Review | Coraline by Neil Gaiman

 “Coraline discovered the door a little while after they moved into the house. . . .”

When Coraline steps through a door to find another house strangely similar to her own (only better), things seem marvelous.

But there’s another mother there, and another father, and they want her to stay and be their little girl. They want to change her and never let her go.

Coraline will have to fight with all her wit and courage if she is to save herself and return to her ordinary life.

4 cupcakes

“When you’re scared but you still do it anyway, that’s brave.”

Coraline is a book that would have terrified me when I was younger. From Other Parents with buttons for eyes to rats that sing creepy songs, I’m positive that it would have given me nightmares. Even though I’m slightly older than the target age range for this middle grade story, I’m pleased to say that this spooky read was still thoroughly enjoyable.

Coraline Jones is someone I would love to go exploring with, since she’s curious, intelligent, adventurous, brave, and a little bit reckless. As she faces her fears in the Other world, Coraline learns some very important lessons: that getting everything you want isn’t as fun as you’d think, and that you should be careful what you wish for.

The illustrations included in the Coraline are beautiful and haunting, adding to the atmosphere of the story. My only complaint is that the story felt rather short; including the illustrations and notes from Neil Gaiman on his writing process (which are incredibly interesting to read!), it only took me a couple of hours to read the 160 pages. Although I’m quite happy with the way that it was told, I would have loved to further explore the Other world and its origins… perhaps in a sequel or companion story?

Overall, Coraline mixes a rather dark storyline with the whimsical nature of children’s literature, making for a wonderfully spooky read.

Book Review: Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman

“I bought the milk,” said my father. “I walked out of the corner shop, and heard a noise like this: T h u m m t h u m m. I looked up and saw a huge silver disc hovering in the air above Marshall Road.”

“Hullo,” I said to myself. “That’s not something you see every day. And then something odd happened.”

Find out just how odd things get in this hilarious story of time travel and breakfast cereal, expertly told by Newbery Medalist and bestselling author Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Skottie Young.

5 cupcakes

Fortunately, the Milk is just as quirky and imaginative as Gaiman’s other works, but a fair bit more lighthearted and humorous as it’s geared towards a younger audience. That’s not to say that adults won’t enjoy it as well; this time-traveling adventure involving pirates, wumpires, a Stegosaurus, aliens, and, of course, milk, should bring out the inner child of even the most jaded individuals. The story is complemented perfectly by Skottie Young’s illustrations in a style that reminded me strongly of a Tim Burton movie.

Overall, Fortunately, the Milk just solidifies my belief that Neil Gaiman can do no wrong – or, in this case, that he is incapable of writing a book that isn’t completely enthralling and filled to the brim with magic. If a clever, intergalactic adventure appeals to you, I highly, highly recommend giving it a try.

Waiting on Wednesday (June 12)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine, which spotlights upcoming releases that are eagerly anticipated.

This week’s release that I’m (not so) patiently awaiting is The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman, which has an expected publication date of June 18.

THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE is a fable that reshapes modern fantasy: moving, terrifying and elegiac – as pure as a dream, as delicate as a butterfly’s wing, as dangerous as a knife in the dark, from storytelling genius Neil Gaiman.

It began for our narrator forty years ago when the family lodger stole their car and committed suicide in it, stirring up ancient powers best left undisturbed. Dark creatures from beyond the world are on the loose, and it will take everything our narrator has just to stay alive: there is primal horror here, and menace unleashed – within his family and from the forces that have gathered to destroy it.

His only defense is three women, on a farm at the end of the lane. The youngest of them claims that her duckpond is an ocean. The oldest can remember the Big Bang.

I’ve been a huge fan of Neil Gaiman’s writing since I read Anansi Boys, so I’m so excited for this!

What books are you waiting on?