Book Review: Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Dear Bookworms,

I feel like I am slowly making my way through all of Gaimans reads (because I am obsessed with him, check out the tags on this post for other reviews of his books) and this man never disappoints.

I’ll admit I have never seen the popular movie adaptation of this book so I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it was definitely a light, spooky read for kids and adults.

Coraline
By Neil Gaiman

Coraline mostly likes the new flat her and her parents have recently moved into, except for the niggling curiosity about the locked door which once opened, is bricked up. Having been told it’s nothing but the product of turning the once large home into a series of apartments, Coralines curiosity continues to linger. One dreary English day when she is stuck indoors with little else to do, Coraline takes the the key, opens the door, and finds the doorway no longer bricked up, but that it opens into a hallway. Following the hallway into the house next door, Coraline discovers a world mirroring her own, complete with it’s own Mother and Father; but this world is different….and dangerous. Coraline must use all her wits and her bravery to get herself safety out of this world and back to her own.

This read was a fairly quick one, but packed with adventure nonetheless! Gaimans characters and books always have such a unique feel and tone to them, and Coraline was no different. It was that perfect mixture of quirk and darkness with an entertaining plot line that kept me engaged from page one! This one could be read with kids, to kids, by kids, or adults and still be thoroughly enjoyed.

Definitely add this one to your reading list friends!

Until next week!

Book Review: Stardust by Neil Gaiman

Dear Bookworms,

First of all, let me just say (ashamedly) that I have watched, and re-watched, and re-re-watched this movie dozens of times. This one ranks right up there with Princess Bride for me (GASP!). So it pains to me say that upon originally seeing the movie (and the millions of times watching it after) that I had no clue it was originally a Gaiman book.

Stardust
By Neil Gaiman

Needless to say when I found out it was a book I HAD TO READ IT. When i realized it was by Gaiman, I knew I would love it probably even more than the movie.

Tristran Thorne lives in the small quaint town of Wall, England. Named so for the stone wall which divides the town from the land of faerie. The wall is guarded day and night with strict instructions not to let anyone pass, except for when the market comes, once every 9 years to set up in the meadow just outside the town, in the land between Wall and faerie. In the hopes of winning the most beautiful girl in towns affections, Tristran Thorne sets off on an adventure in faerie to bring his beloved back a fallen star. Little does he know, the fallen star isn’t just a lump of metallic space rock, but a young woman. And he isn’t the only one seeking her out. Others search for the star as well, but for reasons which will do her great harm. Meanwhile, the King of Stormhold has passed and his remaining sons are on a quest through faerie in search of his bewitched jeweled necklace, for whoever of the Stormhold blood finds it first, will hold all the power of Stormhold and become it’s next reigning king.

This book has stolen my heart all over again with love for the story of Tristran and Yvaine. While there are marked differences between the book and the movie adaptation, it was still the story I have loved for so many years (which was a relief- I was secretly nervous I wouldn’t enjoy it having seen the movie so many times- usually it’s the other way around for me!) It was expertly crafted and woven together with the various different elements that played into the story of Tristran and Yvaine. It was almost as if their love for each other was written in the stars from the beginning (you see what I did there?)

There was that signature wry and dry humor a plenty which I have come to expect and enjoy with Gaiman’s reads. The only critique I have with the difference to the movie is that I really, thoroughly enjoyed Robert DeNiros character (the captain of the ship that caught lightening for all you all who have seen the movie) and all the time Tristran and Yvaine had on the pirate ship in the movie which just wasn’t the same or as prominent a part in the book. Pirate part aside, the book was simply magical and wonderful and now I feel the need to watch the movie to be with the characters again, for just a little longer.

I will say, the audiobook version I listened to (read by Neil- hands down one of my favorite narrators) had a really lovely interview with Neil at the end that made for interesting listening. He discussed how he came up with the idea for the story and the different stages of its genesis. Fascinating listen!

As a side note- I know the movie is family friendly but the book is more for older teen/adults.

Until next week!

XOXO,

Coco

Book Review: Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

Dear Bookworms,

I know, I'm obsessed. Another Neil Gaiman book? Yes, don't judge, the man is brilliant. And Neverwhere is my new all time favorite of Gaimans masterpieces. 

