Friday 24 August 2012

Creepy and Maud

Creepy and Maud Creepy and Maud by Diane Touchell (Fremantle Press)
PB RRP $19.95
ISBN 9-781-921-888-960
Reviewed by Neridah McMullin

Creepy and Maud is a highly unusual book. Hilarious and heartbreaking, Creepy and 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, purposefully not bringing any attention to himself but keenly observing and caustically commenting on all that happens around him.

Maud lives next door to Creepy with her bedroom window facing his. She is less certain about life, emotionally suppressed and alienated and misunderstood by her parents. Maud is a confused girl with a condition that embarrasses her family, and this assures her isolation.

Together Creepy and Maud discover something outside their own vulnerability — each other’s.  A growing and unlikely friendship and develops between them through notes posted on each other’s bedroom windows.

A fascinating and different dual narrative and inner dialogue tackles the problematic issues some teens encounter, highlighting the effects certain parenting has on these young teenagers.

Creepy’s knowledge and interest in 19-century novels lets us see his inner and more complex side and it was joyful to read these quotes throughout the story. Creepy becomes my genuine hero when he becomes involved in a bizarre but genuinely funny cat-kidnapping situation.

Maud’s fragility is disturbing but all is not lost as her situation finally takes a turn for the better. For a tragic story, the ending is surprisingly uplifting.

Creepy and Maud is a fascinating first novel and highly recommended for YA fiction readers.

Neridah McMullin is the author of four books for children. Her next book is based on a true story about an Australian Lighthorse called 'Taffy Waits' set in World War I in the Battle of Beersheba. Neridah loves family, footy and her cat Carlos, who also happens to love footy.

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