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Parents' Guide to

Creep: A Love Story

By Mary Cosola, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Teen girl stalks popular couple in tepid thriller.

Dark, murky image of female teen face. Below it the word creep in black letters on a white stripe, with the word scrawled again many times below it on what looks like a beige school wall.

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This unsettling psychological thriller about a teen obsessed with a couple at her school has a great premise but falls flat in the execution. In Creep, author Lygia Day Peñaflor provides a nice twist by narrating the story from Rafi's point of view and showing how her delusional, creepy thinking progresses. The problem is that Rafi's brain is an exhausting place to be. The story starts out strong, showing Rafi's loneliness and sense of abandonment after her parents left her to be raised by her grandparents. We initially believe she merely has a fan-girl type of interested in the beautiful and popular couple Laney and Nico. As her interest moves into unhealthy obsession, the tension around how far Rafi will go ramps up, but eventually she becomes a tiresome narrator.

The book would have benefited from a few chapters from Laney's or Nico's point of view, something to highlight the tension of the unsuspecting objects of her obsession. The ending is out of the blue and generally unsatisfying. Overall, the story explores interesting themes in an intriguing way, but it didn't hold together as well as it could have.

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