2017 Reading Challenge Book 16 – Coraline

Hi, Hey, Hello!

I’m back, and because I am me of course I make my return with another little book review. Also it has officially happened, I’ve slowly fallen into a reading slump, I got 16 books in before that happened though which I think is pretty good going.

But back to the book in question, I went with back to back Gaiman books (mainly because this book was short enough to tide me over before the book that I was really excited to start reading arrived, more on that when the next one of these appears though).

2017 Reading Challenge, Book 16, Coraline
2017 Reading Challenge, Book 16, Coraline

This is one of those books that has always been on my radar and seems to inspire the most cosplay when it comes to Halloween (or World Book Day as I was reminded the other week) which means that it periodically shows up in my life a lot, but it is one that I have never actually read. Or even owned up until the back end of last year when I bought it on impulse…

Anyway, I digress slightly. This was basically a book that I always wanted to read but just never had and so I finally decided that it was its time. Now we all know at this point that I am a sucker for Neil Gaiman and after leaving is interpretation of Norse mythology behind I decided that I wasn’t quite ready to leave him behind. And so I didn’t.

This book is creepy, in the best possible way, it’s creepy. It has that kind of lurking quality to it when you think there is something behind you but when you turn to look there is nothing there. It kind of creeps about and it makes perfect sense that Coraline was scared by it all, I have no idea how I would react to the situation that she found herself in. Gaiman did a perfect job of creating something that felt like that and showing how even in the midst of it all Coraline found a way to get through it.

The concept of the book was simple and yet it was in that simplicity that brilliance lay. The slightly supernatural element of it was incredible and kept me hooked from the get go. I loved the complexity of Other Mother and the world that she had created and the way that it fed into Coraline’s actual world. I loved the way seemingly mundane things turned out to have all of the power in the other world. I loved how the two lived side by side and fed into one another around Coraline. I loved how no loose end was really a loose end. I just really loved a lot about this book.

Coraline herself was a great character. She was so complex and easy to connect with and you couldn’t help but root for her. She was openly scared about the whole situation as well. She was scared, but she did the thing anyway because it was the right thing to do and also the best thing to do. For that reason alone she is one of my fave literary characters. She has a sense of bravery to her that can’t be denied or ignored and it’s something that as a reader you kind of always know she possesses but can tell as Coraline moves through the narrative that she doesn’t always believe that she has it. She surprises herself and watching her continually exceed her own expectations and as a reader that was a joy to read.

I don’t think I need to mention again that I am a huge fan of Gaiman’s writing style and the way that he builds his worlds and stories because I pretty much mention it with every single Gaiman book I read and I’ve shouted out Riddell’s illustrations countless times too. They’re both great, I have two more of them to read. It’s all very wonderful.

I would recommend this book to anyone to be honest, I mean it’s aimed more at younger readers but it served as a great reminder to myself when I read it and I think it would for anyone. It’s also relatively short and just the right amount of creepy, with a wonderful protagonist thrown in for good measure.

3/5 stars

Parentheses count: 2. See you tomorrow!

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Sophie, twenty-something, avid reader, writer, really good at watching whole seasons of TV shows in one weekend and using 10 words where 5 will do, overzealous user of the ellipsis and parentheses, starts too many sentences with ‘and’ and ‘so’, living in a continual state of Wanderlust.

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