Title of book: Let the Right One in
Name of author: John Ajvide Lindqvist
Oskar and Eli. In very different ways, they were both victims. Which is why, against the odds, they became friends. And how they came to depend on one another, for life itself. Oskar is a 12 year old boy living with his mother on a dreary housing estate at the city’s edge. He dreams about his absentee father, gets bullied at school, and wets himself when he’s frightened. Eli is the young girl who moves in next door. She doesn’t go to school and never leaves the flat by day. She is a 200 year old vampire, forever frozen in childhood, and condemned to live on a diet of fresh blood. John Ajvide Lindqvist’s novel is a unique and brilliant fusion of social novel and vampire legend, a deeply moving fable about rejection, friendship and loyalty.
I am a fan of vampire genre and ‘Let the right one in’ is a vampire tale but with a whole new take on the genre.
‘Let the right one in’ (named after the Morrissey song ‘Let the Right One Slip In’) is a brilliantly well written book, John Ajvide Lindqvist has created two characters in Oskar and Eli who deserve good things in their lives but due to certain circumstances have not had good lives, they finally find it in each other with their friendship.
The main story is about Oskar and Eli, with the underlying tale of Eli’s vampirism and the lengths she must go to, to survive, the individual she depends on to her help her and the ripple effect it causes, suddenly the residents of a bleak housing scheme in Stockholm are living in fear.
Oskar and Eli are both lonely in their own way, Oskar by the constant bullying he receives at school, trying to work out his place in life and Eli still struggling to deal with her past and what she is now, in each other they find a friend and the main feelings of the book are shown, their loyalty and friendship to each other.
As I said, the book is brilliantly written, you feel the pain that Oskar and Eli go through, I found myself becoming more and more protective of them both, the isolation of their environment is described brilliantly, you feel the bleakness, the cold weather.
If you enjoy reading vampire genre books, I recommend ‘Let the right one in’ but read it with an open mind, there is gruesome parts, parts that will make you feel uncomfortable but they are written in such a way, that you are able to read on, to finish the journey with Oskar and Eli.
I know I will re~read ‘Let the right one in’.
Reviewed by ~ Gyre