After watching the Swedish movie adaptation and reading that the book was more intense
, I decided to give it a go. Let the Right One In
by John Ajvide Lindqvist is, indeed, bloodier and more uncomfortable than the film (the scene when Virginia, the newly-turned vampire is attacked by the cats was one that stood out for me as being far gorier in the book!)
. The vampire mythology and the relationship between the characters are better explained here, especially Eli and Håkan, a partnership that wasn't so well explored in cinema. The cast is quite good, both names I already knew and the "expanded" names that I got the chance to meet now in throughout almost 500 pages. It's funny, in a tragic way, how every character is miserable but have a little something
that makes them not a complete waste. Human, all too human!
Being such a lengthy book, the film had to cut passages. This has both positive and negative sides. There were some events that I thought would be nice to have kept (Håkan's "zombification" is the best example here)
while others did help the flow of the story. In my opinion, the novel suffers from some unnecessary PoVs (squirrel scene, anyone?)
and also spends unnecessary time in plots and characters that are not really important to the narrative. Håkan's character is another one that I think overstayed its welcome in the first half of the book. And yes, having the Swedish actors' images in my mind, I was quite shocked to find out that Eli is in fact a boy
, another detail
omitted by the film. Not sure how I feel about that. But as some people said, coincidence or not, Let the Right One In
is kind of an anti-Twilight, and I can totally respect that!
Little annoyances aside, I'd give Let the Right One In
4 out of 5 stars!
Another book worth mentioning is The Midnight Library
by Matt Haig, considered one of the best fantasy books of 2020. Honestly? I expected more. There are stories that you start reading and you know what to expect; you might even guess the ending early on. When it happens to me, in most cases I can still be surprised by how the events unfold to lead to the climax. The Midnight Library
was not such a case. It is a fluid, engaging and inspiring reading. However, it did not bring any surprises (to not be completely unfair, Nora meeting another "slipper" was unexpected, but while the character has its function in the protagonist's development, I wish this piece of the story had been further developed)
or sections of tension when I had those "What's going to happen with the character now?!" moments.
It's a simple story with a good message (hammered into the reader a bit too much), I just expected a little more depth - 3,5 stars!