January 13th, 2012 11:50 EST
Miss Peregrin's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
The cover of Miss Peregrine`s Home for Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs is what drew me in. Then the story successfully takes over. This is the book where it`s dangerous to flip through it at the bookstore. You`ll get sucked in until you read it.
Miss Peregrine`s Home for Peculiar Children is a fantastic look into history, and what history could have been. The main character, Jacob, grew up hearing about his grandfather`s childhood on an island and the unusual friends he had, from the girl who could produce fire to the girl who needed weighted shoes to keep her from flying off of the ground (there`s even pictures, which add significantly to the story). Most people ignored them as fanciful fairy tales, including Jacob.
But then his grandfather is killed by the creature he kept describing, and sends Jacob on a trip to find out what is true, and what isn`t.
This is a beautifully told story, and one worth owning. From the raw story of Jacob`s life to the cast of character`s he meets when he finds the home for peculiar children. There`s a sense of reality that isn`t there when we look at other stories of teens/ children with special gifts. Many describe a life that yearns for heroics, while Miss Peregrine`s home is filled with lives led extraordinarily.
The greatest strength of this novel is the photography. Many would skim through and say that they are nice photoshopped images, but then the notes comes at the end that says they were found over months, and minimal adjustments were made so the unsung beauty could be produced. Ransom Riggs has successfully taken nothing, and made something from it. Reading the novel, it doesn`t take a second thought before that random photo becomes someone cool. The photo of a stranger holds a story, and an amazing one at that.
The story ends with a cliffhanger, but it`s not a spelled out entrance to another book. It`s one that invites the reader to see the opportunity that`s ever present, and the beautiful, peculiar people that crosses paths with it.
Violence: Mild, in places
Rating: 4.5 out 5
My only downside to this is there are photographs that aren`t explained that I really wish had been. Other photos are creepy.