Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Setting: Present Day Florida and Wales, and 1940 Wales
My copy came from: I borrowed the book from my mom. My future sister-in-law recommended this book, and it also happened to be the Book of the Month for Hype or Like Friday.
Review: Eerie, mysterious, and intriguing. I really loved this book!
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children has a very interesting premise. The author, Ransom Riggs, uses vintage photographs among the narrative of the book, which really brought the book to life. Some of the photographs used are downright creepy, and help to give the book its eerie tone. But while this book and the photographs are eerie and atmospheric, I didn’t think that the book was scary. It’s more of a mysterious tale than a spooky one (I thought).
Our main character is Jacob Portman, a young man who has a close relationship to his grandfather, Abraham, who always had wonderful stories to tell about different people with special abilities (invisibility, unusual strength, levitation, etc). Abraham dies, and Jacob witnesses something that no one believes, and so he heads off to a remote island near Wales to search out his grandfather’s past. What he finds on the island is that perhaps his grandfather’s stories were true, and not fairy tales after all.
I had just come to accept that my life would be ordinary when extraordinary things began to happen.
The story drew me in right away. There was something so sad about Jacob and his grandfather. I loved the idea that fantastical stories told could be true, and I loved the historical aspect of the book as well. I wasn’t expecting the historical component, and it brings a depth to the story that isn’t always present in the Young Adult genre.
The book shifts back and forth in time between 1940 and present time, and WWII plays into the plot here, as bombs start to fall on the island in 1940. I don’t want to say too much about the plot as part of the beauty of this book is reading and seeing how Ransom Riggs unfolds the world of the peculiar and Miss Peregrine.
In terms of characters, Jacob was fine to read. He tries to work through his grandfather’s death, and strange things that he has seen, and so his journey was an interesting one. Another good character is Miss Peregrine, who strikes me as a Dumbledore-type figure, in that she seems to know far more than what she says. With the peculiar, I enjoyed Millard (the invisible man), Emma (who can create fire), and Olive (who levitates).
There is a movie based on the book, directed by Tim Burton, and starring Eva Green as Miss Peregrine. The movie hasn’t been out very long. I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I did watch the trailer, and the trailer looks gorgeous, but already I see they changed some things around (for instance, from the trailer it looks like they’ve made Emma be able to levitate, and possibly aged Olive up). I hope to see the movie at some point; I’m not sure I’ll be able to get to the theaters before it’s gone.
All in all, this was a very enjoyable read full of strange and interesting vintage photography that helps to make the book memorable. I’m ready for book two, Hollow City.
Bottom Line: Eerie and mysterious. Definitely a LIKE for me!
Have you read Miss Peregrine’s? Have you seen the movie? Does it live up to the book?
And it looks like for the month of November the Hype or Like Book of the Month is A Darker Shade of Magic. I’ve had this book for awhile, but haven’t read it yet! Hope it lives up to the hype, I’m really excited to read this one!