Friday, May 5, 2023

Creep: A Love Story by Lygia Day Peñaflor


Okay, first of all, I don't know why this is being compared to TO ALL THE BOYS I'VE LOVED BEFORE because literally all they had in common is a slight voyeuristic component and the fact that they are both written by Asian authors, so I'm not sure that comparison holds water. Second of all, thanks to my BBFF (best book friend forever), Heather, for reading this with me. Lately I've been so bad at finishing books that, without her help, my TBR would be a lot longer.

I don't want to spoil too much about this book but basically, CREEP is the story of a teen girl named Rafi who is OBSESSED with her school's senior golden couple, Nico and Laney. And I'm not just talking about your ordinary "oh my god what are they doing on social media?" nosiness, no. She finagles a job as Nico's kid sister's baby-sitter, threatens to beat up one of the kid sister's bullies (who's in grade school, BTW), oh, and YEAH. Watches them have sex. CREEP.

Reading this is like watching a car crash in slow motion. You know it isn't going to end prettily, but how isn't it? What is going to happen that finally causes the gasket to blow? I read this book to the end wanting to know exactly that, and when I found out, I was like... huh. The ending almost felt like the author wasn't sure how to end it and just pulled something random out of her pocket. I wasn't mad at it, but I also feel like it raised more questions than it actually answered. Especially since I was already pretty sure I had figured out the twist and was wrong (mine was good).

CREEP really is a lot like a gender-swapped teen version of YOU, except, you know, PG-13, obviously. So if that appeals to you, I think you'd probably like the book. It really captures the fishbowl vibes of high school and because social media isn't mentioned all that much, it also kind of feels old-fashioned and timeless. In some ways, CREEP actually feels like an edgy throwback to the YA of the aughts, when it felt like everyone was trying to out-grit everyone else writing something real and raw, and I kind of liked that. This felt like the YA of my childhood so reading it was almost nostalgic. And the book certainly lived up to its title (even though it wasn't the way I thought).

It's honestly surprising how few ratings this author has. She's an underrated gem, for sure.

3.5 to 4 out of 5 stars

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