Let Me In by John Ajvide Lindqvist
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Wow. I know this is one of those sensational books coming out of Sweden and all and there's already two movies made which I haven't seen but STILL I hadn't gotten around to reading it until now. And now? Wow.
Seriously creepy. I mean, if it wasn't for the pedophile PoV creeping the freaking hell out of me for a grand swath of the beginning, I'd still have been digging the early eighties references, the crisp and delightful prose (even if translated), and the details of life around Kiss and Rubic's Cubes. Even better, it captures the life and times of the children very well. Bullying, especially. And then there's a 200-year-old 12-year-old girl who, out of loneliness, courts that pedo until she makes friends with an outcast 12-year-old-boy. Did I mention this is a vampire novel?
It's easily one of the most delightful and disturbing vampire novels I've read and not just for the pedo stuff. It has a very Swedish sensibility and the willingness to go all out with the difficult subjects and do it with fantastically drawn characters that are both flawed, trying, and full of heart. Even the ones we don't like are relatable in some ways.
The novel has the breath of life in it. It's not technically good. It's just plain good.
I've heard others describe this as a much, much better Twilight, but other than the fact that it has children and vampires and it's very popular, that's about it for the comparison. Sure, I could nitpick, but the feel, the subject matter, the crazy divergences in character, the location, the time period... all of that is wildly different. Just saying. :)
I got wrapped up in this tale and rooted for the kids like crazy, too. I can't say that about Bella and Edward. I mean, there was this one scene in Twilight I liked: the one where she gets all bent out of shape because it looks like Eddie thinks she stinks. That was about all I did like tho. But this novel? Well, I consistently got creeped out, got invested with the characters, and loved the level of detail. The story had one hell of a good ending, too. I call this one Superior. :)
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