Let Me In by John Ajvide Lindqvist made me feel a bit like I did after watching Audition the first time only… more conflicted, dirtier and more amazed with less blood. In the US, the title changed after the first edition to Let The Right One In for some crazy reason. Probably the same reason we re-made the brilliant Swedish film by the same name. My advice, read the book, watch the Swedish film… then ignore the other one.
This is a book where everyone is both a good guy and a bad guy. There wasn’t one character I felt needed more fleshing out. Not one character my heart didn’t hurt for. I kept exclaiming “wow”, “damn” and “No way” to the point my kids made fun of me. It was nothing like I expected and I’m awed by the craftsmanship. My mind feels twisted, like I can’t quite believe what I read. It was far better than the Swedish film answering things that felt like a hint. I only wish I’d read it first.
I would like to give a brief synopsis but I am afraid of spoilers. So I will say this, in a small damaged little town where work is scarce and families are barely held together. There is a damaged little boy. One night another boy is found dead and that same night the little boy makes friends with an odd child who moves into the apartment next door. This in a book that is not an easy read. You want to put it down and wish you’d never started, but you also just have to know.
The language is smooth, well written and the characters are amazingly drawn. I winced for them and cried at multiple times. I even found myself rooting for evil.
FYI, the bullying in the book was the most realistic I’ve ever read. If you were deeply bullied as a child it could be triggering.