Thursday, September 09, 2010

REVIEW: The Moth Diaries by Rachel Klein

The Moth Diaries
Author: Rachel Klein
Pages: 256
Publisher: Faber and Faber
Publication Date: 1st May 2010

From Amazon
At an exclusive girls' boarding school, a sixteen-year-old girl records her most intimate thoughts in a diary. The object of her obsession is her room-mate, Lucy Blake, and Lucy's friendship with their new and disturbing classmate. Ernessa is a mysterious presence with pale skin and hypnotic eyes. Around her swirl dark secrets and a series of ominous disasters. As fear spreads through the school, fantasy and reality mingle into a waking nightmare of gothic menace, fuelled by the lusts and fears of adolescence. And at the centre of the diary is the question that haunts all who read it: Is Ernessa really a vampire? Or is the narrator trapped in her own fevered imagination?

Being a typically huge fan of vampires, I really warmed to the idea of The Moth Diaries. I cannot even tell you how refreshing this book was, Klein has totally reinvented the myth that is the vampire and turned it into a race for survival that is triggered by the wonderful thing that is teenage anxiety. I loved how fantastically different The Moth Diaries was from other books about vampires. For one thing, the book isn't all 'Vampires! Argh! Bite me! Argh! Evil blood-sucking creatures! Argh!' (excuse my poor summary of the genre of books I am in love with really). Okay, maybe it was a little bit, but it not in that way exactly, plus it was intertwined into actual human life and it just felt so much more realistic. 

The novel is told through the diary of a young teenage girl in a private school, who is unusually obsessed with her classmate (and best friend turned ex-best friend) Lucy, and Lucy's potential vampire roommate Ernessa. 

I understood the narrator's paranoia. The more she thought about what the hell Ernessa could be, the more she was driving herself into the wrong direction. I don't believe she was crazy. But perhaps still flustered over the tragedy of her father's death. She was more thoughtful, intelligent than the other girls in the school.

At first I didn't know what to make of the book, until I let my mind linger on the events that happened. The story is left unfinished and we are left uncertain about whether there really is a vampire amongst the school or that the narrator is just umm, *cough*deranged*cough*. It is up to you to decide for yourself what is real and what is not. I loved how lots of parts were left to our own imagination.

To really understand the story, you need to read between the lines, because there is more to Klein's novel than just what meets the eye. Mysterious and thrilling, The Moth Diaries is a complex, atmospheric story that requires a lot of thought.  For all its simplicity, subtlety and gothicness, reading The Moth Diaries will give you a real taste of indulgence - the brain stimulating kind that we all pretend we don't like. I think you should read it, really.

A feature film starring Lily Cole and Sarah Bolger is also in the works.



  1. Ooh, interesting! I love the cover, and I had no idea it was about vampires. I'll probably give it a try. Great review!

  2. Sounds really good and right up my street. Great review :)

  3. Excellent review! It's so good to see this one getting some attention in the blogosphere. I read it about a year ago on the recommendation of a bookseller and I adored it. It's so subtle and it gets under your skin.


Show your love for this post. G'waaaaaaaan you know you want to.

Next Post Previous Post Home