Kristilyn (Reading In Winter)'s Reviews > Little Star

Little Star by John Ajvide Lindqvist
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Jul 11, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: read-in-2012, review-books-completed

Thank you to Raincoast Books for providing me a copy of this book for review!

The minute I finished reading Little Star, by John Lindqvist, I thought about how spoiled I was to have read his wonderful novel Let the Right One In first. That was a book that grabbed me from the first pages, took me for a ride, and wouldn’t let me go no matter how hard I struggled. The next book I read was Harbour, which wasn’t as good as Let the Right One In, but still an interesting and creepy read. So when I read the premise for Little Star — a story which stars out with a baby found in the woods — I had my hopes set high. It sounded like it would be a creepy and horrifying read from start to finish.

While I did enjoy the book, I found myself struggling to find words when I placed it next to Lindqvist’s other works. Really, this book starts out so strong and it grabbed hold of me and jostled me around. I felt uncomfortable and intrigued — the first section of this story being the best part of the book. But after that, things changed. New characters were introduced and a different storyline — the whole thing of which I read wondering what it had to do with the first story. This is one of the reasons that I didn’t like this book as much as I wanted to; I felt like I was taken to the top of a mountain, only to be shown a mediocre view from the top.

The main characters in this novel (that is, the first characters introduced to me) were the standout characters of the book. Lennart was a man I couldn’t come to like and didn’t want to like, even when his demeanour changed. I was unsure of the baby he found in the woods from the very start — I mean, what kind of baby can hold a perfect note right from the get go? I felt sorry for Lennart’s wife, Laila, as her story started to unfold. I questioned their son Jerry and his motives. These are the characters I wanted to read about for the entirety of the book.

But things change and the story takes a turn towards something I was unsure of and still feel unsure of as I write this. I think a lot of my hesitation rests in the fact that this book, unlike the last two books I’ve read by Lindqvist, doesn’t rely on any supernatural elements. It’s just a book about a girl who’s born a little bit like the guy in American Psycho, and another girl who becomes like that guy. It’s all a psychological thing. But I wanted explanations. I mean, THE BABY COULD SING A PERFECT NOTE AS A BABY! That’s not right. The child felt NO pain and had instincts to kill other human beings.

In the end, I was left with more questions than answers. Lindqvist relied more on gore and violence to tell his story and I wondered how the characters managed to get as far as they did without, say, a cop or a therapist getting in their way.

Though, Lindqvist can tell a story, despite my questions. I still found myself intrigued the whole way through wondering where the story was going to go, wondering what insane turn the characters would take next. I wouldn’t say that I was scared while reading the book at all. Like I said, Lindqvist relies more on gore and disturbing scenes to tell his story. I was uncomfortable at times, but not once did I wonder what was lurking in the shadows or under the bed. Part of me wanted that thrill, that horror that would make me keep the lights on at night.

If you’re a fan of Lindqvist’s work, you’ll want to check out this novel, but if you’re like me, you’ll know that it won’t hold a candle to his debut supernatural vampire tale.

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Reading Progress

July 11, 2012 – Shelved
September 24, 2012 – Started Reading
September 25, 2012 –
page 88
16.51% "Slow, but very intriguing."
September 26, 2012 – Shelved as: review-books-completed
September 26, 2012 – Shelved as: read-in-2012
September 26, 2012 – Finished Reading

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