Friday, November 11, 2011

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Publisher: Quirk Books

ISBN: 978-1-559474-476-1

Source: Library

Summary: A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of very peculiar photographs.
It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that Miss Peregrine's children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow--impossible though it seems--they may still be alive.
A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is probably the most unique looking young adult book I've ever seen. There is an old picture of a girl "levitating" on the cover. A lot of old pictures are creepy. This one is not an exception. The inside of the book offered even more creepy old photos to help illustrate the story. My sister brought this one to my attention and I read it.
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children tells the story of its title subject through the eyes of Jacob, a teenage boy seeking out the home in order to find out answers about his murdered grandfather's past. Along the way he meets Miss Peregrine and her charges in a time loop: they are frozen in the day their home was bombed. Jacob learns all about the threats to their safety, including wights and the monsters that killed his grandfather.
The cover didn't deceive. This is probably the most unique young adult book I have ever read. Part time travel, part fantasy, part historical fiction, Miss Peregrine's world was very well-imagined. I enjoyed that Jacob was so committed to finding out his grandfather's story, despite the fact that his family thought he was crazy. All of the characters were well-developed, especially in their relationships towards other characters. The pictures complemented the story nicely, providing great visuals to go along with Riggs's explanation.
My complaint about this books was that it was a little bit slow-moving in the beginning. I know exposition is important, especially since it's a book about someone's journey to explore the past, but I would have preferred that the exposition move a tad bit faster. Regardless, Ransom Rigges created a great story about time travel, old photographs, and ideas about family that certainly does not exist in any other form.

Rating: 4 - this book was good.

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