''Peeps'' (also released as ''Parasite Positive'') is a novel by ScottWesterfeld, which concerns Cal Thompson, a carrier for a parasite which turns people into "peeps" - monstrous anti-versions of themselves, repelled by anything they once held dear. Recruited by the Night Watch, he's on a mission to capture the girls he has infected. However, it turns out there is more going on than he suspected; with things under the earth starting to stir...
The book had a companion book, ''The Last Days'', published in 2007.
!!This novel provides examples of:
* BeneficialDisease: While being a full blown peep sucks, carriers of the disease get the perks of super strength and agility, night vision, and extended lifespans without becoming cannibals. That's not to say there aren't significant [[CantHaveSexEver downsides]] to being a carrier.
* BigEater: Cal, and any other peeps or peep hunters, to feed the parasite.
* CelibateHero: EnforcedTrope. Carriers are immune to the violent insanity the parasite drives the peeps to, but as Cal puts it, the parasite doesn't want the carriers to go to waste; turns out, it's [[CantHaveSexEver sexually transmitted]], ''and'' has the side effect of increasing the sex drive. As a result, carriers generally cannot have normal relationships and certainly not sexual ones; in fact, most carriers realize they are one after their partners have turned into peeps.
* CursedWithAwesome: Carriers, who as a result of a particularly strong parasitic infection, physically change to become much more physically attractive, get super strength, super speed, very strong night vision, ''and'' have a life span in the ''hundreds of years.'' The first Night Mayor was elected in the 1600s - and as it turns out, his term never ended, because he's still alive. The problem is [[CelibateHero they can't have sex or even kiss anyone, or they pass the infection on to their loved ones.]]
* DeadpanSnarker: Cal, as while it's downplayed a bit, he most certainly has his moments.
* DoingInTheWizard: Regarding [[OurVampiresAreDifferent vampires]], as parasite-positives are given wholly scientific explanations for the behaviors, lore, and really long life spans. It's specifically noted that peeps are not immortal - but they do live for a hell of a long time.
* FatCat: Corny.
* FriendsRentControl: Lacey's apartment, and all the ones in her building, have weirdly low rent. She tags along in part to understand why, and how she can keep it that way.
* GayBarReveal: Dick's Bar, the one and only home of the Bahamalama-Dingdong. With such fruity drinks and even a very telling name, this isn't much of a surprise. It's also worth noting that they served Cal booze when he was at least two or three years underage.
** MistakenForGay: Cal, as a result of it. His return to Dick's Bar involves him being hit on by an attendee, and [[spoiler: Morgan went to that gay bar in the first place because she thought that she would be safe from temptation there.]]
* TheImmune: PlayedWith. Carriers get all the strengths of being parasite-positive with none of the cannibalistic insanity, but they can still pass on the parasite. [[spoiler: Turns out, however, that there's two strains of it, with one more benevolent than the other.]]
* InnateNightVision: Part of being a Peep. Also [[spoiler: how Lace confirms that Cal is a carrier.]]
* IntrepidReporter: Lace is a journalist, and she uses this fact to blackmail Cal into telling her the truth with the threat of [[BrokenMasquerade exposing the truth to the world if he lies to her.]] Cal goes along with it - partially because he's attracted to her, partially because of the threat of a story, and partially [[KilledToUpholdTheMasquerade of what he would be ordered to do]] [[SheKnowsTooMuch if he told his superiors about Lace's threat.]]
* LetMeGetThisStraight: [[spoiler: When Lace takes a moment to process exactly how she got infected with the parasite.]]
--->'''[[spoiler: Lace]]''': "Are you telling me [[spoiler: your fat-ass cat turned me into a vampire?]]"
