What a deliciously creepy book! This was my last for the read-a-thon, and even when my eyes were growing increasingly droopy, I was still thoroughly frightened! This is my third Gaiman book this year, and though I liked Stardust better, I think this is Gaiman at his best.
Coraline is the story of a curious girl who yearns to explore her new home and its surroundings, but during a particular rainy day her mother insists she must stay indoors. So she explores her home once more and finds a peculiar door that does not go anywhere. When her mother unlocks the door for her, she sees that it has been bricked shut–once upon a time her flat and the empty one next door were joined by this doorway.
The next day, Coraline is once again bored and itching to do something to occupy her time. Her mother has left to run errands, so Coraline takes the key to the door and opens it. Instead of finding a brick wall like she expected, she finds a dark hallway. She enters the hallway and discovers that it leads to a flat just like her own–except that it is better than her flat. And in the kitchen she finds a woman who is just like her mother–just like her mother except for the buttons sewed onto her eyes. She has discovered her Other Mother.
At first glance Other Mother is wonderful. She cooks the food that Coraline loves, she pays her lots of attention, and she promises to love her forever and ever. After spending some time there, Coraline goes back to her own home, but her parents aren’t there. And they don’t come back that night. When Coraline is awakened by the strange neighborhood cat, she begins searching for her parents. She finally sees their reflection in the hallway mirror–as if they are stuck within and cannot get out. Upon seeing her trapped parents, Coraline knows she must go to the Other House to rescue them from Other Mother. But will Coraline be able to escape the clenches of her soul hungry Other Mother and save herself and her parents?
First–kids must have a higher tolerance for scary stuff than I do because this book plain and simple freaked me out! I don’t do scary, and I’m a little embarrassed to report that while reading this book at 3 am I had to cover the illustrations with my hand so I wouldn’t have nightmares when I finally crawled into bed. Even now when flipping through a book I landed on a particularly scary picture Other Mother that made my heart skip a beat.
But the illustrations are only a small part of what makes this book so bonechilling. Gaiman does a wonderful job of creating the other world where our fears feed upon more fear until they become out of control and consume our beings. I know that the more I think about how frightened I am, the worse the situation becomes and the smallest sound will send me right out of my skin. But Coraline is such a brave girl and she must separate her fears from what she believes to be good in order to make sense of the other world and her world so she can make things right.
I would recommend this little book–especially as a Halloween spook, but I can’t imagine reading it when I was younger! (of course I am the supreme wimp!) Do you get scared while reading books? Do you enjoy being frightened?
They also read it: (let me know if I’ve missed you–I have trouble catching them all when the book is so widely read…)
Biblioaddict, Chris (Book-a-Rama), Rhinoa, Kim L., Stephanie, Joy, 3M, Terri B, Raidergirl3, Eva, Nymeth, Valentina