Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children-Ransom Riggs
Publisher: Quirk Books
Publication date: June 7, 2011
Source: Review copy provided by publisher
Of note: Debut author challenge book #9
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.
I'm not sure if I can put into words just how amazing this book is. It has just about everything I love in a book. An engaging narrator, part of the action is set in my favorite time period (well, sort of) there's abandoned places, and it's just creepy, but not in a Human Centipede (that movie gave me nightmares for a week) sort of way.
I've had a love of old photos for as long as I can remember. I've spent many hours wiled away looking at sites like Shorpy. So when I heard about this book being part novel, part photo essay, I knew it was right up my alley. I've been disappointed lately by a few books that didn't live up to my expectations, but Miss Peregrine is not one of them!
When we meet Jacob, there's nothing really extraordinary about him. He's an odd teenager, close to his grandfather, but not really close with his parents. When a tragedy occurs, Jacob and his father head off to the remote island where his grandfather spent time as a child during WWII. Jacob is frustrated at first, but soon uncovers a world that's so beyond amazing, I won't bother stringing a sentence together to describe it. Just take my word.
Normally I enjoy using my imagination as I'm reading to imagine what the author is describing, but the use of photos in this novel just adds to the atmosphere. Besides the photos, this is just a gorgeous book. I loved the design, and it reminded me of the old classics books my parents owned and I used to flip through.
I pretty much never use the starred review system any longer, but I have to pull it out just this once for this book, because it truly is a five star read.