Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Book Review: Creeps

Author: Darren Hynes
Published: 30 July 2013


Fifteen-year-old Wayne Pumphrey wishes he were courageous enough to actually send the heartfelt letters he writes to friends and family. He also wishes his father would drive on the right side of the street, his mother would stop packing her suitcase to leave, and his sister would stop listening to Nickelback. But most of all, he wishes that Pete “The Meat” would let him walk to school in peace. After all, how many times can one person eat yellow snow?
Then one morning, while facing Pete and his posse, Wayne is rescued by Marjorie, the girl with a dead father and a mother who might as well be. Together, the two of them escape Pete’s relentless bullying by rehearsing for the school play, and an unlikely friendship is formed. As they grow ever closer to one another, they begin to dream of escape from their small town and restricted lives. But Pete now has plans for both of them—and after a moment of sudden violence, nothing will ever be the same again for Wayne, Marjorie, or Pete himself.


Note: I received an ARC of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

This book was just "okay" for me. Actually, if it weren't for those chapters written as Wayne's actual letters, it would have been pretty terrible. 

The subject and the characters really had potential, but the book just never reached "adolescence", if you will. I don't think Hynes gives his YA audience enough credit (emotionally or intellectually). The characters felt like a bunch of token stereotypes. Wayne spoke and acted like he was 10, maybe 12 years old, and not like a 15-16 year old. The Wayne we encounter in the narrated chapters feels like a completely different kid than the insightful Wayne of the letters. The whole thing felt much more reminiscent of Napoleon Dynamite trying to be serious than I'm sure the author ever intended.

There is nothing really new about this book or its handling of the subject matter. However, there were small glimpses of insight and unique voice that saved it from a two-star rating.

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