|Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children|
by Ransom Riggs
(Miss Peregrine #1)
June 7, 2011
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Source: Personal purchase
A horrific family tragedy sends Jacob, 16, to a remote island off Wales, to the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, where he finds unusual old photographs. The children, one his grandfather, were more than peculiar, perhaps dangerous, quarantined for good reason - and maybe still alive.
I've had this on my shelf for a while and have been hesitant to read it because of the creepy cover. I am a bit of a wimp when it comes to scary stuff. I was worried it would be too creepy for me, despite reassurance from the author himself when I asked him at a book signing. Well, I'm glad I finally read it. It does have a creep factor to it, but I did not find it overly scary at all.
So why the creepy cover? This book was written with the amazing combination of storytelling using words and pictures. There are not an overabundance of photos, but just enough to draw you into the story and bring you into this world of these peculiar children. I loved this use of old photos and bringing them to life in a new way. They really brought so much more life to the story, adding greatly to its visual effect.
The blurb doesn't say much, so what's this all about? Well, the blurb is short for a reason. There is a nice level of mystery surrounding this story, particularly in the beginning. Giving away too many details would really ruin it for the reader. But I will say that the story follows Jacob, our 16 year old Floridian, who has grown up with his grandfather's stories of the children he grew up with. Jacob has always been curious about them, but his belief in them as a young boy has waned as he aged, making him question the validity of his grandfather's stories. When tragedy strike's Jacob's life, he must search within and without himself to seek out answers and the truth. But this journey brings about more than he bargained for. The story is quite unique and intriguing. I was very much drawn into Jacob's tale, not knowing where things were going, and finding the storytelling itself very engaging. My curiosity continued to build and build until the end.
There is a nice cast of characters here as well. Jacob is so sincere and so genuine. I really enjoyed his perspective, the thoughts he wrestled with, the determination he discovered in himself, the honesty in how he looked at things, and the courage he dug deep for. He was the main driving force of the story. The additional characters brought their own life to the story, though it took me some time to keep all the names straight. A few of the secondary characters had a touch more depth, Emma in particular. The relationship between Jacob and Emma is very interesting and odd. But I liked that it wasn't over romanticized in this book. You'll understand what I mean once you read it.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. The use of old photos really brought that extra special something to the storytelling, so combining that with the engaging plot, I was thoroughly entertained and look forward to the next book.