Young Connie is beautiful and wants to be free from the burdens of her mother and sensible, boring sister. Sneaking around to meet boys when she has told her family she’s going shopping, Connie catches the unwanted attention of Arnold Friend, who knows instantly, that he has to have her.
Be nice to me, be sweet like you can because what else is there for a girl like you but to be sweet and pretty and give in?
Loosely based off of real life killer Charles Schmid, this book is horrifying. My heart was actually pounding heavier than normal while reading this. I’ve never read any of Oates work before this, but my god is she good at creating tension. Sweat producing tension.
The repetition used to create Arnold Friends’ menace actually gave me goosebumps, and Ellie, sat motionless and quiet in the car, is really, truly unsettling.
A story portraying the naivety and easy persuasion of the longing-to-be-free teenage mind, this story is haunting.
Be careful who you open your door to, folks.