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Lucretia and the Kroons

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  340 ratings  ·  113 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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Average rating 3.60  · 
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Isa Lavinia
Aug 02, 2012 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
There are several books in the world that are suppose to help children come to terms with death. Usually they concern the death of a pet or sibling, sometimes a friend. When I was child, and even as a adult, they usually missed. At one part there was something that felt fake about must of them, almost forced. That isn't really that surprising.

But if I had read this when I was a child, a teen, it would have changed that image of those types of books.

Lucretia is dealing with the illness of her fri
Sep 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: supernatural, arc
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
Miriam Cihodariu
Jun 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: usa
This is aimed at young adults, but it tells the sort of universally appealing story everyone should be able to be moved by. Primordial fear, loss, grief, and hope are universal human narratives and constants, so it's hard for me to see how can you not be moved by this short story. The author delivers all these masterfully.
Jason Pettus
Aug 06, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: dark, emo, contemporary, 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
I loved this early look at a young Loochie
Laura Guilbault
Jun 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: 13+?
A really nice story about death, pain and friendship.
Contains mild swearing/adult words (whore, bastard, crackhead) as well as smoking and really creepy villains with deteriorating bodies.
Aug 18, 2012 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
Erin Al-Mehairi
Jan 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
My first Victor years ago and I loved it.
Jenna Scribbles
Jun 17, 2019 rated it liked it
I felt this novella was a bit scattered. It contained many elements that didn’t flow well together. Each piece was well done and imaginative, but together, they were clunky and disjointed.
Nick Turner
Aug 04, 2012 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 08, 2012 rated it liked it
Well, it's more like a 2.5 stars for me...

“Being young didn’t protect anyone. Horrors came for kids, too.”
“It’s amazing what a person can do when her life depends on it”.

I don’t think this book is for me and that is sad because while I was reading the summary I thought it had a good concept and it seemed like a great read…

This is the story of Lucretia (Loochie) and her friend Sunny. They are both 12 year-old girls that are best friends forever. Sunny has been fighting a cancer and couldn’t
Aug 01, 2012 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 17, 2012 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 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
Nicholas Kaufmann
Feb 13, 2013 rated it liked it
Children who grew up in the suburbs learn to climb trees. Kids from Queens learn to climb fire escapes.

This short companion piece to The Devil In Silver is an origin story of sorts for Loochie, one of that novel's most compelling characters. Here, we meet her at age 12, just before her years of institutionalization begin, and follow her on an urban katabasis, Dante-like, into a hallucinatory afterlife-limbo in pursuit of her terminally ill friend Sunny. On her trail are the Kroons, a family of c
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
Linda (un)Conventional Bookworms
*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.
Craig Laurance
Aug 10, 2012 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.
Feb 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this story, even though I could never entirely decide whether or not it's a YA novella. The primary characters are youngsters but I suppose that doesn't necessarily mean it's intended for younger audiences. At any rate, it's a really great story about friendship, love, loyalty, and ultimately loss, largely set in a nightmarish landscape inhabited by a family of mutants. Looshie (Lucretia's family's pet name for her) enters this place in search of her missing best friend, Sunny. ...more
Feb 04, 2019 rated it liked it
i find LaValle to be an excellent spinner of tales, and i have loved his other books quite a lot... this one fell a bit short (pun intended, however you look at it)... the ending was entirely abrupt and just didn't fit the story in any way except as a post hoc "explanation" of sorts... but with the thrust of the story being about Lucretia and Sunny, and mostly about Sunny for me, i just couldn't quite grasp the point of what transpired... plenty of fantastic writing and imagery and symbolic elem ...more
Craig C

So I thought I would like this better than I did. I felt in many ways Lucretia was a better character than Pepper in The Devil in Silver. But instead of a character portrayal that shows perhaps the beginning of mental illness, it tells the story of some version of the afterlife and how it's perceived in a horror story that is far too short to really have any character arc.

Because of how grounded in reality the Devil in Silver ends up being I don't really understand how this short story fi
Aug 03, 2012 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 i
Sep 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019-challenge
I try to rate books not only on my reaction but on whether the author accomplished what they set out to. So if there are plot points or characters that are vividly drawn, I’ll give points, even if they didn’t quite click with me?

(I’m also awarding the extra star for the portrayal of underage smoking as unpleasant and sickening. 😃 )

I found myself connecting more with the character’s journey than with the character herself, but at the end of the day, for this short piece, I have no problem with th
Jan 08, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-books
A relatively worthy kid’s fantasy story

(3 & 1/2 stars)
This is middle-grade fantasy story with a bit of foul language. I largely enjoyed the book, divided into “grim reality” and “alternative fantasy world” (my own descriptions). The grim reality section goes on too long in the first part of the novel, to the point where I thought that’s all it would be about. Then it abruptly moves to the fantasy world, and the story gets much more interesting. However, the depressing reality of the “our world”
Aug 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
A short, eerie story that could be as straightforward of a horror novel as you could ask for, or one that could serve as a dark lens through a young person's view on cancer. Or it could be m0re. As with the horror-as-parable of the films Us and Get Out, LaValle's choices for location, scenery, and characters might be hinting at something more -- but whatever its underlayer, Lucretia is a strange, creepy journey of friend rescuing friend. However deep you want to go into this dark novella, the re ...more
Sep 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is my second Victor LaValle book [after The Ballad of Black Tom] and I would definitely recommend it for someone who wants to get a good sense of his writing style - He's very good at blending normal every day situations with horror elements - but is looking for something short. The very end of this kind of threw me for a loop but I know it's technically a prequel to another book so it guess it does make sense in that context, it's just not necessarily what makes the most sense to me.
Apr 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Loochie was a believable character and I found the idea of the Kroons fascinating. This wasn't really horror per se, but it had some creepy elements and I enjoyed the pacing.

Free copy given in exchange for an honest review.
Mar 17, 2019 rated it it was ok
I have no idea where or when I picked this up but I got a copy on NetGalley I think. Decided to read it and still am not sure what it is exactly. A sort of horror story but a lot of the connections just don't get made or flushed out enough for the story to really come together.
Oct 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
This was the perfect story, until the next to last paragraph. So, I'm gonna pretend that paragraph didn't exist... (but since it DID exist, only 4 1/2 stars)...
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Victor LaValle is the author of the short story collection Slapboxing with Jesus, four novels, The Ecstatic, Big Machine, The Devil in Silver, and The Changeling and two novellas, Lucretia and the Kroons and The Ballad of Black Tom. He is also the creator and writer of a comic book Victor LaValle's DESTROYER.

He has been the recipient of numerous awards including a Whiting Writers' Award, a United

Articles featuring this book

Victor LaValle knows his way around a scary tale or two. He's the author of the horror novels The Ballad of Black Tom...
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