Olivia is curious about the people moving into 16 Olcott Place. The last family there moved out in the dead of night, and the new family, the Donahues, has no idea why. Olivia becomes fast friends with Janie Donahue . . . so she's there at the house when the first of the letters arrives:
--I am the Sentry of Glennon Heights. Long ago I claimed 16 Olcott Place as levy for my guardianship. The walls will not tolerate your trespass. The ceilings will bleed and the windows will shatter. If you do not cease your intrusion, the rooms will soon smell of corpses.--
Who is the Sentry? And why does the Sentry want the Donahues out of the house badly enough to kill? As Olivia and Janie explore the house, they find a number of sinister secrets . . . and as they explore their town, they find a hidden history that the Sentry wants to remain hidden forever.
You can lock the doors. You can close the windows. But you can't keep the Sentry out. . . .
Janie has older twin siblings, Ben and Lucy, and her parents are a bit intense. The family moved not only because Mrs. Donahue fell in love with the house but also to get a fresh start. However, when they receive creepy notes with threats from the "Sentry," they begin to fear the house that they have moved into.
What I loved: The plot of the book is so interesting, and it was really hard to figure out whodunnit. The girls go on a quest for answers that takes them through the town's history and its many players. The air of mystery and light thriller aspects make this a book that is hard to put down. The length of the book also makes it easy to read in only a sitting or two. With the main characters being freshmen in high school, this could also appeal to a younger audience (a demographic not often found in YA).
What left me wanting more: The book gets a little windy and drawn out at times in a way that makes it lose some of the thriller feel (could have easily been shorter). The pace is slowed down by other side stories that do not often add much to the overall plot. For instance, Olivia's friends on the side who serve little to the plot and who we only see here and there. There is almost a message about popularity and personalities, but it is a bit diluted and not clear enough to really be present.
Final verdict: Horroresque and light, CREEP is a YA thriller that is well-suited to an older middle grade and younger YA audience. With a great mystery to follow and interesting town history, this was an overall quick and engaging read.