Seriously, I have goosebumps

June 30, 2010 § Leave a comment

If this isn’t awesome, I don’t know what is!

Coraline

March 10, 2010 § Leave a comment

Last year, for my birthday, my grad school roomie bought me a copy of Neil Gaiman’s Graveyard Book.  I had not heard of Gaiman before this, though I found out later I was vaguely familiar with some of his work (I’m terrible at remembering author, director or actor names).  I read Graveyard Book when I should have been studying, or sleeping, or doing anything but reading a leisure book.  It was dark.  It was interesting.  I loved it.  I decided I liked Neil Gaiman.

A few months ago, I finally got around to watching Coraline, which is based on a Gaiman book of the same name.  I liked it, and decided I should read the book.  A week or so ago, I picked up the graphic novel version at the above mentioned roomie’s new apartment. I read it in one night.

I was surprised at how closely the movie followed the book, excepting one or two characters introduced for the film. I decided that I should read the original novel.

I finished it in two nights. Of course, there is very little difference between the novel and the graphic novel, other than the (obviously) illustrations in the graphic novel, and the slightly greater level of detail in the novel. Both are utterly enjoyable.

For those who have neither read the book nor seen the movie, Coraline is the story of a young girl who is very bored.  One day, while exploring her house, she discovers a door that leads to a copy of her world.  There she finds her “other” mother and “other” father, who want to play with her and cook food she likes, but who are pretty creepy and have buttons instead of eyes.  Her other mother wants Coraline to stay with her, but Coraline wants to return home to her real parents.  She has to figure out how to escape the other mother, while saving several other characters along the way.  I honestly can’t remember if the ending of the film is the same, but I found it gratifying in both versions by Gaiman.

For older children/young adults who like to read ghost stories and things that creep them out, this is a perfect choice. I wouldn’t recommend it for anyone who has anxiety issues or nightmares, but for everyone else, it’s a keeper.

Alice in Wonderland*

March 10, 2010 § Leave a comment

SPOILER ALERT!** In preparation of seeing Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, I decided to read Lewis Caroll’s original.***  I am sad to admit that I had never read it as a kid (or Peter Pan, or many other books that Disney movies are based on).  However, I had seen the Disney version many times, so I felt I knew the gist of the story.

I have to admit, I was disappointed with the book.  I expected more detail than was in the Disney movie, more subplot or explanation.  It seems that the gist I got from the Disney movie is all that there was in the book.

Don’t misunderstand; I didn’t dislike Alice, I just didn’t get what I wanted out of it. It is worth a read, if you haven’t ever picked it up.

That being said, I now believe I can see the new movie adaption without being disappointed, since it can only add to the story.

Afterword — now having read a synopsis of the movie plot, I see that it is not supposed to be a literal adaption of the book.  This partially disappoints me, though part of me also feels that it could add an interesting spin on the story as a sequel.  I am now very happy that I read the books before I saw the movie, so that I know the basis for the characters.

*This is the first of what I expect will be a series of short reviews of children’s and young adult books. I considered calling the series “Hey, Courtney, whatcha reading,” but opted against.

**If you don’t want to read a full synopsis of the movie plot, don’t click on the link.

***I quite often find that movies I like are based on books, if I didn’t know already. If I like the movie, I have to read the book. However, I am usually leery of watching a movie adaption of a book I have loved, since the movie is inevitably  not as good as the book.

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