Genre: Fiction; Thriller; Paranormal
Rating: 4 / 5
Note: There are NO spoilers in this review. When discussing in the comments, please provide a spoiler warning if needed.
Before we get into this review – go ahead and add You Let Me In by Camilla Bruce to your TBR list.
I thoroughly enjoyed this one. I read the entire novel in about two days. A quick and easy read, but honestly I didn’t want to put it down.
My husband is likely tired of hearing me say this, (he listens to me talk out my reviews before I write them) but for me this was the novel-version of The Yellow Wallpaper, a short story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, without the finality at the end. It’s been about four days since I turned the last page, and I still find myself going back to think about the ending.
Cassandra Tipp, the main character of the novel, is assumed to be “crazy” and imagining things based on unknown trauma she faced as a young child. Camilla Bruce does an excellent job of dancing around fact and fiction. I’m still trying to decide what my final decision would be. It’s been an Inception kind of moment for me. I’ve been at war with myself over whether I believe the narrator. She tells such a compelling, but still unbelievable story.
Yes, vague, I know – but I promised no spoilers. You’ll just have to read to find out.
Alas, I don’t believe it matters. Even if someone is delusional, what they are experiencing is their reality and impacts them as such. As a child, you have a nightmare and wake up scared. It doesn’t matter if it never actually happened, it still changes you in that moment.
I think regardless of where you land at the end of the novel, it’s a beautiful story about trauma and how people, especially children, react to that trauma. It doesn’t matter if you can visibly see someone else’s “shit,” it’s still very real to them.
Another fun element of the novel was the narration style. When you make the poor (jk!) decision to major in English (just ask my mom) you enroll in a number of creative writing classes that specifically warn you against writing in the second person. I guess more of a caution than an all out rule. But in You Let Me In all of those professors were proven wrong. Not only does it work – I’m not sure this novel would have been the same without it.
We all have at least one weird family member who is so interesting to talk to, even if you have no idea what they are talking about a majority of the time. The concept of a crazy, estranged aunt rambling and ranting at her niece and nephew is fun for me.
The story will keep you guessing, thinking, and then second guessing yourself. You are taken back to your time as a young kid when you had imaginary friends, but the author brings it to an unexpected level of realism.
I highly recommend this book. Like I said at the beginning, add it to your TBR now. You won’t regret it.
Buy You Let Me In by Camilla Bruce here at Old Town Books, or at your local bookstore.
Have you read You Let Me In? Let’s talk about it. Leave a comment or send me a message letting me know what you thought of the novel.