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Monday, August 18, 2008

Creepers by Joanne Dahme

Creepers by Joanne Dahme opens with 13 year old Courtney O’Brien moving with her parents into an 18th century house next door to a Puritan cemetery. The house and yard have been inundated by persistent ivy, that grows and creeps everywhere. Even though her father constantly removes it, the ivy seems to have a purpose and intent of its own. Billed as a young adult novel, the book features not only the creepy and creeping ivy, it also has the required mysterious neighbors, scary noises in the basement and ghostly visitors who carve ivy into the basement walls. Learning of the history of the cemetery and the secrets contained within her new home, Courtney attempts to break the centuries old spell cast upon her new enigmatic neighbors.

I’m not much of a reader of young adult novels, but I received this Advanced Reader copy from the publisher and thought I’d give it a quick read. The heroine is likable, with the required fortitude to occasionally skirt parental rules that all characters in teen fiction must have. The story itself contains just enough of a creepiness factor to keep the story moving along, but not so much that it would freak out a younger reader. The setting of the story is so appealing, that I wished more than once that I could find a house like that, cemetery and all. That said though, I’m not sure it’s a book for the young adult audience its trying to reach. The characters were a bit too simplified; their dialogue and emotions a bit too bland even for younger teens. The plot was also pretty elementary and not all that suspense filled.

I would recommend this book for kids 10 to 12 years old, especially the kids who like the idea of a ghost story, but would get bad dreams if they read a really scary one. You know the ones I’m talking about, the kids that see a scary ad for a horror movie on TV and wake you up at 2AM because they had a bad dream based on the ad!


Holly said...

Thanks for the review! Sounds like it might be a fun book!

Ruth King said...

Is it just me, or does this book start off rather slowly? I'm about 30 pages in, and although I love the creepiness of the setting, I don't find myself feeling the need to pick the book up again once I put it down.

Anonymous said...

I don't like scary books or movies, so I think I'll skip this one. I know, I'm a big sissy.

Fyrefly said...

I was one of those kids who would get nightmares from the slightest hint of something creepy. Heck, I think I still *am* one of those kids. :)