Publishing Date: October 2009 (first published January 2002)
Genre: fantasy, young adult
Coraline was a Goodreads Recommendation to me sometime back and I had just read the book’ summary and had heard of Neil Gaiman and thought to myself why not? So I downloaded the book and there it sat for a few months while I sifted through some others or got busy with life or was just too lazy to do anything. However recently I was plain bored and figured a quick read would do wonders, not to mention help me kill time in the process and viola! I notice Coraline and finally dig in.
To my utter surprise I was so sucked in into this book I dint notice the time and was left complaining of only the book being too short! Yep only a book that’s so good that you don’t wanna put it down makes you feel that.
Coraline was a quick, crisp and wonderful read not to mention a bit dark and creepy (as so many of the book’ reviewers have already mentioned). Its one of those rare children books which even adults can enjoy wholeheartedly and be left wanting for more.
This is my first foray into Gaiman’ work and I couldn’t have asked for a better introduction. The language in the book is simple enough considering it’s meant for kids but that in no way means it compromises with the plot or the characters. The whole button eyes things is really creepy and somehow as much as it can scare the crap out of you just imagining something like this or dreaming of it, it makes this book all the more spooky and eerie which kinda makes it more awesome.
In Coraline Gaiman has brilliantly captured a child who makes a lovable protagonist, far better than some of the harebrained annoying YA heroines to be honest. It’s so refreshing to read a character that’s not shown as just another silly child or perhaps a child who is suffering from some serious ailment and hence being hovered upon so much that the poor thing can’t have the least bit of normalcy in his/her life or is a love-sick utterly disgusting mess of a teenage girl who can’t get over a ridiculously attractive boy just because of how hot he is not because they really were in love or anything close to that.
Being an avid fan of horrors myself I tremendously enjoyed the concept of this parallel world/dimension Coraline gets sucked into and how she handles things head on.
Despite being an only child of a couple who work from their home on computers, she is neglected by her parents who choose to leave her to her own devices. However this doesn’t really make her into one of those rebels or worse a whiner, instead she chooses to make the most of her time by indulging in an activity that she loves doing – exploring.
There isn’t a dull moment with her, an explorer by heart she wins you over with her never give up attitude coupled with the naiveté only a child may possess. She is a brave little gal who clearly knows(even for her age) what she wants and isn’t the least bit confused about it. Not to mention how insightful she is as can be reflected from these lines:
I don’t want whatever I want. Nobody does. Not really. What kind of fun would it be if I just got everything I ever wanted just like that, and it didn’t mean anything? What then?
Because,’ she said, ‘when you’re scared but you still do it anyway, that’s brave
Coraline through her simple innocence and yet rigid determination is a breath of fresh air amidst the lot of so many cringe worthy nauseating pathetic excuse for protagonists.
This book is an absolute must read for everybody.