Back in 2009, Laura read Let the Right One In for the RA class and she posted this annotation on the class blog. Way to be ahead of the curve, Laura. I hope Laura's annotation helps you to help your readers. Here is is re-posted.
Title: Let the Right One In (Let Me In) (Låt den rätte komma in)
Author: John Ajvide Lindqvist
Publication Date: 2008
Number of Pages: 480
Geographical Setting: Sweden (suburbs of Stockholm)
Time Period: Present day
Oskar is a struggling 12 year old who collects articles about serial killers and murders. He is tortured at school, and since his parents divorce his home life is not much better. Life in general is gray and lonely for Oskar until his new neighbors move in, an old man and his young daughter. Late one night Oskar meets Eli, the young androgynous looking girl. Right away Oskar notices that she is odd. She is pale like Oskar, but smells bad (like rotten meat) and in the dead of winter and she has no coat, and no socks and shoes. They form a friendship as lonely outcasts of a small town. She encourages him to stand up to the bullies at school, and he becomes her closest confident. Due to Oskar’s slightly morbid side he is neither shocked or frightened when Eli tells him that she survives on blood, and that the old man is not her father, but an aging pedophile who kills for her in exchange for money and the promise that one day he can touch her. The old man is soon caught by the police, and now Eli must fend for herself. Fearing that the town is suspicious of her she says her goodbyes to Oskar and leaves. Life goes on with out his only friend, until it is almost ended at the hands of his bullies. In the midst of a swim practice the boys gang up on Oskar and try to drown him. Eli intervenes in a gruesome way, she pulls Oskar from the blood filled pool and they escape together.
Subject Headings: Vampires, 12 year old boys, Revenge, Swedish Horror
Appeal: Vampire, Horror, coming of age, Sweden, Bullies, twisted love story, Dark, Sad, Lonely, Gruesome, character centered, Controversial, Mysterious, Suburban, Cold, Morbid, Divorce.
3 Terms that best describe this book: Lonely, Dark, Friendship
3 fiction read alikes
(Looks at life in a small Swedish village during the 1960s and its colorful inhabitants, including an African missionary, a German tourist who happens to be an ex-Nazi, and a music teacher who has no fingers on his right hand.)
(When the mutilated body of the local reformed troublemaker is found, Inspector Ann Lindell takes time off from maternity leave to uncover the killer and is drawn into a deadly game of cat-and-mouse with a vicious murderer.)
(Swedish naval officer Lars Tobiasson-Svartman finds himself attracted to a young widow whose wild nature is in total contrast to his wife’s reserved personality.)
3 non-fiction read alikes
(Suburban male coming of age vignettes from around the U.S.)
Real Vampires by Daniel Cohen
(Argues that vampires are not merely creatures of fiction, and provides instances of real-life encounters with vampires from Middle Europe to Middle America, from medieval to modern times)