Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children: a review

Posted 21 July, 2011 by Danny in Uncategorized / 0 Comments

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
by Random Riggs (website, twitter, youtube, facebook)
Published: June 7th, 2011
Publisher: Quirk Books

Goodreads synopsis:

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.

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.

first impressions:
I had seen reviews, updates, and more about Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children popping up all over Goodreads. The moment I saw the cover and read the description, I must admit, I bought the book immediately. However, I nearly forgot about it because it took forever and five years to get to me casa (darn holiday weekends!!). So when it showed up, I was pleasantly surprised. Stick with me, folks, there’s a point to all this rambling. The first thing I noticed about this novel was how beautifully it was made. There is a weight to this book- a substance. When I took off the book jacket what I found underneath was an homage to books of yore. But it was the sewn binding that made my bookworm heart pitter patter. Immediately, I was sucked into the story and eager to immerse myself into Mr. Riggs’s tale.


a picture is worth a thousand words:
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children could easily be written off as gimmicky; its use of pictures almost childish or maybe just a ploy to get more attention or a distraction from the story or a filler for lack of a story. All these arguments lack substance. The beautiful black and white photography used in the novel works hand in hand with the story as it twists and turns. I never once got tired of the photographs and was eager for another one to be revealed. While a few of the picture were hard to decipher at first, all of them were not only interesting to look at, but enhanced the story.

and what of this story?
After all that one would think this lil ditty of a tale might be lacking. How can a book have an amazing cover/layout, plus awesome pictures annnnnd, on top of that, be top notch story telling?! Oh! Ye of little faith!

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is the story of Jacob, a young man who’s struggling with the loss not only of his grandfather whom he adored, but seemingly his sanity. In search of answers and a cure for his madness, Jacob and his father travel to the island where his grandfather grew up. A supposedly magical, safe place his grandfather begs him to go to with his very last breath. 

Throughout his journey, the reader is left to wonder at what is reality. At one point, I started to question if Jacob really was insane. And yet, through all my doubts and disbelief, I was rooting for Jacob and desperate to understand what was going on!

I really don’t want to give away anything in fear that I could possibly ruin the story for others. So I’ll leave my rambling thoughts at this: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is not only a strangely unusual ride, but thought-provoking with a side of bittersweet. Beautifully written, well executed, and all around one of the most unique and, you guessed it, peculiar reads I’ve ever had the pleasure of partaking in. At each reveal I was left guessing at what would come next! And when I turned the corner of that last page, I was dying for more!

in summation:
If you enjoy historical fiction with a heavy dose of the paranormal and a side of beautiful black and white photography, this book is for you. Hell, if you just like a good book this book is for you!

My Bewitched Rating:
You guessed it!

If you are interested in more photography or to learn more about the author make sure to check out his website which includes some really stunning photographs.

in conclusion:
Dear Mr. Riggs, 
Did your parents have a love of alliteration
or did you rig up a pseudonym for yea self? 
On second thought, don’t tell me.
I’d like to think the former is this case.
Obsessive Reader by Night – Scientist at Day!
You can also find me on goodreads. I’d love to get to know you so, don’t be shy and say Hello!

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