Saturday, March 28, 2009

Peeps by Scott Westerfeld (Peeps Series, Book 1)


Books Completed: 71
Completion Date: March, 2009
Pages: 312
Publication Date: September 2006

Reason for Reading: Really like Scott Westerfeld so far!
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.

After completing Westerfeld's Uglies series, I decided I was going to have to find another book to read by him. I really enjoyed that series as a whole, and Westerfeld is quickly becoming one of my favourite young adult authors. Nymeth read Peeps, and seemed to really enjoy it. Since I generally like the same books as her, I decided that this was the logical book to read next. The difference in our reading experiences is that I read the Uglies series first, while Peeps was Nymeth's first Westerfeld.

Peeps is a very original take on the vampire story. I mean, Westerfeld has becoming a vampire as a sexually transmitted disease! Considering the general story is something that involves sharp teeth and bitting, I was intrigued by the idea from the very beginning! Vampire stories try to be original, but if you keep a lot of the 'main' ideas the same, it is hard to write a fresh novel about vampires. Westerfeld obviously figured this out and just decided to entirely change everything 'normal' about vampire stories. It resulted in a really good story. I will say that I liked Uglies better, but that is mainly because I really like Tally. Cal Thompson is a good character, don't get me wrong, but we didn't hit it off as well as I did with Tally. Cal contracts the disease soon after he moves from Texas to New York. One of those small town boy moves to large city type of stories.

Even though Westerfeld writes an original take on the vampire story, he actually has a more believable one. Cal is lucky. He has a very strong immune system, so while he gets some of the symptoms of vampirism, he is still mostly in control. He joins an organization whose job is to hunt down the 'Peeps' that were not as lucky to have his immune system. It may seem a little unbelievable, but Westerfeld also includes chapters that look at real parasites. It is real science and it makes it seem like while you are reading a science-fiction novel, it could easily be a plausible story. The science really backs it up. Like I said, it makes for an original look at a vampire story.

There is a lot more going on, of course, but if I tell you everything than you won't want to read the book yourself! I will just conclude by saying this was another positive effort from Westerfeld. I can't wait to read another book by him and see what he comes up with next! Oh, I do have one problem: I hate the cover of this book! There are better versions, but this is the one that I read!

18 comments:

  1. This looks really good. Vampirism as a STD is definitely different, but I think that you are right about the cover. It definitely doesn't scream buy me.

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  2. Yeah, I am really not a fan of the cover. The book was good, though. There are different covers for the book that are not so bad, but this is the one I read.

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  3. I really, *really* must try something by Scott Westerfield. So many people (including my daughter) rate him. And there's no excuse as the library has several of his books... 'Uglies', 'Pretties', etc.

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  4. Awesome review! During the March Break YA sale at chapters I grabbed this one, now I'm torn between reading it asap or finishing the Uglies series :P

    You're totally right about the cover - I really hate it, reminds me of gossip girl or something lol! I would really loved to have gotten the "Parasite Positive" version.

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  5. Definitely not a fan of that cover either. You know, you're only making me want to read the Uglies series more! I will probably cave soon :P

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  6. Cath: I hope you do give Westerfeld a try! I only started reading him this year and I really like what I have read so far!

    Joanne: Yeah, I like the 'Parasite Positive' cover better. Either choice you makes will lead to good reading. :)

    Nymeth: I hope you do read the Uglies series soon! It is really good!

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  7. woohoo! I have this one on request at the library...should be reading it soon :D

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  8. Chris: I hope you enjoy it! It was really good!

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  9. Once I get around to finishing the Uglies series I plan on picking these up.

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  10. Tink: It was a good progression. I have to read the sequel and then decide where I am going next.

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  11. Peeps is one of my favorite interpretations of vampires. Another is Sunshine by Robin McKinley. After your reviews of the Uglies series, I think I'll borrow them from the library.

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  12. Bookwormom: I have Sunshine on my TBR pile. Sometime in this century I will get around to reading it! I hope you enjoy the Uglies series!

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  13. I have this at home and can't wait to get around to it. I love new takes on vampire stories and it's great to see you enjoyed this. I do prefer my cover than yours to be honest.

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  14. Rhinoa: Yeah, it is an ugly cover!

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  15. Oh man, you're making me want to read this more than ever! My husband is reading it now though, and it probably wouldn't be nice of me to just take it away, huh? Of course, it would be better if I finished the half dozen books I have started first anyway.

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  16. lol. I'd say finish a couple books first. :) Then you can enjoy it more!

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  17. David1:59 AM

    Just finished reading the book, got the next one on reserve. great book, definatly recomend it. Also contains alot of random facts about parasites, every even chapter of the book in fact.

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  18. David: Glad you enjoyed it! I have the sequel out from the library but I haven't had a chance to read it yet...

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