Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers on August 18, 2015
Genres: Mystery, Supernatural, Thriller, YA
Source: ARC borrowed thru Around the World ARC Tours
Twelve years ago Stella and Jeanie vanished while picking strawberries. Stella returned minutes later, with no memory of what happened. Jeanie was never seen or heard from again.
Now Stella is seventeen, and she's over it. She's the lucky one who survived, and sure, the case is still cloaked in mystery—and it's her small town's ugly legacy—but Stella is focused on the coming summer. She's got a great best friend, a hookup with an irresistibly crooked smile, and two months of beach days stretching out before her.
Then along comes a corpse, a little girl who washes up in an ancient cemetery after a mudslide, and who has red hair just like Jeanie did. Suddenly memories of that haunting day begin to return, and when Stella discovers that other red-headed girls have gone missing as well, she begins to suspect that something sinister is at work.
And before the summer ends, Stella will learn the hard way that if you hunt for monsters, you will find them.
~ Stella is your average popular, small town girl… but she’s got no memory to the one event that everyone knows her by – the day she and Jeanie went berry picking and only Stella came back.
~ Loved the morbid Day of Bones celebration- a yearly event for the search of Jeanie’s remains that instead has morphed into drunken cemetery bonfire revelry.
~ Perhaps because Cole is new and is asking questions, Stella begins to want to remember- she doesn’t have any memories of Jeanie at all- she’s just a little red headed girl in pictures.
~ Something happens at the cemetery that leads to the discovery of a new crime that is possibly linked to Jeanie.
~ Stella is reunited with childhood friend Sam because he is a far better person that Stella is- he’s willing to help her remember. And he doesn’t give her too much crap for having been mean and snobby towards him. All the best moments in the book are because of him. He’s a lot like Matty (in my head at least) from 13 Going on 30.
~ Things that didn’t work for me in the book: Zoey was a little too mean, I couldn’t figure out why anyone put up with her. Michaela and Cole were unnecessary, other than the fact that Cole being new allows the reader to be clued into Stella’s past. Stella did a lot of flip flopping between who she wanted, what she wanted and who she was. I figured out whodunit fairly easily, because it just seemed obvious.
~ And then there was Sam’s muddy brown eyes, which I think were meant to be attractive? Muddy brown is not sexy, not ever. And what kind of mud are we talking about? I lived in Oklahoma for years and the mud there is kind of reddish. I have no idea what mud looks like in Minnesota. Maybe Minnesota does have some sexy mud? Can any Minnesotans clear this up for me? Maybe send me a pic of your very attractive mud?
~ What worked for me: the book really creeped me out! I found the murder mystery interesting, the Nordic mythology, the hint of satanic panic, the missing gingers, the crazy town of Savage- it’s history and the nuts who live there- all of it was totally up my alley. I complained of Stella’s flip flopping, but by the end I really liked her character, and thought she had made some real progress. Even though I had figured out what happened to Jeanie (to a point), I still enjoyed the reveal.
~ Okay, so no joke, I stayed up late reading this book, and at some point a door slammed in my house. It could have been the wind, or the Hubs, or the furbabies, but regardless, I was terrified and may or may not have slept in a ring of salt that night…
Stella- the girl who returned and is finally ready to try to remember.
Jeanie- the little girl lost who did not return.
Daniel- Jeanie’s older brother who is convinced Stella remembers more than she says and blames her Jeanie’s disappearance.
Sam- nerdy classmate who was once good friends with Stella, Zoey and Jeanie.
Zoey- Stella’s bestie who is wild, rude and happy to be the reigning Mean Girl.
Michaela- brainy but popular friend to Stella and Cole.
Cole- the new girl in town, and Stella’s new friend.
Taylor- Stella’s crush and all around jock boy.
Caleb- Zoey’s older brother.
Moscow- Stella’s Russian Blue.
Det. Shane- has been working on Jeanie’s disappearance since the beginning and is investigating the new leads.
Ben and Kent Talcott- Jeanie’s parents.
Joe- Stella’s father who is never, ever around.
Mrs. Griever- crazy old lady who might hold some answers… or not, because she’s old and crazy.
There are two:
1. That Norse story is going to haunt me, forever.
2. There is a sexy scene between two characters, where the one has to say a particular line to the other… and it was very steamy (the scene, not the line). But in a way that’s still appropriate for YA. It’s not all bow-chicka-bow-wow.
Stop the Clock:
The Creeping is a good, scary story. You might want to leave the light on… and avoid being ginger if you can help it. Also, I think the Winchester boys need to visit Savage.
The Creeping gets a Midnight Book rating of: