Having seen and enjoyed both of the film versions of this book (the original Swedish version and the American remake) I had been meaning to read it quite some time. Let the Right One In is a vampire story done right.
Twelve-year-old Oskar is a bit of a social outcast at school, frequently targeted by a group of violent bullies. But then he meets Eli, the strange and mysterious girl who just moved into the apartment next door, and the two of them become friends—united by their loneliness. Eli isn’t like other kids though. In fact, Oskar begins to suspect that she may be responsible for a series of gruesome murders that have taken place in his small town.
The relationship between Oskar and Eli is incredibly compelling, but there are a lot of sub-plots and supplemental characters here that take up space and detract from the more interesting parts. Still, this is among the better vampire stories out there: it’s chilling, gory and deeply disturbing. Definitely not for the feint of heart.
Come for the vampires, stay for the complex and affecting coming-of-age story.