults, eh? Nice review!
I really liked this one, and cant wait for the movie! great review :o)
the other mother was very creepy. I felt bad for Coraline. And getting locked in the closet was so creepy!
I’m a big baby when it comes to scary books, but I think this one sounds interesting, and I think I could handle it!
Dar–I am back to let you know that I tagged you for a meme here.
I thought it was just okay. I thought it was weird.
I had heard that this was a little creepy, especially for the younger end of the suggested reading age.
I love this book! I agree it’s creepy, even for an adult. I’m looking forward to watching the film adaption though! 🙂
Beth, it sure was creepy. lol.
Jenn, you’ll probably like this one.
Joanne, it’s kind of funny to get one’s pants scared off by a kid’s book but I did. lol. Just the visual of the whole thing-yikes.
heatherlo-give it a shot and see what you think. It’s not Stephen King scary-just creepy.
Nely, I never read scary stuff as a kid either come to think of it. I guess that was probably more my mom’s doing than mine although we always watched scary movies together.
Michele, Bonnie, Naida, Melody—I think I’d really like to see the movie. Ha-if the book scared me I can imagine what the movie will do.
Laura, you should try it. I’d be curious to see what you think of it.
Joy, I agree, it is a weird story for sure.
Wanda, yeh I don’t know if I’d let younger kids read it but then again kid’s imaginations are so much different than ours. What we think is scary, they think is cool so who knows.
Dawn - She is Too Fond of Books says
Yikes! Several reviews I’ve read have mentioned the button eyes … I get creeped out very easily, so I’m not sure I’m ready for this one 🙂
Glad you enjoyed this one. It scared the pants off of me as well! I read it around 2-3 during the read-a-thon and had to cover the pictures with my hands because I was getting so freaked out!! 🙂 Glad I’m not alone in being a scaredy cat.
Jenny Girl says
Well I definitely have to read this book. I like scary books and movies. I’ve only read one Gaiman book (stardust) and throughly ejoyed it.
I have not read this but I am looking forward to the movie. Anna and her kiddo are reading this now, and I can’t wait to see their review! Then we can have a girls day and head off to see the movie…all three of us…ok I’m tagging along.
I loved this too!! I was totally creeped out. I can’t wait for the movie!
S. Krishna says
This sounds interesting. I want to read it as well. Thanks for the review!
Dawn, the button eyes really freaked me out. lol.
Trish, I remember you reading this one during the read-a-thon. I didn’t read it at night, only during the day. What a chicken hey.
Jenny Girl-I bet you’d like this one.
Serena, I’m anxious to see Anna and The Girl’s review too. That’ll be fun to go see the movie with them!
Kristina, I wonder how scary the movie will be. I’ll be anxious to hear what people have to say about it as I’m sure they’ll see it before I do.
Swapna, it’s a fast read. YOu’d have it done in no time at all.
I’m still at the halfway point in this book. We’ve been busy transferring The Girl back to a private school, so things have been real hectic here. So far, I think it’s a bit creepy, but my daughter wishes it was scarier!
Diary of an Eccentric
Anna—lol. It doesn’t surprise me that The Girl would want it scarier. Kids are always braver when it comes to some of this stuff.