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Button-eyed family, something's gone wrong!
Coraline - Neil Gaiman
Member Name: Jonni_boi
Coraline - Neil Gaiman
Date: 28/06/10, updated on 28/06/10 (110 review reads)
Advantages: NEIL GAIMAN
Disadvantages: The Concept, a little horrorsome for children!
I personally got this book as there was huge advertisement about the new film coming out, I was quite surprised to hear that Neil Gaiman was the author and so that interested me even more, as I have already read many of his books. Do I want to watch the film? To be totally honest, I am not entirely sure. I didn't know whether I wanted to watch it or not, to start off with, and when I read the book, I was still unsure, especially since this is a weird book!
But before I get into all the important bits, let's take time to remember who Neil Gaiman is... I believe he is an inspirational author and can make a story out of nearly anything, which makes him so amazing, I have so far read "The Graveyard Book", "Neverwhere", "Neverwhere: The Graphic Novel", "Smoke and Mirrors" and now "Coraline", you can see reviews on all of those books if you are interested. I think that everyone in their whole life span should dip into one of his works, as they are masterpieces and you will be amazed at them! I know I am.
So what's the story about? I hear you say, well................. It's about a girl called Coraline, who has just moved house with her family, and she goes exploring. And she comes along to find this hatch like thing that connects one room to another, only when her mom opens it to show her what's inside it's just a brick wall. But Coraline is really interested so she keeps an eye on where her mother hides the key.
So she returns to this hatch with key in hand, and she opens it up, and there's this black hole in there, so she crawls through and finds herself in the exact same house, in the exact same room...
She seeks out her mother, but when she looks at her properly, she realises it isn't her mother, as the "other mother" has buttons for eyes, in fact everyone has buttons for eyes in this other world. Now Coraline has to find her family and get back to reality, with only a black cat (who can talk in the other world, but not in reality) by her side, can she actually find her way back?
I fully enjoyed this, even though it is a children's book, but I think the story is a little over the top and pretty much weird, which kind of spoils the whole effect, however Neil Gaiman's writing style makes the book seem real and fascinatingly good, that no matter how much you hate the concept of the book, you've got no choice but to fall in love with it.
Children books are forever having hidden meanings and morals to the story, but I can't really work this one out, to be totally honest. But I first thought it was about stranger danger and how people can easily deceive you, which still feels right, however, she befriends a talking cat... Shouldn't that come under stranger danger, this cat could be a stray and vicious cat, and so the whole stranger danger idea gets flung out of the window as soon as she befriends the cat who she knows nothing about. So I'm stuck for a message to this story, maybe it just simply does not have one, and if that's the case, then it is simply an enjoyable read, but I'm still pretty sure children can learn from this book, but what they will learn from it, I do not know.
This is a children's book, we all know this is true, as it is distinctly found in children sections in book stores or online. However I do have to admit it is a little scary for children, especially since people having buttons for eyes sounds like something that will turn up in one of my nightmares (yes I'm 17 and still get nightmares, but seriously doesn't everyone, once in a while?) And also in the book the mother says that Coraline needs new eyes, and they get a needle and thread and a few buttons, and that just crept me out, so you could see that it is a little scary. But don't worry; Coraline's eyes stay the same!
I believe this book is in a league of it's own, considering the fact that it enlightens young children to a tiny bit of horror, here and there, but if we compare it to other books in the children's section, I would totally say that it is similar to the Darren Shan books, however these books are teenage fiction, ant Coraline is a young children's fictional book, and so would have to admit, it is a stand-alone book, identifiable from all the other books found in the children's books.
I think the book was really interesting, and although some bits were a bit boring here and there, I really could read it all over again, so I would re-read it, if I didn't have a mountain of books stacked up in my room that all need to be read. Considering it's a children's book it is easy to get into, but you expect that. The ending is amazing, that what makes it so great; there could possibly be a sequel which would just be amazing I think.
So who would this appeal to? Hmmmmm................ It could appeal to quite a few of you, but I believe you can make you're own judgements on whether it's for you or not. I don't want to seem like I'm telling parents that they shouldn't give this to children, as that is a little harsh especially since it is easy to find in the children's section. I just want to mealy warn you that this may not be the best book to give to a child, and if your child does end up with this book (maybe it was a Christmas or birthday present) then I fully suggest that you read it first to get a feel of the story line and then you'll be able to make you're own judgement on it.
There is quite a few bad points about this book, for instance, it could give children nightmares, I know I suffered with them a lot when I was younger and still get the odd one now and again that is a repeat of the really scary ones that I had when I was younger. I also think that the whole concept isn't that good either, I could go on and on but really I'm just picking at the corners here and there, and so I shall stop as I don't want to put people off, as I'm sure you'll love this book as much as I do.
So have I watched the film? No I have not, I don't know how much you remember, but when I was doing my DVD reviews I frequently reminded everyone that there was a rule in the house that if someone is watching a DVD everyone is obliged to watch it as well, even if there is over 50 guests in the house (and believe me this has happened before), we all have to cram into a pretty big living room and watch the screen for 2-3 hours. But, this film will never happen unless someone buys the DVD for me as a present, as my mom told me I am forbidden to buy that DVD, but I'm sure if she read the book, the very next day, she'll rush off to HMV and buy the DVD herself!
So that is all, I hope I have interested you, or maybe put you off, either way I'm extremely happy I've helped here and there, and I hope you enjoyed the read, thank you all for reading and rating!
Summary: a book for younger children