Hardback, 352 pages
Published June 7th 2011 by Quirk Publishing
My shelves: books-i-own, cover-appeal, fantasy, horror, read-in-2012, really-good, sci-fi, supernatural, title-appeal, ww2, young-adult
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Description via Goodreads
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.
This is one book that you can judge by its cover. The cover and dust jacket of this book are stunning, as is, most importantly, the contents. As well as gorgeous white pages and patterned chapter beginnings, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is scattered with genuine, eccentric and very distinctive vintage photographs. These are the real base for the story and it's interesting to see how Riggs managed to link them all together - I can imagine that this would've been a very fun plot to create. A couple of the photographs did feel as though they were forcibly stuck into the story, but I enjoyed looking at them all the same.
I think that the chosen word for this book, peculiar, is very apt in all aspects. It is a very quirky and quite a unique book but although it is all so very strange, it feels natural to the story and there is no feeling that the author is trying too hard. There was some slight over description at points, but I never once got bored. I enjoyed sitting back and reading the descriptions of the Welsh island setting and also of all of the characters that Jacob, our protagonist, met. Riggs has a way with making everything feel eerie. There is a sort of fairytale like feeling to the story, but it is twisted and dark. As aforementioned, I never got bored of reading this book - there are enough twists and the action increased as the book progressed. There was not a whole lot of action during the first half of the story but I actually somewhat preferred the discovery of things rather than the fast paced events that took place near the end.
I liked Jacob as a protagonist. He was imperfect and he felt real and as rational as anyone could be under his circumstances. We learned a few things about him, personality wise, as he tried to make sense of unanswered questions left to him by his grandfather who was killed. I particularly enjoyed reading about Jacob's relationship with Emma, his grandfather's old flame, but I thought it should've been more complex - Jacob only seemed to doubt the morality of it once. The children were also interesting, creepy and charming. I'm still left wanting to know more about all of the characters though, there is still a lot of room for development.
I was a little disappointed with the ending, but if there is a sequel (which there is certainly place for) then I'd feel a lot more positive about it. I'd love to learn more and follow Jacob and the children on their 'mission'. This is an unusual, unique read and it is something that I'd definitely recommend for teens and adults alike.