Book 6: Coraline by Neil Gaiman
I’ll be honest – this wasn’t on my to-read list. The only reason I read it to begin with was because it was the end of the week, and I hadn’t started reading my book for this week yet. My sister was going through her books, finding some she wanted to give away, and I grabbed a few of them. This was one of those books. I’ve been meaning to read some of Neil Gaiman’s works for a while now, so I figured this would be a good place to start. Plus, a fellow NaNoer suggested that we watch the film version the next time we get together for movie night, so I wanted to go ahead and read this book so that I could compare it to the film.
Author: Neil Gaiman
Page Count: About 200
Genre: Young Adult/horror
Young Coraline has just moved into a new flat with her parents. There are three other flats in her building: one below her that belongs to two old women who used to be in the theater, one above her that belongs to a crazy man with a strange relationship with mice, and one next to hers that is empty…or so she thinks. One day she walks through the door separating the two apartments, and she finds herself in an apartment exactly like her own, only creepier. There she finds her other mother and her other father, exaggerated versions of her own parents with black buttons for eyes. Her other mother wants her to stay and be their daughter. Can Coraline find a way to escape, or will she be trapped with her other parents forever?
I’ve heard so many great things about Neil Gaiman and this story that I was incredibly disappointed when I read this book. I was sort of interested in the beginning, when she first discovered the hallway to the other apartment. I was curious to see what she was going to find there and learn why the rats were so concerned with rising again. The problem was that I didn’t find the second half of the book nearly as interesting as the first half, and the first half hadn’t really been all that exciting to begin with. I kept expecting more from it. Maybe that’s because this is a children’s book and I would have been scared had I been ten. I’m not sure. I just know that I’m glad this novella was as short as it was. I only wasted a day reading it instead of more. I’m not going to let this color my judgment of all of Neil Gaiman’s work – because his adult novels sound a lot more interesting than this one did – but I will say that if you haven’t read any of his stuff before, this one probably isn’t the one you want to start with.