29 November 2008

Twilight can just suck it

Westerfeld, Scott. (2005). Peeps: A Novel. New York: Razorbill. 312 pages.

Yeah, you heard me. I'll be the first to admit that I like vampire books that are filled with good, steamy sex. Twilight's okay for that. Peeps isn't exactly what you would call sexy (there's a sexual element to the plot but it isn't "sexy"), and that's probably why I liked it a little bit better than Twilight.

Westerfeld's main character Cal is a young lad from Texas who came to New York City to go to college. We can sort of plug in the typical happenings from there. Cal imbibes too much alcohol and gets seduced into a one night stand that he doesn't really remember the next day. Quite an exciting way to lose your virginity, no? Unfortunately we don't get any of the steamy details. The whole story is told in a very sterile and scientific manner, which really does fit the story nicely. After his little adventure Cal goes on as usual; going to classes, having girlfriends, until he notices things seem to be changing. His sense of smell and night vision are enhanced, his strength increased, and what's with those weird meat cravings all of a sudden? He's been infected with a parasite that causes vampirism. Luckily for Cal he's one of the few that remains a carrier and never reaches full blown vampire status. Now he has to retrace his steps and find every girl that he's ever slept with to try to contain the spread of the parasite. Kind of like an STD. Except this STD causes you to start eating people. Nice. Add in an ancient, secret city agency (think Men in Black but for NYC) and you've got quite a story.

At the same time that I liked this book there were definitely aspects that I had problems with, and these might just be my particular tastes and have no literary merit what-so-ever, but they bugged me nonetheless. It annoyed me that the history of what was going on with the virus was so disjointed and long in coming. And then I almost thought that the whole alternative plan/army building to fight the worms thing was kind of random.

If I were to booktalk this book I would use a sort of "Twilight for Sci-Fi fans" approach.

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