The Nostalgic Book Review Tag

Jenna @ Reading With Jenna put an “and YOU” at the end of her tag list, so I jumped on that and considered myself tagged because this is a great idea for a tag and it’s sorely needed.

In this tag you review a book from memory (no googling allowed!) that you read 3 or more years ago. Separate your review into three sections: synopsis, thoughts, and epilogue. Check Read, Think, Ponders guidelines for more info on what to put in each one. As they say, sometimes you don’t remember the details about what made the book so good, but you remember the feeling it gave you and that’s the most important thing.

Here are the rules:

  • Please link back to Read Think Ponders post, so that the original rules are always accessible to anyone who is curious and wants to participate!
  • Remember: do not look up your book when writing its Summary and Thoughts.
  • Acknowledge the person who tagged you in your post.
  • Tag your friends and fellow bloggers – it’s up to you how many!

LET THE RIGHT ONE IN by John Ajvide Lindqvist

Published by Ordfront Förlag AB
on December 28th 2004 (Swedish)
Published by Quercus
on August 2nd 2007 (English)
Pages: 513
Genres: Adult, Horror, Mystery, Paranormal
Buy: Amazon | Book Depository 

THE SUMMARY

When did I read this… I don’t even know. 2007? 2008? No clue. It’s a long time ago. I read it while on a family vacation because my mom had just finished reading it and she thought I’d like it.

The book is originally written in Swedish, so I read it in Norwegian. The languages are very, very similar so I always prefer reading Swedish or Danish books in Norwegian rather than picking up some English translation. It’s been since made into a movie, one Swedish and one American remake because America needs to remake everything always. I believe the remake is called Let Me In.

So, what is this book about. Well, let’s see what I can remember. The story is set in the 80s in Stockholm, and is about a young boy who’s bullied at school (Oscar???) who meets a strange and creepy 12 year old girl called Eli. Eli lives with a creepy middle-aged pedophile in their strange bolted up apartment next to Oscar’s. They meet outside and I think it’s cold but she’s not wearing many clothes, but I could be wrong. And she’s never seen a rubik’s cube before and is very intrigued by Oscar’s but to Oscar’s disappointment she solves it on her first try. They bond and become friends (and something slightly more than friends, but in a sweet and childlike way), speaking to each other with morse code tapped against their bedroom walls. It’s very cute. Why is Eli so damn weird? She’s a vampire. The raw and bloody kind, not the sparkly kind.

What happens when a vampire comes inside without being invited is so so creepy, especially in the movie adaption where you see it happening. Yikes. It’s gross and brilliant. 

The POV changes, and there’s also some POV parts from one of the alcoholics that frequent this bar. And a crazy cat lady???? I seem to remember a crazy cat lady. But it could have been a crazy cat man.

THE THOUGHTS

This is a gritty vampire novel that’s not afraid of being disturbing or taboo. It’s a very realistic novel even if it’s got vampires in it, I think that’s one of my favorite things about it. And it’s so, so dark. And there’s a plot twist at the end (or, rather, character twist) that I didn’t see coming and that only made me love this book even more even if the twist is actually quite horrifying.

I really loved this book when I read it and I gave it 5 stars on Goodreads when I added it in 2011.It creeped me out, it really is very disturbing, and I was probably left with a WTF feeling after reading it. I don’t know if I can say that it “changed me” in any way, but it definitely made me appreciate vampires in their “true form” instead of the Twilight kind.

I don’t know what I’d think about it if I read it again, I’ve wanted to try it but I don’t know if I’ll have the time. I can’t guarantee I’d give it 5 stars again but I don’t think I’d dislike it. I’d definitely still find it disturbing, it’s supposed to be disturbing. It deals with issues like pedophilia and murder and anyone should be creeped out by that. But it’s also got a beautiful friendship in it and as far as I can remember, Lindqvist writes really really well.

THE EPILOGUE

This is the Goodreads summary:

It is autumn 1981 when the inconceivable comes to Blackeberg, a suburb in Sweden. The body of a teenage boy is found, emptied of blood, the murder rumored to be part of a ritual killing. Twelve-year-old Oskar is personally hoping that revenge has come at long last—revenge for the bullying he endures at school, day after day.

But the murder is not the most important thing on his mind. A new girl has moved in next door—a girl who has never seen a Rubik’s Cube before, but who can solve it at once. There is something wrong with her, though, something odd. And she only comes out at night….

Book Depository says it is an “unique and brilliant fusion of social novel and vampire legend, a deeply moving fable about rejection, friendship and loyalty.” This is true. The fusion of a social novel and a vampire legend was, like I said, one of my favorite aspects of it.

I can’t believe I actually forgot the whole starting point of the book, namely the murdered teenage boy they found strung upside down in a tree.

And it’s Oskar with a K, of course. This is Scandinavia.

I did remember the rubik’s cube though. I remember quite a lot of scenes but I don’t know if I should mention them, they might be too spoilery.

This didn’t tell me much about the alcoholics or the crazy cat lady/man so onto wikipedia I go. Oh right, Lacke and Jocke! Ooooh, and Virginia who gets attacked by Eli, I can’t believe I forgot this subplot. I couldn’t find anything about the cats but I remember a lot of cats, they might have been Virginia’s. Yes, that makes sense now when I think about it.

Even if you’re not interested in the book might you might want to check out the movie(s):
Swedish trailer (w/ English subs)
American remake trailer 

This was a lot of fun, I might do this again with another book at a later time. Thanks for a great tag! 😀 Because I don’t know that many people here yet I tag everyone who wants to do it!

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7 thoughts on “The Nostalgic Book Review Tag

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