Wednesday, November 02, 2022

Teen/YA Review: Creep

I was looking for a creepy YA novel to listen to on audio in October for the R.I.P. Challenge, and Creep: A Love Story by Lygia Day Peñaflor certainly fit the bill! I enjoyed her earlier YA novel, All of This Is True, for Big Book Summer in 2021. This latest release is all about obsession, with a sense of growing dread perfect for my spooky fall reading.


Rafi is only a sophomore, but she knows all about Laney and Nico, the popular "it" couple of the senior class. They are both beautiful, kind, and talented, Nico in sports and Laney in dance. Rafi's job in the school office gives her a unique chance to interact with the two of them, like the day they both come in late, citing a trip to the DMV that is obviously a cover story. It's clear the two of them have just had sex for the first time, and as Rafi writes them late passes with the DMV excuse on them, it's like she's in on their secret joy. Little by little, Rafi works hard to become a part of their lives, volunteering for the clubs Laney volunteers in and offering to babysit Nico's little sister. She's also a photographer for the school yearbook and makes sure that Laney and Nico feature prominently in its pages, so they can look back and remember their perfect senior year together. There are hints that Rafi has done this before, with a teacher last year, and got in trouble for it, but she convinces herself that this is different, that Laney and Nico are truly her close friends. When tragedy strikes the perfect couple, Rafi is devastated and vows to do anything to keep them together.


This is a wonderful suspense novel, with a mounting sense of dread as Rafi's obsession grows. The title is perfect because as I listened to it, I kept thinking, "That's so creepy!" But this novel is so much more than just its tension and suspense. It has wonderful emotional complexity, as the reader gradually learns more about Rafi's background and life. She lives with her grandparents, and the mystery of what happened with her parents and their absence has a lot to do with Rafi's obsession with Laney and Nico. All of that backstory unspools slowly, through Rafi's perspective as she gets closer to the couple, thinks back to her own past, and learns more about her parents. The audio book was very well-done, with Gail Shalan providing a sweet adolescent voice that contrasts brilliantly with the creepiness of Rafi's obsession (listen to the sample below). I enjoyed this engrossing audio book. It just cements my opinion that Lygia Day Peñaflor writes gripping, immersive YA suspense stories.


272 pages, Clarion Books



This book fits in the following 2022 Reading Challenges:


R.I.P. Challenge

Fall Into Reading Challenge - Autumn Vibes

Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher in return for an honest review. My review is my own opinion and is not influenced by my relationship with the publisher or author.

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Listen to a sample of the audiobook here and/or download it from Audible.


You can buy the book through, where your purchase will support the indie bookstore of your choice (or all indie bookstores)--the convenience of shopping online while still buying local!



Or you can order Creep from Book Depository, with free shipping worldwide.


  1. Books featuring obsessions kind of creep (!) me out. But, they work well and this one sounds good.

    1. I listened to 2 books about obsession last month!