Lynne's Reviews > Peeps

Peeps by Scott Westerfeld
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's review
May 15, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: ya-fantasy-sci-fi, urban-fantasy

** spoiler alert ** Yay! Vampires that don't sparkle! And the science works. That's my problem with so many science fic/fantasy authors is that they think they can just make shit up and get away with it. It's actually more difficult to create an alternate reality because that reality has to stand up in its own context. Westerfeld carefully explains how his vampires become vampires and, as in the other books of his I've read, his canon remains consistent throughout.

It's a parasite that causes vampirism in Westerfeld's book. Some people are merely "carriers" and exhibit no other symptoms except an enormous appetite and a metabolism like a blast furnace (okay, where do I sign?). Those who are not "carriers," on the other hand, need blood--either human or animal, since they're similar enough in chemical composition that it doesn't matter which they get. And it makes no difference to their eye color which one they choose either (yes that's a shot at Meyerpires).

You want to read a smart teen vampire novel, I highly recommend this one. Of course there's no abusive controlling behavior and no Mary Sue main character a reader can use as wish fulfillment, but I like my characters in books to be separate entities; I couldn't care less whether I can relate to them or not, as long as their creator keeps me interested in what they're doing.

There's no explicit sex in the book, but our protagonist is nineteen and may have been vamped as a result of a sexual encounter. Westerfeld is making a thinly-veiled "safe sex or no sex" message, but if you don't want your twelve-year-old to read about STD's you may want to make them wait till they're fourteen or so. Most of my high-school freshmen have had no problems with the implied sex in the book, and I live in Utah. I actually think it's kind of funny, since biting was a metaphor for penetration anyway. Westerfeld just sort of picks that idea up and runs with it.

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