Julie G's Reviews > Lucretia and the Kroons

Lucretia and the Kroons by Victor LaValle
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Sep 14, 12

bookshelves: reviewed
Read in September, 2012

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 again.

Finally, after two months, Sunny is well enough to visit and the best friends get to spend two whole hours alone in Loochie's apartment. But, before her friend arrives, Louis (Loochie's older brother) warns her about the Kroons: A family of monsters living two floors up, in 6D, who prowl the building and steal little children.

Leave it to big brothers to scare the daylights out of little sisters.

Frightened and left alone to wait for Sunny, Loochie's terror only increases when she finds a disfigured woman on the fire escape, trying to get into the apartment. The woman manages to raise the window just enough to pass through Sunny's blue knit hat. And Loochie knows the truth - the Kroons have taken her best friend!

In a flash, she's out the window and up the fire escape, determined to save Sunny.

With only 164 pages, this amazing author explores youth, friendship, dying, and loss in an intense, unforgettable way. I couldn't help feeling that there was much more to Loochie's story that needed to be told. Then, I found out that this novella was written / designed as the prequel, or backstory, for his novel "The Devil in Silver."

I'm definitely adding Victor Lavalle to my list of must-read authors.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary electronic galley of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.com professional readers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
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