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The Ninja Reader

High-brow or downright pretentious, good PNR or sparkly vampires, I don't care about the premise so long as it entertains me.

Currently reading

Bullying: The Social Destruction of Self
Laura Martocci
Let the Right One in - John Ajvide Lindqvist You know, from the reviews I read, I expected this book to sink me into depression. I expected to be shaken to the depths of my soul and sent crawling into the nearest corner where I would suck my thumb, cover my head with a blanket and cry for my mommy, and regret the day when I picked books that are obviously out of my caliber. But, as it turned out, my expectations were wrong. I am now ruined.Seriously. I shall never, not at least in the near future, be able to read a paranormal YA book and not think: "What do they take us for?" The more books I read, the more I become aware that authors do not use supernatural elements like they should. Instead of giving us a breathtaking tale, they use vampires, werewolves and people with wings to cover up the fact that in real life, the relationships they describe are nothing short of perverted, illegal and disgusting.But "Let The Right One In" does nothing of the sort.Oh, there is a supernatural element alright, and there is A LOT of criminal, sexually deviant, purely disgusting things in this book, but unlike the cutesified things you see on the bestseller lists (Twilight, Hush, Hush, Fallen, Shiver), John Ajvide Lindqvist does not use the fact that his books is a 'fantasy' to justify them. It is a tale of human mistakes, human tragedy, heartbreak, death and weakness. It's a book that describes some of the most unsavory aspects of human nature and spares the reader no detail. It's a book that will have people sleep with the lights on, toss all night in nightmares, or just lay awake and ponder the universal question "What the f*ck did go wrong?".You may not like the characters. Hell, you probably will not. In essence, they are the textbook definitions of 'waste of potential'. You know the type? The ones spending their lives not looking further than the next day, the ones who waste away even if they obviously can do better. The ones you're terrified of becoming (*being personal here*). The ones who KNOW better, CAN do better, but just don't. The ones who want to do better, but are too weak to. The ones who have given up.Yet even they have their moments. They know they will never do better than they are, but in a rare, fleeting moment, they manage to dream of it. Lindqvist captures those moments, and in that time, you are able to see the beauty of it even more clearly, feel the dream. Their lives may be dessolate, but that is what makes their triumphs so much more powerful. You may even say that some of them find redemption, although that would be a very long shot. There is no character in this book that isn't somehow selfish, weak, cruel or downright evil, but there are times when they move out into the light.So, final words? Sweden in 1981 was probably desolate to begin with, but this book pulls down all the blinds. In the words of one of Bulgaria's most famous poets: "Life without a mask nor make-up/ - an ugly, growling dog." It's not a pleasant book. It teaches no morals. But if you brave through it, you may look around and appreciate your life for what it is.Not indefinitely.Perhaps not completely.But for a while. Just for a while.Five out of five.