Like Norse Mythology, I listened to this one on audiobook which was read by none other than Neil himself. (I could listen to this man read all. day. long. *sigh*)

Richard Mayhew lives an ordinary life in London. He works a normal job, has a normal (if overbearing and condescending) fiance, pays his bills on time; just a pretty generally sensible person. All of this changes when he quite literally stumbles upon a bleeding, semi conscious girl (Door) on the way to an important dinner function one Friday evening. Against the protestations of his fiance Jessica, Richard comes to the young woman's aid.  She insists on no hospital, so he helps her back to his apartment to get cleaned up and rested. Little does Richard know, doing so entangles himself in the peculiar world of London Below and Doors quest to find her family's killer, while avoiding being killed themselves. 

As I said before, this book was most definitely my favorite Gaiman read by far. For me, discovering London Below along with Richard was something akin to a dream come true. Being a lover of fantasy and magic myself, seeing that come alive for a character like Richard, who's life is so relatable in its mundaneness, was thrilling (and gave me a little hope that maybe there is some magic within our ordinary lives). The whole quest to find the killer was very "Labyrinth-esque" to me and the entire world of London Below was utterly fascinating. It was dark and ethereal but magical and enticing all the same. The ending of the book was PERFECT, even better than what I had been expecting (don't worry no spoilers here!). The various trials and tribulations Door and Richard encounter run the gambit of tense and frightening to comical and clever. I cannot recommend this one enough! 

Who else is a huge Gaiman fan? Which one is your fav?

XOXO, 

Coco 

 

 

Book Review: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Dear Bookworms,

I'm back with another Gaiman masterpiece! I have gone so off course with my reading challenge the past few reads, this one didn't fit into any of the categories, but it's Neil Gaiman! I couldn't help myself. 

Nobody Owens, or Bod as he is known around the graveyard, is an usual boy. Granted the Freedom of the Graveyard as a toddler when his family was brutally murdered and he toddled into the graveyard, he lives in a world of shadows. Living in the graveyard, his playmates are ghosts, his lessons consist of learning how to "fade" and why not to trust a ghoul. Silas, his undead guardian, has assumed responsibility for Bod, ensuring he is fed and clothed, procuring things from the outside world that a growing child might need. Bod is never to leave the graveyard as the man, Jack, who murdered his family still hunts for him to finish the job he was tasked with completing, killing him. As Bod grows up into a young teen, he eventually must face the man Jack, but will he come away unscathed?

This book was quirky and dark, full of rich and vibrant characters, which is kind of odd considering mostly all the characters are dead, or undead, or somewhere in between. (Also why does auto correct keep trying to change "undead" to "unread"? Apparently auto correct  hasn't read much fantasy/fiction *sigh*)  Bods adventures growing up in the graveyard were magical and fun to read, and his strength and fortitude were something I admired in a character. My personal favorite was his foray into ghoul world. (Note to self, never foray into ghoul world!) This is a book you could read solo as an adult, or read with your kids (though it's never childish) and enjoy it just the same. As an added bonus, the reading was punctuated by some pretty stellar illustrations by Dave McKean that really brought the book even more to life. 

Any other Gaiman fans out there? What else should I read of his?

Until next week friends!

XOXO,

CoCo

READ MY OTHER BOOK REVIEWS HERE!

Book Review: The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

Dear Bookworms,

So I picked this weeks read to fulfill one of my 2017 reading challenge items, "Read a book recommended by an author you love". Jenny Lawson (Let's Pretend this Never Happened, Furiously Happy, You are Here) is a big Neil Gaiman fan and always recommends his books. I read his novel American Gods a few years back, which I enjoyed, and while perusing his other works, was immediately drawn to this one, once again sucked in by another beautiful cover. (My kryptonite!)

Coming back to his childhood home in order to attend a funeral, a middle aged man reminisces about his time as a young child and the strange girl, Lettie Hempstock who lived at the end of the road. Memories of great and terrible things resurface, things he had long ago forgotten. He once again recalls those monstrous and frightful events and what truly happened to little Lettie Hempstock. 

I am SO. GLAD. I took Jennys advice and cracked open another Neil Gaiman book. This man is a master storyteller. His writing is intoxicating, addicting, and mysterious. His story and world building feels ethereal and otherworldly but simultaneously real and present. This novel brings you back to the days of youth, when magic is commonplace and monsters are real. It's a world long lost by adults but present nonetheless. Do yourselves a favor and add this one to your TBR list, like right now. 

See y'all next week people!

XOXO,

Coco

***READ MY OTHER BOOK REVIEWS HERE!***