by Alexandra Sirowy
Age Range: 12 and up
Grade Level: 7 and up
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (August 18, 2015)Goodreads | Amazon
Romance, friendship, and dark, bone-chilling fear fill the pages of this summertime thriller in the spirit of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.I am the type of reader that judges a book by its cover, I cannot help it! I am guilty of this terrible sin. Hence, one of the big reasons I wanted to read The Creeping. The cover just screams, “Read me! You’ll get the chills and will not be able to sleep for days!” I am sorry to report that is not the case with this story.
Twelve years ago Stella and Jeanie vanished while picking strawberries. Stella returned minutes later, with no memory of what happened. Jeanie was never seen or heard from again.
Now Stella is seventeen, and she’s over it. She’s the lucky one who survived, and sure, the case is still cloaked in mystery—and it’s her small town’s ugly legacy—but Stella is focused on the coming summer. She’s got a great best friend, a hookup with an irresistibly crooked smile, and two months of beach days stretching out before her.
Then along comes a corpse, a little girl who washes up in an ancient cemetery after a mudslide, and who has red hair just like Jeanie did. Suddenly memories of that haunting day begin to return, and when Stella discovers that other red-headed girls have gone missing as well, she begins to suspect that something sinister is at work.
And before the summer ends, Stella will learn the hard way that if you hunt for monsters, you will find them.
This story was all over the place for me. I felt like the writer was trying to throw four different types of genres into one: Contemporary, Fantasy, Thriller, Coming of Age. I still wonder what it wants to be when it grows up because it certainly cannot fit into the Mystery/Thriller genre it is currently in. There are actually two plots to this story:
1 - The main plot of the story – the one you really want to read – is about Stella trying to remember who murdered her best friend when they were both six years old because the killer is back and Stella may be next on the list.
2 - Stella’s seriously unhealthy obsession and abusive friendship with the most horrible person that could be considered a best friend. Like, OMIGOSH, we should totally focus on the most dreamy dreamboat and hope he asks us to prom instead of the guy that has loved us from day one. ACK! Whatever will Stella do and will her bestie forgive her?!
The main plot (Fantasy and Thriller) is, and should be, the focus of the entire story. The suspense and mystery of “whodunit” and “are the legends true?!” are amazing. There are so many people that could be the killer but will Stella figure it all out in time? The second plot (the Contemporary and Coming of Age part of the story) is completely and utterly useless. It will make you want to stop reading and not care about what happens. It is full of terrible characters and pointless context.
Overall, I had a hard time connecting with any of the characters. Stella has such back and forth mood swings that I found myself not caring what happens to her. Stella’s best friend seems to control every single aspect of Stella’s life so as long as they are popular and have the dreamy guys wanting them, who cares if there is murder out there, right?! Ugh. Moreover, the writer kept shifting between the four genres within the same chapter so I was confused on what type of story I was actually reading. The longer I read, the more I wanted this story to be done. Only so I could find out finally who/what was responsible for all of the terror being caused in this small town. In the end I give this story a solid 2 stars. I can see how others will really like the suspense, but for me it was just too much trying to be something it was not.