Booktalk: Peeps by Scott Westerfeld

To answer your first question, no, this episode is not about the tasty (???) marshmallow Easter candy, although I do admit that the timing is entertaining!

Today we’re revisiting the weird and fabulous world of Scott Westerfeld, previously seen in last year’s episode where I booktalked his phenomenal science fiction novel UgliesPeeps takes the classic idea of vampires and gives it a sci-fi twist by using the idea of the condition being spread through parasite infections.  And for readers who enjoy Peeps, the story that begins in this book continues in the novel The Last Days.

BOOKTALK:

My name is Cal, and I’m trying to find my ex-girlfriend Sarah.  Now don’t get me wrong; the reason I’m doing it is because she’s no longer entirely human … and I’m the one who made her that way.

It turns out that I’m a carrier of a parasite that’s been infecting people for thousands of years.  I’m telling you; I didn’t know I had infected her until it was too late.  I didn’t even know that I was sick.  But I did notice that my senses of taste and smell and eyesight were more powerful than before.  I did notice that I was stronger than before.  I did notice that it was almost impossible to sleep at night.  And I did notice an increased desire for red meat.  But because I’m a carrier, I can still live like a normal human being.  Well … MOSTLY normal.

But for the rest of the people who are infected by this parasite (like my ex-girlfriends, for example), it changes them in even more ways.  It makes them lose a lot of weight.  It makes their eyes huge.  It makes them hate the sunlight.  It makes them angry.  It makes them crazy.  And it makes them kill people.  A thousand years ago, or even a hundred years ago, we would have called them vampires.  But now we know better.  Now we call them parasite positives, or peeps for short.

When I find Sarah and the Night Watch team takes her away, that’ll be one less peep around to spread this parasite to other people.  But while Sarah is the last ex-girlfriend I need to track down, I still have one more big job to do.

I still have to find the person who infected ME.

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