Review of Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Review of Coraline by Neil GaimanCoraline by Neil Gaiman
Also by this author: The Graveyard Book, Fortunately, the Milk
Published by HarperCollins on 2012-04-24
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Fiction, General, Middle Grade, Young Adult
Pages: 208
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon

Coraline's often wondered what's behind the locked door in the drawing room. It reveals only a brick wall when she finally opens it, but when she tries again later, a passageway mysteriously appears. Coraline is surprised to find a flat decorated exactly like her own, but strangely different. And when she finds her "other" parents in this alternate world, they are much more interesting despite their creepy black button eyes. When they make it clear, however, that they want to make her theirs forever, Coraline begins a nightmarish game to rescue her real parents and three children imprisoned in a mirror. With only a bored-through stone and an aloof cat to help, Coraline confronts this harrowing task of escaping these monstrous creatures.
Gaiman has delivered a wonderfully chilling novel, subtle yet intense on many levels. The line between pleasant and horrible is often blurred until what's what becomes suddenly clear, and like Coraline, we resist leaving this strange world until we're hooked. Unnerving drawings also cast a dark shadow over the book's eerie atmosphere, which is only heightened by simple, hair-raising text. Coraline is otherworldly storytelling at its best.

Another day, another overdue review. As most of you remember, Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon was a time of great accomplishment, especially for me, I think I read five books. I’ve only reviewed two of those books so far. (Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Bunnicula!). Coraline by Neil Gaiman was my second read for the ‘thon.

I wish I had read Coraline before The Graveyard Book, because I felt Coraline fell fairly short of my expectations. Do not get me wrong, Coraline was a fairly decent read, but to me it just lacked the sparkle of The Graveyard Book. Coraline is about a little girl with lameass parents who sit on the computer all day long. To be honest one of my thoughts was that it is pretty scary to think that one day my generation could be those parents.

Coraline also has weird has-been neighbors and an eccentric old guy who lives upstairs with his mouse circus. Well, she gets bored one day and her parents continue to neglect her, so she decides to go exploring. She finds a whole world of trouble.

I thought the characters were interesting, they all definitely had distinct personalities, but I just wanted more. I know the book is fairly short, so there may not be enough space to give me all I want with the book. I enjoyed reading about her weirdo neighbors, so it sucks they weren’t more developed. Granted, I understand this is a children’s book, not a character study. And, I concede, there are cool parts, like the theater scene, and well, the end is interesting. Also, Coraline is fairly well developed and we definitely see growth coming for her. I like that she’s a strong girl character. I think she has some admirable characteristics for younger readers to look up to.

While reading Coraline by Neil Gaiman, I would recommend lime kool-aid, as lime kool-aid is delicious, frivolous, and well, not something I would prefer to drink all the time. I also would say the Twister drinks aren’t too great on their own, but add some liquid grown up treats and they are great!

About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. A Bookshelf Monstrosity says

    I've not read Coraline or The Graveyard Book, but both are on my to-read list. I did, however, see Coraline 3D when it was in theaters. It was quite a visual experience 🙂

  2. I feel totally the same way as you. Coraline was alright, but not great. I LOVE Neil Gaiman, and when Coraline came out, I was disappointed. I read the Graveyard Book after, and I felt like I got Neil Gaiman back! Yay! 🙂

  3. Juju at Tales of says

    Fab drinking choice.

  4. I haven't still read a single Gaiman 🙁 I really really should!


  1. […] Coraline by Neil Gaiman (Unsolicited) – I’ve actually already read this wayyyyy back when during my first ever 24 hour readathon. Like this was a book I reviewed in 2009, I think. Anyways, it’s super exciting to get it in the mail! […]

  2. […] Good Books & Good Wine: Average Read […]

  3. […] the Milk by Neil Gaiman Illustrator: Skottie Young Also by this author: The Graveyard Book, Coraline Published by Harper Collins on September 17th 2013 Genres: Young Adult, Humorous Stories, Fantasy […]

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