**Any spoilers are unintentional and I apologize in advance if I let any slip that ruin the story for you. The purpose of the reviews are to highlight books I’ve read as part of a personal reading and blogging challenge for 2015. Read here for my personal expectations. I have not been asked by authors to do these reviews, I’m just reviewing as I read.**
Genre: Fantasy/Paranormal – YA (Young Adult)
Synopsis: A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of curious photographs.
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.
My Star Rating:
After given this book from mother with the only description of “It’s weird. Just read it and tell me what you think.” I had to give it a try. Sifting through it before reading, the first thing I noticed was pictures. I haven’t read a picture book in many years, and as soon as I saw the odd photos, I was already hooked. To my extreme delight, as you’ll find explained in the back of the book, besides some “minimal postprocessing, they (the photographs) are unaltered.” Saved from flea markets and old trucks, Riggs uses photos from the collections of 10 others (including the cover photo), injecting them into the narrative to illustrate Jacobs journey in finding answers about fairy tales his grandfather told him all his life.
Drawing me into his world of creepiness (my favorite), I wanted to know the answers as much as Jacob. Not a typical supernatural thriller, Miss Peregrine and her peculiar children are rather desperate and hanging on to old notions of life Jacob finds difficult to understand. With a mix of history, not only in the vintage photographs but in the story as well, Jacob navigates this odd turn of events as well as any storybook bumbling hero who is everything but a hero, but strives to save those he cares about in a time and place he knows little about.
Miss Peregrine is an odd old bird keeping the whole lot in line. Her children her life as she keeps care of them like a school house head mistress. Each child with their own story and Riggs pairs them well with these creepy photographs.
The deserted island in Wales hosts a wealth of interesting characters you want to pull up a bar stool and chat with, if you can understand them. The world Riggs created alongside this island a place you could picture getting lost on and finding folks like Miss Peregrine and her peculiar children.
For a sixteen year old kid who had a life designed for him while in diapers, Jacobs finds himself on a journey all his own.
Read for the adventure, linger on the vintage photos, and imagine yourself in the life Miss Peregrine and her peculiar children live. Running away to a circus will seem boring in comparison.
Where to Buy: Amazon.com
Also find: The sequel ‘Hollow City’
Author Bio and Contacts:
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is my first novel. I’m really excited about it — it was challenging and rewarding and I hope people like it. If you read that and like the found photographs in it, you might be interested in a book comprised entirely of found photographs that I have coming out January 2012 from HarperCollins. It’s called Talking Pictures. You can find sneak peeks by doing a search for “mental floss talking pictures” (I included a number of images in blogs there) and I made a kinda-sorta book trailer for it, which is on my youtube page: youtube.com/ransriggs.
Also, watch out for a Miss Peregrine book trailer, which I’m working on right now! I get to go to Belgium and film inside creepy abandoned chateaus, which I’m *really* looking forward to.