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Let The Right One In
by John Ajvide Lindqvist

Author: John Ajvide Lindqvist

Let the right one in is an outstanding piece of fiction that completely reinvents the vampire genre. The book follows twelve-year-old Oskar, a bullied outsider who lives in a Swedish housing estate with his mother, when he meets the peculiar Eli, a strange yet compelling young girl. When reports of brutal murders start to circle the town, Oskar finds out Eli's deadly secret- she is an ancient vampire forever destined to be twelve years old and live on a diet of fresh blood.

Not only does let the right one in provide a thrilling, albeit gory, horror tale, he gives us an endearing story of friendship, love and compassion. Lindqvist also includes many themes in this book that are not commonly used in the horror genre such as alcoholism, fatherlessness, school bullying and anxiety, these help to make let the right one in a deeply moving book that is a fantastic read from start to finish.

Although it's set in Sweden, Lindqvist's description makes you feel like you've lived there your entire life. His characterisation is superb too, Oskar and Eli feel like lifelong friends as we know them so well, perhaps more than they do themselves, but we also feel well acquainted with the novel's secondary characters, we soon know of Virginia's and Lacke's strained relationship, Tommy's misdeeds and of the typical group in the local restaurant. I didn't like Eli's protector,Håkan, I found his reason for protecting Eli was a bit disturbing however it was the author's intention to make us feel this way. The main antagonist, Jonny, who is Oskar's school bully, is perhaps more frightening than any vampire in the novel and it really indicates the author's message of who are the real monsters in the world.

Overall this book is really worth a read and I would recommend it to more mature young readers aged 15 and over. It has meaningful messages and memorable characters that will stay with for the rest of your life. In vampire folklore they have to be invited in to their victims' homes and I invite you all to read this really wonderful book.        

Matthew Trundle (15)