What better way to jump back into blogging that to kick things off with one of the best books I’ve ever read. Guys, I’m serious, (I am not sponsored in any way) this book was top notch! I received it in the June Scribblers subscription box, and I’m so glad I did! Here’s why: I’m not sure if I would have picked this up if I’d come across it in a bookstore. MAYBE if it was October and I was in a mood to psychologically punish myself.
I do not like dolls. I just don’t. Maybe because every doll reminds me of Talky Tina or maybe because my dad hid a ventriloquist doll around the house for a month after we watched Dead Silence together. Either way, I hated the new Toy Story.
For whatever reason, the back of the book prevailed over the front of the book and I got sucked in hard. Wyrms, I finished this book in two sittings. The only thing that separated the first 200 pages from the last 100 was sleep. I convinced myself that the passing of sleep is instantaneous and if I slept, I wouldn’t notice that I wasn’t reading. I’d like to point out that I dreamed about the book the entire night and was quite aware that I had not finished it. May I be judged.
“When she was a child, Cassidy Pratt accidentally started a fire that killed her neighbor. She’s pretty sure she didn’t mean to do it, and she’d give anything to forget that awful day. But her town’s bullies, particularly the cruel and beautiful Melody Davenport, have never let her live it down. In Melody’s eyes, Cassidy is a murderer and always will be.
Then Melody goes missing, and Cassidy thinks she may have information about what happened. She knows she should go to the cops, but she recently joked about how much she’d like to get rid of Melody. She even planned the perfect way to do it. And then she gets a chilling text from an unknown number: I’m so glad we’re in this together.
Now it’s up to Cassidy to figure out what’s really going on before the truth behind Melody’s disappearance sets the whole town ablaze.”
I’ll start off by pointing out that this was not a story about dolls. It’s a whodunit and there’s some dolls in the background. I also don’t entirely get the title, Little Creeping Things, because it was far more psych thriller than creepy horror. The only reason I bring this up (because the cover is gorgeous!) is that I don’t want you to turn away because you think it might be a creepy book about talking dolls. It’s not. I checked.
This is an epic roller coaster about a guilt ridden potential pyromaniac who doesn’t want to live her small town life seen as a murderer. The emotional depth of this story is outstanding as Cassidy wrestles with flashbacks and urges she doesn’t understand while trying to be a good person who keeps people safe without further damaging her own reputation. I really don’t want to go into much more detail than that because, while I absolutely want to discuss this book with you guys, I don’t want to risk you spying a spoiler or giving too much away. It is definitely one to experience without expectations for what might happen.
So grab a copy if you don’t have one already and drop me a comment when you’ve finished. Doesn’t sound like your cup of tea? Tell me what is! I’d love to discuss. Happy reading, BookWyrms.
Writers: When you read this book, pay attention to the pacing. It was matched with the Scribblers pacing theme for a reason. But beyond that, Chelsea did an incredible job of populating the school as she needed to. If you’re like me, you overthink how many characters there should be in a book. In a school setting, how many students should have names? Dialogue? It isn’t just the main cast in a bubble, but how many is too many? Watch the pacing specifically with character introduction and relevance. She really took her time shining a light on named characters who weren’t front and center and then using them fully.
Also, the imagery and symbolism related to fire was extraordinary. There was a point later in the story when it felt like Cassidy’s whole life was on fire and the more people she touched, the more the fire spread. I made a note about this quote right off the bat because it’s just beautiful writing, but it really kind of set the tone for Cassidy’s mental state as the book progressed.
“Gideon’s figure becomes speckled with tiny grayish-white flecks. More white dots appear, like he’s biking straight into a snowstorm despite the tepid feel of the air.
Overhead, the sun vanishes behind an ink-dark cloud. I glance down at a snowflake that’s fallen on my bare arm. It doesn’t melt against the warmth of my skin.
Because it’s ash. When I look up again, the horizon is a blazing display of neon orange and red, the sky is black with smoke, and Gideon keeps biking straight into a cloud of ash.
My head feels tight. Too tight. And the silver cloud swallows him up.”
-Chelsea Ichaso, Little Creeping Things (31-32)
Update to add: Hey BookWyrms, after I wrote this post, I signed on for Amazon’s affiliate program. If you use my link to order your own copy, you’ll be supporting my efforts to be a full time writer. Thanks, guys!