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Creepers by Joanne Dahme

Creepers (2008)

by Joanne Dahme

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I think what this book boiled down to is that I like this author, but not the book. It is pretty clearly a first novel, and I'm not sure if it should have been accepted for publication this round of revisions. The plot is sloppy and parts don't make sense. Characters are flat and only appear when needed for something specific. The story, which is a horror/suspense/mystery still left me going "huh?" at the end.

Why am I saying the author has promise? She writes suspense VERY well. Even at parts where I thought the plot was lame, I was pretty freaked out. Her writing during moments of horror is slow and deliberate, forcing your eye to read the next line when what you really want is to skip to the next page to see what happened. I also think it's a very effective type of horror for a YA title, all very psychological, very "am I the only one who saw that?".

So while I don't recommend this book, I'd say keep an eye out for Dahme, if she cleans up the plots and loose ends, she may be the next big YA horror writer. ( )
  LarsTheLibrarian | Mar 10, 2010 |
What is going on with the strange father/daughter duo who hang out at the cemetery, next to Courtney's house? What about the ivy that smothers both places? It seems to have a life of its own. Courtney is a skeptic, but she comes face-to-face with bodies missing from the cemetery, an ancient diary, a witch, and maybe even a couple of ghosts. Creepy! ( )
  fig2 | Mar 5, 2010 |
Kearsten says: Though this was a quick and creepy (at times) read, I felt it was....simplistic. About teen girl, Courtney, whose family moves into a house that's next door to a Puritan-era cemetery, _Creepers_ seemed to skip details. It's a lot sparser than it seems at first (231 pages, but with wide spacing, a generous amount of white space, and quite a few pages given up to images or short newspaper quotes), and there were a few times that I went back between pages, thinking I'd missed a segue somewhere, but no, we just skipped ahead in the action.

I would recommend this to young teens (maybe even tweens) who like tame ghost stories, as this one relies mostly on atmospheric creepies and has a rather benign...haunting. Older teens, or those who like serious creep-out might be bored by this one. ( )
  59Square | Mar 13, 2009 |
Creepers tells the story of thirteen year-old Courtney who has just moved into a three hundred year old house sidled by a graveyard and covered in English ivy. She soon befriends an odd man, Mr. Geyer, and his teen daughter Margaret. They are historical researchers probing a mystery in the cemetery next to Courtney’s house. The mystery involves a witch, a bereaved father and magical ivy.

The makings of a decent mystery are present, but the execution is a bit muddled. The prose is strained and the foreshadowing a bit heavy handed, merely leading to an ambiguous ending. That being said, I do believe that the younger mystery enthusiast (9-12) could find something of interest in the story.

Review first published on Reading Rumpus ( )
1 vote Tasses | Dec 9, 2008 |
What first drew my attention to this book was the striking cover. In several shades of green, it's covered in embossed ivy leaves and the statue of young woman. The inside of the book is just as attractive with the pages edged in soft green and each chapter beginning with an interesting article or letter from the past. Courtney tells how she and her parents move to a new home one summer in Murmur, Massachusetts. The first thing they noticed when they saw their large stone house built in the 1700's was the English ivy that clung to it. A bit creepy since it was also next to a very old Puritan cemetery. Courtney soon meets a man and his daughter who give historical tours in the cemetery. They supply many details about the surrounding area and the history behind the traditions and the carvings of the tombstones. The duo is also able to tell her about her house and how it was built on the foundation of the original which burned during a tragic fire. Now the house is suppose to be haunted with a family that needs to be reunited. Although she finds the story hard to believe she is constantly finding more indications that there may be some truth to it all and she knows the ivy is connected. Somehow. The man and his daughter have become her friends and they are on a quest to right the wrongs of the past. But that's no easy feat and what should be done? Although this is written for young adults it is an interesting story for any age. The mysteries involved are not as detailed or as resolved as many adults may like though. It does have a simple flavor as more traditional ghost stories often do. ( )
  Wrighty | Nov 17, 2008 |
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This charming stone house, dating back to the eighteenth century, has been completely refurbished with new hardwood floors, and its stonework lovingly restored. At a price that may appear a steal, this home is waiting for the right family. Quiet location, surrounded by woods, cornfields, and an historic cemetery, it is a nature lover's and history buff's dream. This realtor, who is the current owner, cannot understand why it has yet to be a keeper.
For Victoria Brownworth, my teacher and friend, who made the miracle of this book happen.

And to my writing mates, Diane, Jane & Lisa, who provided endless encouragement.
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The first thing I noticed was the ivy, not the sun-bleached tombstones with their off-white color, which jutted from the cemetery grounds like old bones.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0762433132, Hardcover)

From moving to a new house to making new friends and preparing for high school, life for the new girl in town can be unsettling. But thirteen year-old Courtney is unprepared for how creepy life in Murmur, Massachusetts turns out to be. Her ivy-covered house overlooking the antiquated cemetery next door is one thing, but Courtney finds herself thrust into a full-fledged haunted adventure after meeting Christian and Margaret Geyer, a strange father and daughter with unfinished family business. The body of their ancestor, Prudence, has gone missing from beneath her ivy-carved tombstone and must be returned to its final resting place in order to break the spell that looms over Courtney’s house. To add to the suspense and help solve the mystery, authentic documents and photographs are set at the beginning of each chapter pertaining to Murmur, Courtney’s house, and the infamous cemetery. Will Courtney uncover the secret lurking within the dark, dank underbelly of her ivy-covered basement?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:12 -0400)

"What begins as a hot and sticky, run-of-the-mill summer day like any other in the remote town of Murmur, Massachusetts, quickly takes a turn for the creepier when Courtney strikes up a conversation with a strange father and daughter with an even stranger story to tell. Her house--they caution her--rests on the original foundation of a house that was put under a three-hundred-year old spell. And it will continue to play an important role in a haunted story until its original inhabitants are put to rest. Courtney is skeptical, until she uncovers a secret lurking within the dark, dank underbelly of her ivy-covered basement"--P. [2] of jacket.… (more)

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