Sunday, October 19, 2008

Book Review: Peeps

This is my 101st post! :)
This semester I've been writing book reviews for my school newspaper, The Blazer. I've been waiting to put them up on here so that I could link you all to read them on the newspaper's webpage, but it doesn't appear that anyone over there is updating the page anymore.

Peeps by Scott Westerfeld
Young Adult

This year vampires are popular in literature, but with all the hype over Twilight, other vampire novels are lost in the shuffle. One such brilliant novel is Peeps by Scott Westerfeld. In his book Westerfeld puts a new spin on the classic vampire story. Forget all the folklore about crosses and silver bullets, this isn’t a mythological kind of story, this is about a parasite. The parasite works a little bit like an STD, no biting of necks necessary. Some of the old tales about vampires are explained by Westerfeld in that the parasite changes a person’s perceptions of the world & causes them to hate the things that they liked in their pre-peep days, such as crosses if they were religious.

The main character, Cal, is a carrier for the parasite--someone who has it, but isn't affected by it, except for increased strength and heightened senses. It's Cal's job to find other “peeps” and capture them before they cause any more harm or spread the disease farther. His main target is Morgan, the woman who gave him the parasite, but along the way he meets Lace, a girl who begins to involve herself in the investigations with him. But it’s a little hard to concentrate on the mission when the parasite wants Lace too, adding a little romantic conflict to the story.

The plot is well thought out, interesting, and on occasion suspenseful. And for the life science geeks out there, the even numbered chapters are about real life parasites. These chapters add to the story & make things easier to understand, but if you have a weak stomach it is advised that you skip these chapters as they can get a little disturbing and are not integral to the plot.

Part science fiction, part non-fiction this book will make you rethink everything you’ve known about vampires up until now and make you fall in love with them all over again. Scott Westerfeld has a great writing style and creates characters you’ll remember and relate to. This book is recommended to those who love vampires, science fiction, or just want a good, quick read.

If you liked Peeps, try the companion novel, The Last Days by Scott Westerfeld. New characters, new perspectives, same old parasites.

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