Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Title: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
Author: Ransom Riggs
Published by: Quirk Books
Publication date: 3rd June 2011
Pages: 352
Genres: Young Adult
Format: Hardback
Source: Review copy from the publisher

A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. And 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 who once lived here - one of whom was his own grandfather - were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a desolate island for good reason.

And somehow - impossible though it seems - they may still be alive.

When Jacob's grandfather dies at the beginning of the book, he leaves his monster stories (which no one except Jacob believes) and photos of creepy things like levitating girls and invisible children to Jacob. He is always going to psychologists and after a while he goes to a Welsh island called Cairnholm. There, he discovers the most peculiar thing - a portal to a time loop. An entrance to Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.

This book is possibly one of the most interesting books I have ever read. It contains real unaltered photographs of, I assume, the characters in the novel. They're quite eerie and some are just downright creepy!

Please ask me if you want to use these photos.
The book as a whole was quite slow and it took a while to build up to anything. However, when something big did happen, it was really exciting and I found myself sat on the edge of my seat! (Figuratively speaking. Because I was actually in bed whilst reading this. ...On the edge of my mattress, maybe?)
Jacob is really easy to empathise with as he is blatantly an outsider and he has no friends. His naive belief in the tales his Grandfather told him and then his dismissal as he grows older is something we can all relate to. After his Grandfather's death, he feels the only way to escape his own grief is to go to his Grandfather's old refugee home. But he comes face to face with adventure along the way and he needs to solve the cryptic message his Grandfather left behind.

I loved the characters, they were excellent! They obviously weren't your typical book characters and it was all just so original and fun to read. The writing was strange, but good. It wasn't full of emotion or humour or anything, but it kept the book going. Normally I wouldn't like that writing style, but I really enjoyed it!

I did have one problem with this book and that was with the time-travel. I found it really hard to follow the rules of time travel and it just confused me in general. Other than that, the book was brilliant and highly original; I especially liked the photos dotted around the book! This isn't just a book - it is art.

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