* TheLostLenore: PlayedWith, as the peeps aren't dead but insane, but for the purposes of the story it still counts. Most of the carriers have someone like this; the way most of them found out about the parasite in the first place was after their romantic partners turned into peeps, and said partners are often the first peeps that they have to hunt down and capture. In Cal's case, it was his girlfriend Sarah, who he captures in the beginning of the book. [[spoiler: Turns out, however, that they aren't so lost after all, as Sarah turns up healthy and sane in the latter part of the book.]]
* TheMasqueradeWillKillYourDatingLife: So will the sexually-transmitted cannibalistic-insanity-causing parasite, but it still happens. Carriers ''can'' have relationships with other carriers without consequence, but their dating life is effectively over outside TheMasquerade.
** In the second book, it shows consequences of what happens when someone repeatedly ignores that rule just to get laid.
* NatureAbhorsAVirgin: Cal got the CallToAdventure via losing his virginity to a woman named Morgan, who turned out to be infected with the parasite.
** VirginityMakesYouStupid: Cal didn't realize he was in a gay bar until after his proverbial ticket got punched. When he returns to Dick's Bar a year later, he notices a ''great deal'' that he didn't notice beforehand.
--->'''Cal''': "I was older, wiser, and had lived in New York for just over a year now. I had grown-up eyes. It turned out that [[GayBarReveal Dick's Bar]] didn't get a lot of female patronage. [[CaptainObvious Not much at all.]] Just a lot of guys playing pool in their leather chaps, drinking beer and swigging the occasional Jell-O shot, listening to a mix of country and classic disco."
* OurVampiresAreDifferent: Peeps are not vampires. But since most people are fairly fond of light, they ''do'' tend to dislike it, and favor the night. They also sometimes eat people when they can't find anything else to snack on.
* ScrewThisImOuttaHere: Cheerfully averted. Immediately after the revelation of the truly massive [[SwarmOfRats swarm of infected rats]] living underneath her apartment building, Lace packs a bag and says she's leaving - and going to Cal's place. [[CrowningMomentOfFunny Cal's reaction is priceless.]]
* StagesOfMonsterGrief: Before the story starts, Cal was in denial about his status as a carrier. Namely, he thought the Atkins diet was giving him night vision and the fact that every girl he kissed went insane was a coincidence. [[JustifiedTrope But he couldn't have possibly known a parasite turned him into a vampire.]]
* StakingTheLovedOne: Specifically [[AvertedTrope Averted.]] The "vampires" of the setting are merely infected with a parasite that's driven them crazy. The peeps are caught and given attempts at rehabilitation, and are kept out of the public for the safety of normal humans [[TheMasquerade and to maintain secrecy of the peeps existence.]] [[spoiler: Or so Cal has been told.]]
* SwarmOfRats: The rat carriers of the parasite in the basement of Lace's building.
* TheTell: The parasite causes the people who are infected with it, carriers included, to eat a significantly carnivorous diet [[BigEater and a lot of it at that]]. [[spoiler: So when Lace, a vegetarian, starts [[OOCIsSeriousBusiness eating increasing amounts of red meat out of nowhere]], it foreshadows whats happened to her. Sarah even makes note of it and pokes fun at Cal, thinking that he infected Lace via sex without telling her.]]
* [[spoiler: TheUnmasquedWorld]]: In the second book, [[ApocalypseHow for very justified reasons.]]
* TyphoidMary: The carriers, who are sent to hunt down and capture the peeps. To their credit, however, they are ''aware'' of their condition, and are given extensive classes and training in how to avoid spreading it to others. [[spoiler: Cornelius, however, is a cat, and as such [[CaptainObvious didn't get that training]], which was how Lace ended up becoming a carrier. That, and almost nobody knew that cats could spread it too.]]
* UnresolvedSexualTension: Cal and Lace. [[spoiler: Until she becomes a carrier. Then they spend a night resolving it.]]
* WasItAllALie: Lace feels hurt that Cal [[spoiler: didn't mention that he is a carrier for a disease which prevents him from being romantically involved with ''anyone'', but still spent most of the novel flirting with her]].