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Lucretia and the Kroons

3.39  ·  Rating Details ·  207 Ratings  ·  93 Reviews
Lucretia’s best friend and upstairs neighbor Sunny—a sweet pitbull of a kid, even as she struggles with a mysterious illness—has gone missing. The only way to get her back is for Lucretia to climb the rickety fire escape of their Queens tenement and crawl through the window of apartment 6D, portal to a vast shadowland of missing kids ruled by a nightmarish family of mutant ...more
ebook, 104 pages
Published July 23rd 2012 by Spiegel & Grau (first published January 1st 2012)
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Isa Lavinia
Aug 02, 2012 Isa Lavinia rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everyone
Originally posted at Paperback Wonderland.

"Being young doesn’t protect you. Horrors come for kids, too."

Okay, why have I never heard of Victor LaValle? If the rest of his work is like this novella, it should be on prominent display in every bookshop, and library, and topping lists everywhere.

I started this book expecting a horror story with all the trappings of the genre. Instead I was taken on a vivid stroll through the life of a little girl from Queens and how she was dealing with her best fri
Sep 27, 2012 Lou rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, supernatural
The opening paragraph hooks you in successfully, it starts off intriguingly and then gathers momentum the pace does not back down it becomes a see and feel adventure. The author successfully places you into an eerie sense of place with strange occurrences and creepy characters. It starts of with the main protagonist view on being a twelve year old that’s not quite blossomed as much as she wished. She expresses hows shes not fortunate like other girls who are showing more like a woman’s body. She ...more
Jason Pettus
Jan 22, 2013 Jason Pettus rated it liked it
Shelves: contemporary, dark, emo, horror
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography []. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.)

Victor LaValle's Lucretia and the Kroons is a frustrating reading experience, because it's full of great ideas that are mostly handled poorly, or at the least with poor material added to either side of the great idea, so that what could've been a tight little alt-horror tale instead became a rambling thing
Aug 19, 2012 Patti rated it it was ok
I'm an adult who occasionally enjoys reading young adult fiction with a strong fantasy element. Mainstream fantasy for adults sometimes has too much emphasis on either warfare or romance for my taste, when I'm really just looking for escapism in a well-crafted fantasy setting. Lucretia and the Kroons looked like it would be exactly the sort of ebook I'd love but I found myself plodding through it to get to the end.

The story follows a pretty common fantasy theme. A kid who is dealing with the fe
Aug 08, 2012 Anacrasia rated it liked it
Shelves: arc
*I got this book from Netgalley for review*

When I saw that the genre is Horror,my first instinct was to avoid reading it.Even as a child I used to avoid reading Goosebumps (thought the reason can be attributed more to a rather insensitive beast who took great pleasures in terrifying his little sister..!).Anyway,I am going off the topic..Hey! No, I am NOT ! By now most of you think I am crazy..! Well, I am not! You see,this book fantastically reminded me of such incidents:Older brother narrating
Aug 18, 2012 Darryl rated it liked it
This novella, which serves as a prequel to LaValle's latest novel The Devil in Silver, is about Lucretia ("Loochie") Granger, a girl who lives with her mother in an apartment in Queens, NY at the turn of the millenium. Her 12th birthday party was ruined by three mean girls from her school who were unwanted guests invited by Loochie's mother. Her best friend Sunny, a girl who lives in the same building, was undergoing treatment for cancer at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis at tha ...more
Sep 17, 2012 Maxine rated it it was ok
Twelve-year-old Lucretia is force to celebrate her birthday without her best friend, Sunny, who is away receiving cancer treatments. When she returns, Lucretia has saved a piece of cake for her and they plan a party just for them. However, Sunny is kidnapped by some zombie-like creatures in the apartment above Looch's. Lucretia sets out to save her friend only to find herself in a world that is like a spoiled copy of her own.

I wanted to like this novella. I liked the metaphor for illness and the
Nick Turner
Sep 12, 2012 Nick Turner rated it did not like it
This novella takes you into the world of twelve-year old Lucretia Gardner - Loochie to her friends. Content spoiler: (view spoiler).

The narrative begins with birthday party drama. When Loochie is distracted missing her sick friend, her Mother must drag her to the party where three self-absorbed acquaintances await uninterestedly.

Loochie's elder brother Louis tells her why the top floor apartment has been boarded up for years. A family called the Kroons
Sep 22, 2015 Margaret rated it really liked it
Book Summary

Lucretia’s best friend and upstairs neighbor Sunny—a sweet pitbull of a kid, even as she struggles with a mysterious illness—has gone missing. The only way to get her back is for Lucretia to climb the rickety fire escape of their Queens tenement and crawl through the window of apartment 6D, portal to a vast shadowland of missing kids ruled by a nightmarish family of mutants whose designs on the children are unknown. Her search for Sunny takes Lucretia through a dark fantasyland where
I enjoyed this one, not the best written and a few spelling mistakes were noticed but still a very fun read.

