Why I bought it? I kept hearing so many amazing things about Neil Gaiman and this book sounded interesting, so I put it on my Christmas list and my husband got it.
Synopsis: Coraline is a young girl who sneaks into a mirror image flat through a locked door in her own to find an alternate reality with another mother and father. The neighbors are the same but different. All the people in this reality have buttons for eyes. Things are all geared to make her happy in the new world to get her to choose to stay. The food is delicious. All the games and shows are for her. What will Coraline choose? Should she go back to her real family or stay with the other mother? Is it safe to stay with the other mother? How can she get back home?
What I thought? I have to preface this with a reminder that my opinions and scores are not based on literary merit, but my own enjoyment of the book. Since Gaiman won the Newberry, it is obvious that his writing is very good, however, I was not as thrilled with this as I thought I would be. So many of my friends loved it and thought it was amazing. I kept hoping for that feeling, but, alas, it never really came. The story is very unique, and it did get better for me at the end (which took me forever to get to because I kept putting the book down). It was a very different kind of story than what I normally read. Pretty creepy in a lot of places. It is geared for children, but I was kind of grossed out in several scenes--some things struck me as really weird. I can see some kids being scared, but some really like that. So it's a matter of preference. The alternate covers I found do a better job of showing the feel of the book than the first one (which is the one on my copy). The first one looks quirky and fun with scary elements. The others look more menacing. The book was pretty dark, I thought.
What my daughter thought? She said it reminded her of Matilda by Roald Dahl, and that it was creepy but good.
My Rating: ***1/2 out of 5 (Only this high because it got better at the end, and the writing was good.)
My Daughter's Rating: **** out of 5
Cleanness Score: 3 out of 10, This is really for the grossness factor, but that is such a relative thing.