Lucretia and the Kroons by Victor LaValle

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 is 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-winged rodents, and haunted playgrounds. Are they hallucinations – remember those odd cigarettes Sunny and Loochie smoked? – or are they real?

Victor LaValle has written that this book is partly an homage to Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and a prequel to his upcoming novel, The Devil in Silver, but more a tribute to the commitment and grace of two best friends.

In the appendix to The Other, which I have cited elsewhere, Don Chaon calls that book “an intense, lyrical meditation on childhood, nostalgia, and loss.” I think that could apply to this book as well.

I’m looking forward to reading The Devil in Silver, which continues the story of Lucretia and her life without Sunny.


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Filed under Horror, Young Adult Literature

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