Thursday, October 30, 2008

Creepers by Joanne Dahme

Creepers by Joanne Dahme
Copyright 2008
Running Press - Fiction/Young Adult
232 pages

What led you to pick up this book? I received a copy of this book from Running Press, thanks to an offer at Booking Mama's blog, and was in the mood for a quick, slightly scary read.

Describe the plot without giving anything away. Courtney and her family move into an old house in Murmur, Massachusetts, a home that used to belong to the keeper of the cemetery next door. Almost immediately, Courtney is struck by the prolific growth of ivy on her home and the surrounding area. It almost seems as if the ivy is trying to communicate with her. Befriended by neighbor Margaret and her father, the three set out to solve the mystery of the ivy and to locate the missing body of a young girl who used to live in the ancient house. A witch, ghostly carvings and some strange cat behavior add to the atmosphere.

What did you think of the characters? Courtney seemed like a typical teenager who became obsessed with a mystery. I liked her. Margaret Geyer and her father were strange and I didn't feel that their history was fully explained, so I never really got a fix on them. The witch freaked me out.

Describe your favorite scene: There's a scene in which ivy is mysteriously (and very loudly) carved into a design on the basement floor. I liked the creepy factor in that particular scene. It was not enough to induce nightmares, but it definitely made my skin crawl.

Anything else worth talking about? Oh, yes. This book is billed as a young adult novel and there are two teenage characters. But, I think older readers might find it a little dissatisfying, simply because it isn't all that frightening. It's probably better suited to adolescents. As a person who is prone to nightmares, I really appreciated the fact that the book wasn't so terrifying that I couldn't read it at night and that it wasn't nightmare inducing.

Did the ending fit the book? The ending was a little bit odd and that's one of the reasons I think it's better suited to a younger audience. I had a wee bit of trouble accepting Courtney's conclusions. But, I do think my eldest child (my youngest is not a big fan of anything even slightly frightening; eldest grew up on Goosebumps) would have really enjoyed the book when he was going through his scary-reading phase.

Recommended? Yes, for those who are looking for a mildly spooky book.

In general: A quick, fun read with a vaguely unsatisfying ending, probably best for about ages 8-12. I think younger, less judgmental pre-teens will find the ending more satisfying.

Cover thoughts: More than just the cover, the artwork is amazing. Creepers appears to have been created thoughtfully and probably at significant expense. The dust jacket is beautiful, as is the actual hardback cover, beneath. Ivy swirls around the edges of some pages; others contain beautiful black-and-white photos or illustrations, often with green decorative touches. A lot of thought went into this book.


  1. Anonymous2:48 PM

    So if had to read something creepy, this would be it. Hate creepy.

  2. Carrie,

    Me, too. I'm not good with seriously creepy.

  3. I read a scary story years ago that had something to do with ivy too. Can't remember what it was called though. I grew up on the Fear Street books, the Goosebump books never really could capture me the same way.

  4. Ladytink,

    That's interesting! I've never read anything containing frightening plant life, but I tend to go for Scary Light books. I think by the time Fear Street books arrived on the scene, my eldest was done with his horror phase. It's been a while! :)

  5. This one's going right onto the wishlist! Sounds like something that I'd really enjoy. A horror story from creeping ivy has to be cool!

  6. This is too funny - or maybe not. :) I came over here to comment on the progress you are making in your kitchen. To find out - there is no kitchen remodeling happening here! LOL So for probably the last few weeks or even a month, I thought you began a new blog titled The Optimistic Bookfool. And, just now, I realized you are two different people, not just two different blogs. :) Sometimes I wonder about my sanity. Ahhhh. Sorry, Bookfool - aka Nancy!

  7. This is the second review of this I've read this morning! It sounds like it's best for its intended audience.

  8. Chris,

    The ivy was definitely the creepiest thing about Creepers -- well, that and the witch gave me the heeby jeebies. LOL It's not all that frightening, though, just so you're forewarned. That's why I think it's best for a younger crowd that needs their scary books a little on the lighter side. :)


    Yes, there are two of us, now. I'm not sure how long The Optimistic Bookfool has had a blog going, but it's easy to get confused because her comments are signed exactly the same way as mine are: "Bookfool" rather than "The Optimistic Bookfool" or (in my case it could have been) "Babbling Bookfool". I'm kind of envious of her kitchen remodel. LOL


    I do think it's best for a younger crowd because it's not all that frightening and it does have an ending that I think older kids might potentially scoff at but younger ones wouldn't mind. I didn't care for the ending, but I enjoyed the read, overall.

  9. Anonymous12:54 PM

    This looks like a great one for Nona. Yours is the second review I've seen for this book. :)

  10. J.Kaye,

    I'll bet you'll see quite a few more reviews, eventually. Running Press gave away 15 copies via Booking Mama's blog. Coolness. Yes, I think Nona's just about the right age for this one. And, you won't have to deal with nightmares -- it's not all that scary. I consider that a good thing.

  11. Hi, Thank you for the review of this book.... I also enjoy a mild spooky book, with no gore or chilling scenes and the way you describe this book may just be ok for me, i am going to look it up futher, thank you....

    Priscilla x

  12. Priscilla,

    Hi! You're very welcome. I'm just the same -- in fact, prone to nightmares, so I avoid really scary books. I hope you love it. :)

  13. I'll have to remember this one for next year's R.I.P. challenge :)

  14. Iliana,

    That's the main reason I read it! I didn't participate in the R.I.P., this year, but I still felt like I needed to toss in at least one read that fit. :)

  15. This sounds fun! thanks for reviewing it and bringing it to our attention, Bookfool! Now I have to try to find a copy....

  16. Susan,

    You're very welcome! I hope you can easily find a copy. It's available online, if you can't find it locally. :)


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