Title: Creepy and Maud by Dianne Touchell
Release Date: October 1st 2012
Published by: Fremantle Press
Source: Publisher (Thanks Claire!)
Buy: Amazon | Book Depository
Hilarious and heartbreaking, Creepy & Maud charts the relationship between two social misfits, played out in the space between their windows.
Creepy is a boy who watches from the shadows keenly observing and caustically commentating on human folly.
Maud is less certain. A confused girl with a condition that embarrasses her parents and assures her isolation.
Together Creepy and Maud discover something outside their own vulnerability — each other’s. But life is arbitrary; and loving someone doesn’t mean you can save them.
Creepy & Maud is a blackly funny and moving first novel that says; ‘You’re ok to be as screwed up as you think you are and you’re not alone in that.’
At the onset of the story, you'll get a glimpse of Creepy's life as told by him, and it wasn't necessarily unpleasant. His parents do fight, set a dog against each other, send their son into a good school because they believe a good education can go a long way, which might actually mean they just want to spite and boast to their neighbor that they're capable of sending their kid to study in a private school. Creepy likes to fly under the radar, unnoticeable, invisible. He likes to watch, especially Maud, his next door neighbor who also happens to be the girl he likes. But Maud is as different as Creepy was, and through each other's observations, their stories are revealed. And a highly unusual relationship develops among the two, taking them through the highs and lows of each others lives.
Creepy is an interesting specimen, mostly because his observations about humanity and the way we live our lives are those that are so obvious yet they're things that no one had to guts to voice out. He's the type of character whose observations, as condescending as they might sound sometimes, is something you can't help but agree to because it's true. Creepy sees the things we can't and says the things we can never say, even if it's just inside his head. I like the way his mind works. It's unconventional, but getting inside his head is pretty fun. His views might be unique to some, but it's not all wrong. He supports and accepts Maud in his own way, and tries hard to not understand what he can't, and just let her become who she wants to, and Creepy knows it's not the same person her parents was forcing her to be. It's amazing and, well, creepy how much he knows about Maud, basing all of it from what he sees. But what happens when the wallflower decides to come out of the shadows and be noticed? Ah, all of it for love.
Maud on the other hand is like a complicated canvass filled with shades and dark shadows. It's ugly at first, but once you get to look at it closely, you'll see something worth looking at. I'd like to say that I feel pity for what Maud is going through, but in a way I understand the reasons why she does what she does. The world can easily misunderstood a person who can't voice out their thoughts as easily as everyone else can. Maybe the world will be a better place if parents stop hiding the imperfections in their family and patching up the cracks that appear on a seemingly perfect facade but instead start acknowledging that their children needs help, because that's what should have been done to Maud. She's talented, if only she'll be given the chance. She's witty, if only they'll listen to the meaning of what she says. And it's a little sad to think that only Creepy, the next door wallflower, seems to be the only person who can see that.
There's something comforting about knowing that you're not the only person in the world who is screwed up, that you're not the only one who feels different. Maybe the saying "misery loves company" is more appropriate for Creepy and Maud's story, but it's not all sad and bad and dark. I found myself laughing at almost every page, though dark the humor is. What both characters are going through is not a laughing matter, and yet despite all of it, there's something to laugh about in Creepy and Maud's life. The misery and darkness in Creepy and Maud's life is not all there is to their story, because it gets better somehow. I love how the ending puts a smile on my lips and think that their love story, no matter how confusing it was, was finally moving a step forward. That they're both moving a step forward.
It's a complicated, sometimes sad, sometimes miserable story that is as unique as the characters inside of it. Readers will get the good (hilarious observations from Creepy), the bad (Maud's thoughts about her life) and the ugly (the dark side of both their lives and the people around them) in this one of a kind YA debut. One of the biggest surprise reads I have appreciated and liked, and is now one of my favorites. A little odd, and mostly dark YA story, which might not be for everyone, but I suggest you give this one a try.
Content (plot, story flow, character):
Content (plot, story flow, character):
I have not read a book like this in a long, long time.
Stunning: Worthy of a Goddess' Praise!
That cover makes it easy to visualize how Creepy and Maud communicate.