Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
by Ransom Riggs
What is it about:
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.
What did I think of it:
It might be the fact that I knew when starting this book that it's being made into a movie by Tim Burton that the first part of this book reminded me of the movie Big Fish.
I mean: there's this boy who grew up with listening to the tall tales his grandfather told him, who then goes off to explore the truth of these tales. Sound familiar?
Not that this is a bad thing. I love Big Fish, so any story that manages to evoke a similar mood has my attention.
And luckily this book can stand firmly on its own as well. The story is haunting and fairytale-like. I loved the inclusion of the pictures: they added to the surreal feel of this story. Even apart from the similarities between Big Fish and the start of this story it's easy to see why Tim Burton would want to turn this book into a movie: it would lend itself perfectly for a Burton movie with its the dreamlike and quirky setting and weird characters.
That might be its one flaw: this story is so fantastical in mood and overall feel that it was hard for me to connect with the characters. It was beautiful, moody and whimsical, but apart from Jacob there wasn't any character that made me feel for him or her.
All in all this is a beautiful tale though and although this can also be read as a stand alone I will most probably read the second book once it's released and you can bet I will go see the movie.
Why should you read it:
It's a fantastical and beautiful YA read.