What's on the other side of the door? A distorted-mirror world, containing presumably everything Coraline has ever dreamed of... people who pronounce her name correctly (not "Caroline"), delicious meals (not like her father's overblown "recipes"), an unusually pink and green bedroom (not like her dull one), and plenty of horrible (very un-boring) marvels, like a man made out of live rats. The creepiest part, however, is her mirrored parents, her "other mother" and her "other father"--people who look just like her own parents, but with big, shiny, black button eyes, paper-white skin... and a keen desire to keep her on their side of the door. To make creepy creepier, Coraline has been illustrated masterfully in scritchy, terrifying ink drawings by British mixed-media artist and Sandman cover illustrator Dave McKean. This delightful, funny, haunting, scary as heck, fairy-tale novel is about as fine as they come. Highly recommended. (Ages 11 and older) --Karin SnelsonThis was my first Gaiman, and although this novel isn't really targeted to my particular age group, I still really enjoyed it. I think he does a nice job of establishing a main character who readers of all ages can at some point to relate to: a young girl who isn't entirely content where she is and wants things to be more exciting, or at least different.
I thought that the story was very well constructed and that it had a valuable message behind it. It was creative but also sent chills down my spine--the plot is actually very frightening! As a reader I could definitely see Coraline develop throughout the book, and I hope younger readers enjoy this aspect of the novel. I also thought that this book was very well written, and a few of Gaiman's lines made me laugh. I guess I would describe his style as concise but still definitely adequately descriptive.
Carefully tied together and wonderfully imaginable, Coraline left me feeling satisfied in every way. I've only read one other Gaiman besides Coraline, namely Stardust, but I loved them both and certainly intend to read more.