I stayed up till 1 last night to finish this book.
I REGRET NOTHING.
Recently I've taken quite a fancy to fairy tale re-tellings. You can go right ahead and blame Gail Carson Levine for that. The Book of Lost things belongs to that genre, albeit a bit LOT more darker.
The book begins by introducing us to 12-year old David who has just lost his mum. He finds out that his dad is getting remarried and pretty soon finds himself with a baby brother, whom he hates on sight. Deep in his depression, he begins to hear voices coming out of the books he and his mum used to read together. That is when he first sees the Crooked Man. One late night, David hears his mum's voice calling out to him, asking him to come rescue her from something horrible. He follows her voice to a hole in the garden wall and ends up in fairy tale land with no way of going back (the hole in the wall closes after he passes through).
And that is when things get nasty.
Immediately after arriving, David runs into the Woodsman (The Red-riding hood one) who rescues him from certain death at the hands of a group of half-human, half-wolf mutants. Now, David has to find his way back by searching for the Book of Lost things with the help of the Woodsman and the brave Knight Roland, while escaping the werewolves and the ever-lurking Crooked Man, who follows him everywhere he goes.
Another novel to have been mistakenly classified as a children's story, the Book of Lost Things, is like a roller-coaster ride inside
a scary, haunted house filled with your deepest, darkest nightmares involving live, flesh-eating monsters and blood. LOTS of blood.
But, not to worry there is light comic relief in the middle, in the form of a tyrannical and grotesquely obese Snow-white and seven, extremely downtrodden dwarves. That part is hilarious. DO NOT MISS.
BUT, the rest of the book is seriously creepy, though not more so than the villain of the story, the Crooked Man. To say he is a bad, bad man would be the understatement of the millenium in the entire galaxy. He is fiendish, horrifying, diabolical, wicked, cruel, savage, monstrous, malicious, inhuman, infernal...(Freedictionary.com
ran out of synonyms here). SERIOUSLY, YOU GUYS, VOLDEMORT'S GOT NOTHING ON THE CROOKED MAN!!
You've been warned.
P.S - The ending is amazing and wonderful and moving and very coming-of-age-y and I CRIED. So shoo, go read it now!