If you loved Coraline, you will love The Nest. In many ways they’re very similar, but I think they’re just different enough that I wouldn’t call The Nest a ripoff. I’d say it’s emotionally deeper and sadder than Coraline, cuz minor spoiler: [because instead of a kid who agrees to let a creepy female creature replace her parents, this book is about a boy agrees to replace his baby brother.]
Steven’s baby brother was born with a rare cogenital birth defect. The doctors aren’t sure how long he will live, but they know he’ll need heart surgery, and will probably develop with disabilities. The first part of the book is heartbreaking. Steven (who like Coraline, is around 12-years-old), explains how he’s overheard his parents crying, and that he’s somewhat envious of his younger sister who really doesn’t know what’s going on. Then we gradually get to know more about Steven’s personal struggles, and about the wasp nest that’s growing on the side of their house.
There’s a lot of scary magical stuff in The Nest, and I love that you can make a good argument for it all being a figment Steven’s imagination, as well as a good argument for it being real.
Honestly, this is middle grade horror at it’s best. I’m so happy to give it 5 stars.