Sunday, 17 January 2016

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs - review

Publisher: Quirk Books (7th June 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.' (Publishers' Blurb)

This book came out to incredible critical acclaim and spent more than a year on the NY Times Bestsellers list. All of that attention is very much deserved, because 'Miss Peregrine's Home' is exceptionally well written and beautiful to look at. I often read E-books but this is definitely one where I needed the paper copy.

Basing a book around a series of found photographs is such a unique idea! They add a sense of this being someone's secret scrapbook or journal. The photographs themselves are fascinating and very well-selected, enhancing the story and creating a unique reading experience.

The premise of this is as unique as the format. I loved the idea of Jacob visiting Miss Peregrine's Home to find out more about his recently deceased grandfather. This felt like a mystery, historical fiction and a fantasy mashed together and yet somehow this worked really well. These different elements created a tense, well-paced plot. 

My other favourite part of this was the characters. Without giving too much away, there were a lot of characters in this and yet they all felt well-developed and believable. I especially liked Jacob and loved reading a book solely from a male point of view. Issues surrounding his mental health were also dealt with in a very sensitive but real way.

The only downside of this for me was that I would've like to know more about the villains of this world. They were introduced and their motivations were made clear, but I was intrigued to know more. This will possibly happen later in the series, which I will definitely be continuing with. It isn't often that I read a book so entirely fresh and unpredictable and I would highly recommend it.

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If you liked the sound of this, now try:

-Silver in the Blood by Jessica Day George (which I reviewed here:
-The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich (which I reviewed here:
-The Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman

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