Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Title: Coraline
Author: Neil Gaiman
Genre: Young adult / fantasy

Rating: 2 out of 5

Goodreads | Powell’s

 

This book was a really quick read and also kind of irritating. It gets points for creepy–well done, really. But besides that I didn’t like the writing much at all. It’s very flat and kind of drones on. Coraline and her choices were hard for me to relate to. She didn’t seem to have much personality besides saying things like “I’m bored.” There’s not much descriptive language and Gaiman’s writing was evocative of nothing. We are told repeatedly Coraline is scared but it’s hard to believe it. It felt like I was more scared than Coraline, and I’m an adult who was sitting in the safety of her warm comfy bed. There’s no character development and the plot is really simple and lacking in any kind of stimulation for me. It was like one of those short Grimm’s fairy tales with the cardboard characters and lackluster plot…only 162 pages long. So many things happened that didn’t serve any purpose except making the story longer, and since I wasn’t invested in the story, it was just frustrating.

 

Another minor annoynce: the “crazy old guy” in the attic. He’s so crazy, am I right? Crazy crazy crazy. He’s crazy. And then at the end we find out that wow–he’s not just the crazy old guy, he has an actual name! Who would have thought! And Coraline is so glad that his name is funny and fun to say because crazy people, they are great for laughs.

 

Points for creepy and points for having a capable female heroine, but it didn’t really work for me.

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