The writing hooks you from the start and the sense of mystery and the aspects of horror are enough to keep you reading.
Some very good ideas introduced and explored but not handled in the best way as I would have imagined; I hope the editing issues have now been ironed out.

An advance reader copy was kindly supplied by the publisher via Netgalley
Aug 10, 2012 Craig rated it really liked it
This suspenseful novella crafts turns an urban legend into a tense YA horror story. Props for the multicultural cast--the two heroines are African American and Chinese American, and the real world/altered version of Queens is very believable. This slim book is a moving thriller that will remind you of Gaiman's CORALINE--but much darker.
Lexxie (un)Conventional Bookviews
*ARC received from Netgalley for review purposes*

This - and other reviews - can be found on my blog (un)Conventional Bookviews

Lucretia - Loochie - Gardner is twelve years old, and her best friend, Sunny is very sick with cancer.
Jan 11, 2016 Fiona rated it really liked it
I read this while sitting in the dentist's chair for three hours getting a new crown. Great dentist-chair reading. Great reading. Is this a children's book? It should be. It had that peculiar didactic tone that children's books take when they're dealing with "difficult" subjects. Whoever it's for, I would give this to children for sure.

I know this is a prequel (first in a series? IDK the writing order) to at least one of LaValle's other books, The Devil in Silver,- and I immediately bought that
Jun 29, 2016 brook rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2.5 stars.

Closer to a Richard Bachman (King) short story than a novel, this is really, really quick. LaValle sounds like King and heads in similar directions with characters and descriptions, which is a compliment.

I think if this were either fleshed out into a full-length novel, making you know the characters better and therefore care more, it would be better. Also, I think it could be snipped into a very short story a-la King and work that way, too (but not as good).

I'll be reading other LaV
Mar 08, 2015 David rated it it was amazing
If Chester Himes, Clive Barker, Stephen King and Richard Price collaborated on a short story the result might read something like "Lucretia and the Kroons." Everything Victor LaValle writes is fascinating, even if it doesn't always completely live up to its promise, (like the flawed but compelling "The Devil in Silver") because his take on some of the conventions of science fiction, horror and crime fiction is so unique. "Lucretia and the Kroons" is somewhere between a short story and a novella ...more
David Edmonds
Oct 24, 2012 David Edmonds rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 10, 2012 Lynn rated it liked it
Lucretia is a bit of an awkward adolescent girl whose best friend, Sunny, is dying of cancer. Lucretia puts her birthday celebration on hold for Sunny, who is in the hospital undergoing another round of treatment. But on the day that Sunny is supposed to come over, a number of weird things occur. It starts with Lucretia's brother telling her the story of the Kroons who live in apartment 6D of their building. Louis tells Lucretia that the Kroons have been locked in their apartment because they ar ...more
Aug 28, 2013 Craig rated it it was amazing
Shelves: short-fiction
If you've never been to Queens, LaValle does an amazing job of recreating it here in print, minus the creepy elephantitis family. Mentions of Flushing Meadows Park and the unisphere are hallmarks of the futurism represented by the World's Fair held there in 1964 (and from the 1939-1940 World's Fair before it). And looking to the future is what LaValle is doing here. Turning twelve, Lucretia embodies LaValle's deft awareness of childhood on the verge of tweenhood, struggling to be grown up but no ...more
Oct 02, 2012 Cherie rated it liked it
A strange tale of friendship and loss, LUCRETIA AND THE KROONS by Victor LaValle is a trippy novella at times reminiscent of ALICE IN WONDERLAND.

Lucretia just wants her best friend Sunny at her birthday party, but Sunny has cancer and is receiving treatments too far away. A day comes when Sunny can finally come to play, but she’s disappeared, and it’s up to Lucretia, also known as Loochie, to find her. She is certain the Kroons in 6D have taken her friend, and she climbs up the fire escape to fi
Aisha Oaktree
"Being young doesn't protect you, horrors come for kids, too"
It took forever to get to this book, and it's one of the few novellas I have read that went as fast as it did. I've never read this author before, so his writing style was new to me. The story just jumped right into it, now pretense or build up, it just went right to it.

Now this is a very different kind of book for me, a bit of a magical realism, yet very different. Loochie is a kid who doesn't realize that the world is kind of harsh;
Claire McAlpine
Aug 05, 2012 Claire McAlpine rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Wasn't sure quite who this book was aimed at when it was suggested to me by the publisher and since it is a 120 page novella and a new author who I note has written some excellent articles and essays on narrative perspective and voice I thought I'd download it to kindle and read.

