Little Star by John Ajvide Lindqvist is a chilling tale of adolescence and loneliness, of anxiety and celebrity, of misplaced idolatry, cultish devotion, and unmitigated obsession. The story opens as Lennart, an abusive ass-butt of a husband and moderately successful but largely forgotten folk musician, stumbles upon a man ditching a half-dead baby in the woods. He revives the girl and spirits her back to his home, and he and his cowed and depressed wife Laila decide to keep the disconcerting creature instead of turning her over to the authorities. They raise the creepy kid in their cellar, plying her with baby food, classical music, and terrifying lies that would make even the Grimm brothers shake in their boots. A series of unfortunate events deposits Little One with Lennart and Laila’s adult son, Jerry, a failure in every sense of the word. Jerry introduces his adopted sister, now dubbed Theres, to the world outside the cellar, a world full of Big People who want to eat her up.
A few hours away lives another troubled and odd little girl, this one named Teresa. She frets over existentialism and philosophy in a way Theres does not. Theres sees exactly what’s there and never what people want her to see; Teresa never sees what’s in front of her face and drives herself crazy town banana pants trying to make herself fit into pre-defined molds. When Theres turns up on the Swedish singing competition reality show Idol, Teresa falls into a deep infatuation that binds her inextricably to Theres. And that’s when things get really weird.
[Lennart raised and lowered the bundle. “I found a child. A baby. In the forest.”]