Welcome to another edition of the Calendar Girls!
Calendar Girls was a monthly blog event created by Melanie at MNBernard Books and Flavia the Bibliophile and will now be hosted by Katie at Never Not Reading and Adrienne at Darque Dreamer Reads. It is designed to ignite bookish discussions among readers and was inspired by the 1961 Neil Sedaka song Calendar Girl.
Just like the song, each month has a different theme. Each blogger picks their favorite book from the theme and on the first Monday of the month reveals their pick in a Calendar Girls post.
So without further ado, this month’s theme is…
My initial reaction was TheBearandtheNightingaleTheBearand theNightingaleTheBearandtheNightingale!!!! (I really do love that book). However, I mentioned it in my previous Calendar Girls post when I chose the sequel, The Girl in the Tower, as my favourite book in the middle of a series so I thought I’d go for something completely different. Like, completely different.
So, my December pick is…
Let The Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist
I have to say – this book is not for the faint hearted. It takes it’s title from the Morissey song “Let the Right One Slip In” and if you thought that was bleak…this probably isn’t the book for you.
Let The Right One In is one of the most creepily atmospheric books I’ve ever read. Set in a run down suburb of 1980’s Sweeden, it’s main character Oskar is a bullied twelve year old with dreams of violent retribution. The arrival of a new neighbour called Eli gives Oskar his first real friend, but there’s something a bit…off about her. Who is the weird guy that she lives with? Why does she only come out at night? And does she have anything to do with the murder of a local teenager who was found drained of his blood?
Everything about the book is creepy, weird and just a bit off-kilter. The characters all seen to be depressed, angry or filled with self loathing. Seeing the book in the Sweedish Winter adds to the bleak atmosphere. There are a series of horrible twists and turns that lead to some really disturbing scenes – none of that sparkly vampire nonsense. It really is graphic and I’m sure a lot of readers will be turned off by that.
This isn’t just a cheap shock horror novel. At it’s heart is a slightly twisted but nonetheless sweet, kind friendship between Oskar and Eli – and it’s their relationship that compelled me to keep reading. This isn’t so much a vampire novel as a story of two outcasts finding a mutual bond in the most difficult of circumstances. It’s brilliantly written, well paced and complex and it invoked pretty much every emotion that I possess. I wouldn’t even call myself a horror fan but I absolutely loved it – my friend called it a horror book for people who don’t like horror which I think is pretty accurate.
So, have you read Let the Right One In? What would be your Calendar Girls pick? Let me know in the comments!