Coraline, by Neil Gaiman

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“It’s Coraline, Not Caroline. Coraline,” said Coraline.

Coraline, as it is described by the author during its introduction, tells the story of a little girl called Coraline, not Caroline.Caroline… sorry, Coraline is a kid that is bored. Her parents are always busy, rarely paying any attention to their daughter. Even her breakfasts are bland. One day, Coraline wanted to explore but a dull and rainy day traps our little hero in her house. She must entertain herself, and her parents, as I have mentioned, are too busy, and one might believe they don’t even care.

She finds a little door in the drawing room and a key that fits in. That takes her into the otherworld where it looks like her house. However, Coraline does not find her parents there; she finds her other-parents, and guess what; her other-father and her other-mother are perfect! Both other-parents are very attentive with Coraline and the breakfast they cooked for her is so delicious.

“You will always be safe here with me.”

We’ve learned from movies, games, literature, and other media that whenever something seemed perfect, it means something is not right. Coraline is not the exception. Her other-parents have buttons instead of eyes, and this is not even the beginning; I mention it, but apparently our protagonist didn’t mind much. Though as the story progresses, we see the world is weirder than we’ve initially thought.

I want to tell you how much the other-neighbors are weird, too, but it would be too redundant. Is not like the real neighbors weren’t weird in the first place. They are not very relevant to the story, it is just part of the “scenery”, to call it a way. They do have a purpose, though, and is to tell you that everything has changed, not only in Coraline’s flat.

Coraline is very short, and it is a good book to read at any age. There are very creepy moments accompanied with some creepy illustrations (at least in the edition I have read.) It is the adventure of a little girl that wants to explore out of boredom, and ends up doing her best to be brave to get out of that world and its situation. Highly recommended if you are looking to read a child’s book that does not look for children!

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