Its clearly a young persons book and an interesting take on a 12 year old dealing with growing up and the pain of separation from her best friend who has a terminal illness. Rather than get sentimental LaValle's flourish
Sharon Tyler
Oct 04, 2012 Sharon Tyler rated it really liked it
Lucretia and the Kroons is a young adult novella by Victor LaValle. This novella is a fantasy tale with more than a little touch of horror. Lucretia, or Loochie, is struggling to understand and accept her friend Sunny's cancer and impending death. After a story told by Loochie's brother, hr preperations for a belated birthday party with Sunny, Loochie is drawn into a journey to protect her friend, and herself, from the legendary Kroons from apartment 6D. Can Loochie survive the surreal world of ...more
Aug 17, 2012 Laura rated it really liked it
Lucretia and the Kroons is considered literate horror and is an excellent piece of novella length writing. It is also a touching story as it examines the relationship between Lucretia and her best friend Sunny.

Victor LaValle manages to paint an accurate picture of what it's like to be a 12 year old girl. From the beginning with her social concerns about her friends who she sees later "clumped together like socks that had just come out of the dryer" to her personal concerns about appearance and w
Kristin (Blood,Sweat and Books)
Lucretia and the Kroons is a book I actually read last year. Due to its entirely bizarre plot and my feelings being in a state of confusion I chose to not review the book at the time. Recently however, I decided to reread this Novella and give it another shot. Here's my thoughts:

Lucretia and the Kroons can only be described as Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland meets Stephen King's insert book of choice. To put it bluntly this Novella will screw with your mind. I've read this twice now and I'm st
Aug 12, 2012 Randa rated it really liked it
The cover:
This cover makes you wonder what will Lucretia uncover behind the fold?
It is simple and clear. A very well done cover for this particular book. And it proves that the saying “Never judge a book by its cover.” is true.

The storyline:
This story is full of intense moments, sadness, realistic facts and scary moments.
I do not won’t to spoil this book at all because you need to read this book for yourself to know what I’m talking about you, but here’s a short summary so you know what this is
Aug 16, 2012 Heather rated it liked it
Okay, so this is a pretty unique story. The first half is set in the real world with Lucretia, nicknamed Loochie, having a birthday party for herself. She loosely fits in with three girls who I have to say are real snots who her mother has invited to her house for a party. It doesn't end well. Loochie throws them out calling them whores. She puts her ice cream cake back in the freezer and tells her mom she'll celebrate her birthday when her bestfriend, Sunny comes home from cancer treatment in T ...more
Julie G
Sep 14, 2012 Julie G rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
In an apartment in Flushing, Queens, Lucretia (Loochie) Gardner is about to celebrate her twelfth birthday. But her best friend can't be there; Sunny's in Memphis getting treatment for her cancer. And the three girls who do show up, are no friends.

As a beginning to a youth-fiction novella, this was not even remotely what I'd expected. But it struck so close to home, I found myself zipping through the next few pages - desperately hoping for retribution. Suddenly, I was a wounded 12-year-old girl
Lucretia (Loochie) Gardner lived in an apartment with her Mum…her brother Louis had left home some time back, as he was 10 years older than Loochie. So it was just the two of them. Loochie was having a birthday party for her twelfth birthday, with three friends from school. She didn’t really want them there, she only wanted her best friend, Sunny, who lived in the apartment directly above. But Sunny couldn’t come, as she was away having treatment for cancer. Loochie was sad Sunny wasn’t well.

Aug 30, 2012 Meganm922 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I received a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This was a short novella, but full of adventure. I really enjoyed it.

Lucretia’s brother tells her a story about the people upstairs in apartment 6D that frightens and intrigues Lucretia. Her best friend Sunny is struggling with cancer and is supposed to hang out for 2 hours in Lucretia’s apartment. When she doesn’t show up, Lucretia discovers she may have been in apartment 6D and embarks on an adventure to find her.
Ann Sloan
Aug 19, 2012 Ann Sloan rated it really liked it
Don’t go near 6D. Not if you value your life. That was where the Kroons live, and they’re crackheads. That’s the advice Loochie’s brother, Louis, gives her, and he was ten years older than she, so he knows.
However, when your best friend, Sunny, who has cancer, is supposed to come play but doesn’t, you take chances, venture up the fire escape and find out whether the Kroons have Sunny.
Loochie meets monsters and enters a dark fantasyland where she finds lush forests growing from concrete, pigeon-
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Victor LaValle is the author of the short-story collection Slapboxing with Jesus and the novel The Ecstatic, a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award.

He was raised in Queens, New York. He now lives in Washington Heights with his wife and kids. He teaches at Columbia University.
More about Victor LaValle...

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