It was hard for me to separate the book from the movie which I loved. Hard also to tell which one I liked more but I think this is one of those rare times that the movie is as good as the book.
Lonely 13 year old Oskar is a Mama's boy. Lonely and bullied by his peers. He doesn't really have any friends. That is, until he meets Eli, his new neighbor. They form a friendship, a bond. But Eli is like no other little girl. In fact, she's not even a girl. Eli is a 200 year old vampire, stuck at 12 year old. She moves in to Oskar's suburban neighborhood with her "handler" Hakan and quickly causes a whole lot of trouble and dead bodies.
The plot of the movie follows the book very closely. But there are some differences, of course. The characters are more fleshed out, their back stories and inner thoughts stated. There is no need for the guessing of motives here, unlike in the movie. Oskar is less likable her, more weird and violent. Many of the ambiguities in the movie is made clearer. Hakan and Ely's past and motivations.
I also liked that the author took the time to follow some minor characters, such as the local drinking group. It made me care much more about them and their tragic lives. One thing that was totally different in the book is that Hakan turns into a gruesome undead monster. This is also one of the things that I like least. It felt so common horror book which the rest of the book definitely was not.
It seems that I could not avoid making this review into a book vs movie comparison. But this I can say about the book, it is good. A worthwhile read even if you've already seen the movie, there are still some surprises and additional details waiting to be discovered. It is also a very good book in its own. Dark and strange. Like its characters.