Book Review: Lucretia and the Kroons by Victor LaValle

Lucretia and the Kroons is a young adult novella by Victor LaValle. This novella is a fantasy tale with more than a little touch of horror. Lucretia, or Loochie, is struggling to understand and accept her friend Sunny's cancer and impending death. After a story told by Loochie's brother, hr preperations for a belated birthday party with Sunny, Loochie is drawn into a journey to protect her friend, and herself, from the legendary Kroons from apartment 6D. Can Loochie survive the surreal world of the Kroons or with she and Sonny find themselves devoured?

Lucretia and the Kroons is a heart rending tale that will have your heart racing as well. Loochie is fairly naive, she does not quite understand the seriousness of her best friend's illness, or of the struggles her mother and brother face in their own lives. She feels left behind by the other girls, who seem to have move on to being teenagers without Loochie. Sunny is the one friend who she feels safe to be herself with, and does not seem willing, or able, to face a future without her. This emotional struggle is as important to the story as any of the dangerous encounters Loochie has after beginning her journey to save Sunny from the zombie like Kroons, who are said to inhabit apartment 6D even after it is securely locked up. The world Loochie finds while fleeing the Kroons is amazing, both alien and familiar in its horrors.

Lucretia and the Kroons is a moving look at the terror one can feel while facing loss,coming to terms with yourself, and the power of true friendship.  I recommend it to readers in middle school, or facing the loss of someone close to them. Readers that enjoy adventure stories that will keep you on the edge of thier seat and chewing fingernails will certainly enjoy this novella. If you read and enjoy this story you might want to read The Devil in Silver, a horror story that continues the story of Lucretia.
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