Friday, April 29, 2011

Let the Right One In

Oskar is a lonely kid. Overweight and bullied at school, he's allowed himself to fall into routines just to avoid the daily beatings and constant humiliations from his peers. Strangely macabre, he collects newspaper articles about murders and reads stories about Jack the Ripper. Living in a manufactured town that seems to be forever stuck in a loop, people go about their business, their routines, letting each day end and the next begin the exact same way as the day before.

But as several grisly murders make the community, routines are chucked to the sideroads, and the community is forever wary of what lies in the darkness.

Oskar soon befriends Eli, a girl who has moved into his complex. She's a little weird, though. He never sees her during the day, she never seems to be properly dressed, and she... smells horrible. But she's nice to him, which is a welcome and desperately sought form of affection.

With an intertwining cast of colorful, perfectly constructed characters, they are all somehow touched by Eli. Oskar benefits the most from his friendship, growing into his own confidence and making adult decisions that will forever change his life.

This is a chilling, haunting book, and a welcome twist to the vampire genre. However cliched those adjectives are, they are the absolute best ways to describe John Ajvide Lindqvist's novel. On the one hand, a sweet coming-of-age tale, on the other, a vicious attack on the dangers of complacency, Let the Right One In is one of the best books I've read in years.

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