Review: Let the Right One In: A Novel by John Ajvide Lindqvist

Let the Right One In: A Novel by John Ajvide Lindqvist
Kindle Edition, 479 pages
Published October 28th, 2008
My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

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....

My thoughts…

I went into this book without knowing much about it. I knew it was by a Swedish author, a Vampire, a young girl and boy, a Swedish movie and an American movie (apparently, the Swedish version is the one to watch). I did not expect anything close to what I read. I was mentally uncomfortable reading it and I cringed countless times.

Oskar is a twelve-year-old boy who lives in an apartment complex with his divorced mother. Oskar is an outcast and is badly bullied and beaten by other kids in his class. He keeps a scrapbook at home containing newspaper clippings of murders that happened in the surrounding community. Oskar has a homicidal rage and envisions different ways of killing those who bully and degrade him.

One evening, Oskar then meets Eli at the apartment playground and he is baffled by her unkempt appearance. Oskar can’t believe her smell, he must stand away from her because her odor is horrible. Eli is a deadly vampire who appears to be a 12-year-old girl. Oskar and Eli strike up an unlikely friendship.

Hakan supplies Eli with blood by draining his murdered victims, at a price. Haran is also a disturbing pedophile who is jealous of Eli and Oskar’s relationship. Hakan’s sexual compulsion drives the horrific and the disgusting parts of this story, his stupidity leads to his capture. When he can’t be counted on to keep Eli supplied with fresh blood, her need for food makes her careless, the results are victims and traces that threaten to reveal her.

This book contains many triggers for some readers; issues as bullying, revenge, pedophilia, murder, prostitution, drug use, alcoholism and the desperation of loneliness. There is a disturbing scene involving a twelve-year-old male toothless child prostitute and another scene with a child giving a strip tease.

I would have given it 5 stars if it weren't for that sexual content. I enjoy horror fiction for the frightening and gore feature, but the pedophilia was far too graphic and central in the story, it just grossed me out.

I also found it hard to comprehend which character was ‘talking’ as new chapter began, most of the time it was only after reading a few paragraphs that I could determine what character it was, and it had many characters.

It is a good story for fans of vampire fiction, you will not find any vampires that sparkle (still my favorite) and it’s very disturbing. This is not a Young Adult read.



  1. I am Swedish and I've seen this movie, but didn't enjoy that much. The book isn't appealling for me either to be honest :) We'll see if the mood kicks in to read this book.

  2. I was really looking forward to reading this because of all the great reviews I read about it. I added both American and Swedish movies to Netflixs to watch, I'm probably setting myself up for disappointment once again. Thank you for visiting and have a wonderful day.