BOOK REVIEW: Peeps (Peeps, #1), by Scott Westerfeld


Date(s) read: September 8 – 11, 2012
Genre: YA Supernatural Science Fiction

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A year ago, Cal Thompson was a college freshman more interested in meeting girls and partying than in attending biology class. Now, after a fateful encounter with a mysterious woman named Morgan, biology has become, literally, Cal’s life.

Cal was infected by a parasite that has a truly horrifying effect on its host. Cal himself is a carrier, unchanged by the parasite, but he’s infected the girlfriends he’s had since Morgan. All three have turned into the ravening ghouls Cal calls Peeps. The rest of us know them as vampires. It’s Cal’s job to hunt them down before they can create more of their kind. . . .

Bursting with the sharp intelligence and sly humor that are fast becoming his trademark, Scott Westerfeld’s novel is an utterly original take on an archetype of horror.

My Thoughts
Oh, Scott Westerfeld, where have you been all my life?

I have a thing for adding books to my wishlist at the library. There are so many amazing-looking books that I want to read that I just can’t help adding them – or taking them out. At one point I had a crazy amount of books out from the library that it seemed impossible to pick just one of them to read.

This is how I started reading Peeps. Not being able to pick a book, I just took the top one of the pile – a book that looked quite well read by patrons of the library – and started to read it. I am SO glad that I did.

Peeps was a different novel. Personally, I would categorize it as horror, or at least a creepy read, but there aren’t a lot of monsters or scares taking place. At least, not in the typical sense.  This is a story that revolves around one of the creepiest things ever – parasites.

One of the things I loved about this book was that in every other chapter, the main character, Cal, talks about a different kind of parasite, from worms to bugs to invisible things that we can only read about. Some of these chapters freaked me out. These are things that are REAL that might actually be inside of me (or you!) right now. It was a fantastic kind of creepy.

Even the story had me turning the pages. I loved that the monsters of the world weren’t the norm when it comes to supernatural creatures. All of these “monsters” come from parasites spreading and it’s Cal’s job to catch them.

I loved Westerfeld’s take on supernatural creatures like vampires. The whole fact that a vampire comes from a disease had me nodding as I read it. It all made sense:

The main thing to remember is that there’s no magic involved. No flying, no transforming into bats or rats either. We’re talking about a disease.

Another thing I really loved was the main character, Cal. I felt so sorry for him because he couldn’t have any connection with another human being or he would spread the disease. What’s that, you’re saying? He’s one of the infected? YES! And that’s why it’s his job to catch other infected. But deep down, he’s a lonely guy, which is understandable because he can never really have a girlfriend or anything. Even though he really wants one.

And of course, this leads me to the fun, campier side of the novel, the fact that Cal has to eat meat all the time to keep his hormones in check because all he wants to do is have sex. All his body wants to do is spread the disease. This was great. Really, the story could be a cautionary tale about having safe sex because disease could be spread. You hear that, kids? Westerfeld’s looking at you! You could turn into a VAMPIRE, if you’re not careful.

I loved this entire story. From the first pages, I was happy to have started reading it and I can honestly say I have found a new favourite author in Scott Westerfeld. There is a sequel to this novel, The Last Days, and I can’t wait to read it. If it’s anything like the first, it’s going to be awesome.


© 2012, Reading In Winter. All rights reserved.


23 thoughts on “BOOK REVIEW: Peeps (Peeps, #1), by Scott Westerfeld

  1. I could turn into a vampire?!?! Omg. How did I not know this!

    This sounds like a really fun read. I haven’t read any of Westerfeld’s books, though I did recently buy the Uglies series. This one sounds really unique and creepy. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. Awesome review!

  2. WOW! Just…WOW! I read Uglies by Westerfeld, but still haven’t finished that series. I have Peeps and honestly had NO CLUE what it was about. I’m have a HUGE fascination with microorganisms, so I am over the top excited! Vampirism parasites FTW!

    • I took the second book out from the library JUST because of your comment! Twist? I love a good twist! Hopefully I can get to it soon. That sucks that the series was ruined for you!

  3. Wasn’t this book awesome? I’m so glad you dug it. I loved that the creepiest things about it were the TRUE things–the parasites. I didn’t like the second one nearly so much, largely because it doesn’t star Cal, who’d I’d grown mighty attached to by the end of Peeps.

  4. Pingback: Clock Rewinders on a Book Binge (12) | Reading In Winter

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