Let Me In

(No Series)

It is autumn 1981 when the inconceivable comes to Blackeberg, a suburb in Sweden. The body of a teenage boy is found, emptied of blood, the murder rumored to be part of a ritual killing. Twelve-year-old Oskar is personally hoping that revenge has come at long last---revenge for the bullying he endures at school, day after day.
But the murder is not the most important thing on his mind. A new girl has moved in next door---a girl who has never seen a Rubik's Cube before, but who can solve it at once. There is something wrong with her, though, something odd. And she only comes out at night.
Sweeping top honors at film festivals all over the globe, director Tomas Alfredsson's film of Let the Right One In has received the same kind of spectacular raves that have been lavished on the book. American readers of vampire fiction will be thrilled!

 I'm only twelve. But I've been that for a long time.

Vampire stories are considered a dime a dozen any more - they've been done and redone to death. Let Me In is different, at least in that the vampire is a child, not with a seductive bite, not even with a specific gift or mission, but a cold creature who adapts as she meets a neighbor boy.

This book's pacing is slow; it's more of a drama piece over a horror one, although it does have eerie moments. There's violence, but most of it isn't through the vampire's hands directly. Gore and blood does not exist just for shock value.

Characterization is...interesting. The main boy-child, Oskar, is enjoyable to read about because he has a violent tendency of his own, is back and forth between two completely different homes, and finds his life surrounded by bullies at school and semi-pals at his apartments. There was a big factor in the story about bullying, trouble at school, summoning up courage, trying to adjust into difficult worlds where you just can't fit.

Eli isn't anything special to me, not that interesting, although the character isn't horrible to read about. Her caretaker was intriguing - what a weird man struggling with such twisted desires!

What I found a turn-off with the book was too much head-hopping and the detailed side stories. These sidelines distracted too much from the overarching storyline. Sure, they come into play later with the vampire angle and what can happen, but I still didn't care much. Too much time was invested in that, which is probably why the page count is larger than the main story warrants.

The dialogue didn't suit me either. It was stilted, often cut off and hesitant. The overdoing of this took me out of the story at times.

There is a cold feel to the main characters, which only makes sense. The distant and sometimes dry tone of the writing compliments that. Slow pacing is the only thing that would well with that mixture. I can easily imagine some subtle and gorgeous musical score accompanying this book if one was composed.

This is not 'another vampire story.' The focus isn't on vampirism, but of a strong bond that develops between two isolated souls who feel a connection. It's certainly not a match made in heaven, but it's a match that works in their world.

The ending...well, it was nifty. Nothing in your face, nothing shocking, not alarming, but suitable. It begins quietly but with power, and then it ends on that same note.

   Book Quotes:

“Keep your relationships brief. Don’t let them in. Once they’re inside they have more potential to hurt you. Comfort yourself. You can live with the anguish as long as it only involves yourself. As long as there is no hope.” 

“-there was something in her, something that was...pure horror. Everything you were supposed to watch out for. Heights, fire, shards of glass, snakes, Everything that his mom tried so hard to keep him safe from.” 

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