Warning: This book includes mature content such as: sexual content, and/or drug and/or alcohol use, and/or violence.
Published by Random House Publishing on 23 July 2012
Genres: Horror, Young Adult
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Lucretia - Loochie - Gardner is twelve years old, and her best friend, Sunny is very sick with cancer. So sick she can't come to Loochie's birthday party, and the three girls who do show up to celebrate her are not really there for her. They tease her about her dress and Loochie instantly throws them out!
When Sunny is back from the hospital, it takes a while before the two girls can meet again, and Loochie realizes that Sunny might not get better at all.
Loochie’s brother Louis explains something about horrors to her, saying “But being young doesn’t protect you. Horrors are for kids, too.” At that moment Louis stared into the distance and seemed truly sad for having to reveal a truth like that to his little sister.
The story gets pretty confusing from there on. Loochie smokes a cigarette Sunny had given her earlier – hand-rolled Chinese cigarettes. She only manages to inhale once before she gets sick, and then, Louis’ story about the people in apartment 6D comes back to her at the same time as she ears an ambulance stopping in front of her building. Then, Loochie starts a wild quest through apartment 6D, into a park and through a meadow, chased by the five brothers living there – the Kroons.
Lucretia and the Kroons is quite a confusing story, about grief, about knowing what death is at an early age, and having to continue to live when her best friend has died of cancer. It is difficult to see what age group this book is aimed at, as Loochie is only 12 years old, and most of the story happens either in her imagination, or because she is so struck with grief when she realizes that her best friend is dead, or even because the cigarette she smoked wasn’t a cigarette at all. It does say adult and horror, but I really didn’t get that.
The writing is a little simplistic, which is part of why it seems to be aimed at a young audience. At the same time, it is not really explaining illness, death and grief in a way that would be appropriate for a young reader.