Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Book Review: Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children

 

A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of very curious 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 the 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.
pe·cu·liar [pi-kyool-yer]
Strange; uncommon; unusual

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is just that: strange, uncommon, and most definitely unusual. I've read many books in my lifetime, ranging from sappy romances to thrilling mysteries and every single one of these books is unique in their own way. But never have I read a book as unique as this one. 

In the beginning the reader is introduced to Jacob, a sixteen year old who wants more with his life. He recounts some of the tales his grandfather told him as a kid, tales of a mysterious island and peculiar children. Jacob's grandfather claims these kids are very real, and for a long time Jacob believes him. But like most kids, Jacob grows up and makes himself believe that the peculiar children are just his grandfather's way of dealing with memories of the war. 
 
“We cling to our fairy tales until the price for believing in them becomes too high.” - Ransom Riggs

On his grandfather's death bed he tells Jacob to visit the orphanage from the stories, the same orphanage that housed Jacob's grandfather before WW2. Soon Jacob and his birdwatching father travel to a small English island that holds the orphanage. The once beautiful and prospering orphanage is now nothing more than a pile of rubble but Jacob explores anyway, finding mementos from the past and even some peculiar children. I don't want to give anything else away about the plot but readers of all ages will be amazed at the creativity of this novel.

 Jacob is an extremely likeable character because in a way we are all like him. He grew up listening to mystical stories about children who can do amazing things. He wanted to believe they existed, even when he was old enough to realize that they were a work of fiction. Like me, Jacob was brand new to the imaginative world that exists inside this book. When he learned something, I learned something which made the book a lot less confusing.

“I used to dream about escaping my ordinary life, but my life was never ordinary. I had simply failed to notice how extraordinary it was.” -Ransom Riggs

“I had just come to accept that my life would be ordinary when extraordinary things began to happen.” -Ransom Riggs

The supporting cast of characters added a lot to the story and I found most of them really enjoyable. I loved Miss Peregrine's character and her role in the peculiarity of the book. Emma Bloom was also a cool character because of her past and her odd connection to Jacob. All the peculiar kids kind of fit together perfectly and it created a cool feel to the book, like they were their own band of misfits. 


For the most part the plot was fast paced and filled with action, adventure, suspense, and even some romance. Everything was so creative and unique which is what made this book so special. My absolute favorite part of this book were the old vintage photographs that were littered throughout the book. The pictures were eerie and sometimes disturbing but the way Ransom Riggs incorporated them into the plot was completely brilliant. Every major character or plot point in the book had a photograph to accompany it and it created an amazing visual that I really enjoyed while reading. The author blended the photographs and the text together in a way that created a reading experience unlike any other.


Reading Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is an experience and there really isn't anything quite like it. It's different, it's unique, and most important it's peculiar. Reluctant or avid readers of all ages will fall in love with this novel and everything it has in store. I just finished the sequel, Hollow City, and it too was outstanding. A movie is in the works for some time next year with Tim Burton set to direct. That movie will be amazing and I can't wait for the movie and the third installment of the series. Pick up this book and enjoy the beautiful photography, unique characters, and spellbinding plot.
--AMANDA

5 comments:

  1. This review makes me want to pick up this book again! I think I started it last year but never managed to finish it. I was so bored for some reason but hearing that it was fast paced and suspenseful makes me think that was just me not feeling it then? So maybe if I pick it up this time, I'll like it! And the fact that Tim Burton is set to direct the film adaptation makes me even more eager to read this book!

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  2. I hear so many good things about this book, but I never really got around to reading it! The pictures look so creepy - I am really intrigued by the unique way this book tells it's story! I hope to read it eventually! It was great to read your review!

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  3. I also had that problem! I bought the book a little over a year ago but I couldn't get into it but when I picked it up again a couple of weeks ago I read it in like two days!

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  4. Reading this has made me even more excited to start this book next! I'm really glad you enjoyed i

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  5. Great review! Please check out my review here

    http://liveloveandlou.blogspot.com/2015/01/2015-reads-miss-peregrines-home-for.html

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