Friday, January 18, 2013

Book Thoughts - Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
published 6/7/11
352 pages

Synopsis from publisher -

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.

My thoughts -

I've been reading for a long time. I've been an AVID reader for a long time. I wouldn't claim to be the most well-read person of all, but I think I've spanned a fairly wide range of genres and stories in my time. It takes something pretty special for an author to make me think, "Wow! I have never read anything like this before!" It happened last month with The Night Circus, and it happened this week with Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. 

In itself, the story is very strong. Riggs has crafted a wise coming-of-age story, with fantastical elements that are quite unique. Jacob's narrative voice is funny and intelligent, and draws the reader into the wonders that he discovers along with him. The novel's cast of very peculiar characters each have their own niche in the story, and the reader can't imagine even one of them being lost.

But adding to the story, sprinkled throughout the novel, Riggs uses old photographs to illustrate and expand on the novel's events. Those photographs make this book a completely immersing experience. I was absolutely lost in this story, and the creepy, weird, and wonderful world of Miss Peregrine's children.

I've seen rumors of a second novel - I will definitely be picking up a copy! I've also seen rumors of a movie version - that would be very interesting. I am sold enough on the story that I would love to see how a good director could bring it to life.

I'm not usually that interested in book trailers, but this novel has a great one -

I would give this novel my highest recommendation - if you have not read it, go find a copy. This was a wonderful reading experience.

Finished - 1/17/13
Source - South Side library
MPAA rating - PG-13 for scary, fantastical elements
My rating - 9/10


bermudaonion said...

I've come close to picking this book up several times but never have, thinking it might be gimmicky. You've convinced me otherwise!

Zibilee said...

I have also picked this book up several times, and can't exactly say why I haven't bought it when I had it in my hands. I guess it's because I thought that the story wouldn't be as interesting as the pictures, and I had heard that the author arranged the story around the strange pictures he had found. Like Kathy, you have piqued my interest, and now I want to read this one. Excellent review today, Elizabeth! I need to read this one at some point!

Kristen M. said...

I'll join the chorus and say that I'm not entirely sure why I haven't picked this one up yet but I'll be sure to grab it at some point this year!

Aarti said...

Ooh, good to know! I've heard very mixed reviews on this one so am glad to see one heartily in the recommend camp. The cover itself is so cool!