Let Me In (John Ajvide Lindqvist)

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I picked this book up in Boston’s Trident Booksellers. I didn’t intend to get a vampire novel. Nor did I intend to get a Swedish-authored book (usually when I travel, I seek out books by local authors in independently-owned bookstores). And yet, there it was. Staring at me from the shelf. The cover may have been what got me — the slight dollhouse effect, the lack of footprints from the figure on the right, the quiet snowy scene…. I’m a sucker for a good cover.

Well, I wasn’t disappointed. Let Me In isn’t your typically vampire novel. In fact, even though I’ve tagged this as a Young Adult read, I’m not entirely certain it deserves that tag. It’s quite sophisticated and complex, and does some very interesting things with gender and sexuality. I’m willing to be that many parents would consider this “inappropriate” reading material for an adolescent (although why a book like Twilight would not be labeled as such, especially given its unhealthy depictions of teenage sexuality, is beyond me). But enough ranting. This was a good find!

Lindqvist weaves a tale of friendship and danger, filling the world of Let Me In with dangerous predators and powerful children. This book left me feeling satisfied and sad, but not in a bad way. Just in an introspective way that means it left me thinking, pondering, wondering. And there are few things I love more than a book that really gets you thinking.

GOOD FOR:  those looking for an unusual read, anyone who is interested in a different approach to the vampire novel, and people with a special interest in gender and sexuality (especially with regard to adolescents).

BAD FOR:  people who prefer their vampire stories to read like a Stephanie Meyer novel, the fans of cut-and-dry fiction, and anyone who really doesn’t feel like reading a book that will get their gears turning.

GOOD WITH:  Troll: A Love StoryThe Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, and Purge.

 

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