Wayne Pumphrey is small and scrawny which makes him an easy target for Pete “the Meat” and his band of bullies. Wayne is a quiet child who would rather just stay silent and bear the constant bullying rather than stand up for himself. The letters that he writes in his journal, of which he will never actually send, are the only ones who truly know his thoughts and feelings. So when Marjorie, an outcast who also gets called names, steps in to stop Pete’s harassing of Wayne, she and Wayne slowly become reluctant friends as they work together on the school play.
Wow. This was a heartbreaking and incredibly intense story. For someone who was bullied in grade school and early high school, a lot of this was really hard to read at times. My heart reached out to Marjorie and Wayne, wanting to shake Wayne to stand up for himself. There was such a wide varying range to the intensity of the bullying that it seemed incredibly difficult to fathom and horrifying to be put in those situations, witnessing the incidences happening.
Hynes certainly paints an interesting image for the protagonist. He’s not your usual type of main character, even so much to say that he’s probably the complete opposite of what a “usual” lead character would be like. Wayne could be so much of a coward at times that it was absolutely what fueled the bullies’ fire. He couldn’t even get up the nerve to tell people he knew how he felt, choosing to write it down in his journal instead. I find often with these types of contemporary reads, I wonder where the story is going. What direction is the author taking the readers on because it’s not a genre novel where there’s a definitive beginning, journey in the middle, end. The lead-up to the ending of Creeps will definitely make many readers feel uncomfortable and uneasy.
Stay tuned for a guest post from the author!