Thursday, April 14, 2016

Can I come in? Say that I can come in

I realize it's been awhile since I've done an actual book review but hey, birthday stuff had to happen. So let's jump into some Swedish vampire horror with some uncomfortable (and illegal) sex scenes.

This is a quiet horror story, with far more scenes of very lonely people finding each other. But not in a Twilight-y way.

Oskar is 12, his parents divorced, he lives with his mom but money is tight and she works a lot so he finds himself alone. He's bullied at school. He doesn't really have any good friends. And he's obsessed with the news of a teenager's body found drained of blood a few towns over.

He meets Eli, a neighbor, when he's out stabbing a tree, imagining he's strong enough and brave enough to attack his bullies. It's freezing out but she doesn't seem to notice. She's a bit dirty and has an off smell to her. She lives with a guy she says is her uncle, but something does not seem quite right there either. But she and Oskar become friends, which is something they both need.

There are other characters: a teenage neighbor that's nice enough to Oskar, his to-be step-dad who's also a police officer investigating the mysteries violence, a group of drunks that frequent the local Chinese restaurant, even Oskar's parents, and of course there's Eli's "uncle" Hakan. But really, the focus is on Oskar and Eli.

The creepy, uncomfortable stuff is all centered around the pedophile Hakan. Hakan is supposed to keep Eli supplied with blood, but he's jealous of the relationship Eli is developing with Oskar.

For much of the book the story is quiet and creepy. There aren't a lot of intense scenes, but the ones that are there pack a punch. There are also some beautiful moments, there are sad moments. And there are disturbing moments.

So if this all sounds like it's in your wheelhouse, go for it.

Gif rating:
Title quote from page 225, location 3731

Lindqvist, John Ajvide. Let The Right One In. St. Martin's Griffin, 2008.