Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Peeps: It's not about delicious marshmallow chickens

If you like all things vampire, or even if you don't, you should read Peeps by Scott Westerfeld. It is a scary, smart, wickedly funny and totally original re-imagining of what makes a vampire a vampire, and, more importantly, why. In Westerfeld's world, a certain parasite exists which invades a victim's body, infests her brain, and creates in her a voracious appetite for meat and blood. It also gives her superhuman strength, sight, and smell. Over the centuries, according to Westerfeld, people infected with the parasite have been called different things: witches, zombies and, of course vampires. All of the odd-numbered chapters tell the story of Cal, a carrier of the vampire parasite. As a carrier, he has superhuman senses and strength, but he does not become a crazed bloodsucker or cannibal like those with the full-blown parasite. He is employed by the top-secret, centuries-old Night Watch, an organization in New York City which hunts down new vampires and keeps tabs on the rat populations (which also carry the parasite). In the course of his work, Cal meets Lace, a cute, straight-talking journalism student who becomes more and more curious about Cal's occupation. The only problem Cal faces getting to know Lace is that he can't EVER be physically intimate with anyone, not even to kiss, because the parasite is transferred by saliva and other bodily fluids. What's a guy to do? Eventually Cal and Lace strike a deal and begin to dig deeper into the increasingly alarming new strain of vampirism that is affecting the city. What they find will shock them to the core. The even-numbered chapters describe various real-life parasites, how they work, how they infect their hosts, and include a multitude of gory details you'll wish you never knew!
I loved this book. I want everyone to read it and then talk to me about it. Westerfeld has a wry, irrererent sense of humor and wickedly twisted imagination. Hands down 4 out of 4 Bananas!


Sophmore Staci said...

First off, I love this author. He has such a vivid, unique imagination! He wrote the Uglies series too, which I loved.. This book defiently gave me the chills with the even numbers chapters, but, good chills! Like, it was soo interesting, I couldn't help but keep reading. Especially that parasite that has effect on how cats and dogs are different.. If I remember clearly, maybe it was more than one, but, it was very interesting. The entire story was, too. Cal had such a cold personality at first, with everything he's been through, but, meeting Lacey, he seemed to soften up as I think he did develop feelings for her almost instantly. It was cute. Yet, kept me on the edge, since, the book was written to seem like it was nonfiction. It was a change to read, and I liked it very much. I'm glad you reviewed it. :]
~Oh. And, for an update on what /I'm/ reading.. It, by Stephen King. Super long. Time consuming. Barely even halfway done. But! Amazing. Love it.
And, Marley And Me, since, the movie made me cry.
Good books, thus far.

Mrs. Duell said...

Hi, Sophomore Staci! I totally agree with you about Scott Westerfeld as an author. He is one of the most creative people out there right now, and I'm so glad that he's writing good stuff for teenagers (and thirty-something librarians, ha!). I am excited for you that you are reading *It*. I've read a lot of Stephen King, and it has always been my favorite. His character development, twisted mind, and truly nightmare-worthy storytelling abilities make him #1 in my book for horror fiction! Let me know when you're finished, I'd like to hear what you thought! Mrs. D.