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Monday, January 30, 2012

[Review] Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Title: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
Author: Ransom Riggs
Pages: 352 (Hardcover)
Publisher: Quirk Publishing
Release Date: June 7, 2011

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.

I've been really excited to finally read Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children and it did not disappoint...for the most part. I was immediately drawn in by Jacob's grandfather's story of his childhood at a strange orphanage on a mysterious island. How much of those stories was actually true is something Jacob isn't sure about until his grandfather passes away and his last words send Jacob to the island where he grew up. Once there he begins to unearth the secrets of old orphanage and learns more about his grandfather than he's ever known.

Mixed into the story are eerie photographs of the peculiar children who resided at this orphanage. Many of them are just old photographs, but some are quite odd, and a few are down right creepy. There were a couple that honestly gave me bad dreams, but I am easy to spook. Unfortunately, about halfway through the book the photographs are very sparse and the story changes from one that was super intriguing to one that was a bit lackluster.

The mystery surrounding the orphanage and Jacob's grandfather's stories are all revealed by the halfway mark. After that we get to observe Jacob getting to know the peculiar children, which was interesting, but then the tone shifts. It goes from a creepy mystery to a monster hunt of sorts. I wasn't really interested in any of that, but it just kept going and going. Finally at the end we're left with this notion of "leapfrogging" through time and grand adventures, which grabbed my attention again, but by then it was too late since the novel was over.

This one started out so amazing, but then it just dropped off at the end. I'm a bit disappointed.

1 comment:

  1. I felt the same way. It was really cool and intriguing at first but then it just bottoms out. I was really underwhelmed by this it left me with the feeling that it was written for middle grade which I wasn't expecting. I did love the photos though!


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