A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of very curious photographs. Fiction is based on real black and white photographs. The death of grandfather Abe sends 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, and explores abandoned bedrooms and hallways. The children may still live."
Review: You know those restless moments you have with reading where you're dying to read something new and original? I realize that every storyline is based off a very small family tree of stories, but Ransom Riggs' novel Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is a strange little ride through a variety of stories that make it feel very, very new.
Admittedly, I'm an impatient reader with certain genres, so I feared that I would be that way with this novel. That wasn't the case. The first 75 pages or so set the novel up in a pretty catchy sort of a way that had me flipping pages to find out what happened to Jacob's grandfather, and what were the eerie pictures and creatures all about? I really liked the mix of a fantasy-like tale mixed with the realism of young Jacob's life. It didn't feel as though you were reading a fantastical story until he was actually on the island. Then, things got interesting.
I really enjoyed this story and think that the eerie pictures and juxtaposition of real and fantasy worlds to be intriguing. This was one story that I didn't feel like I was simply being told, but that I was actually IN the story as well. My heart would accelerate in certain creepy scenes, and I even jumped a time or two. Chalk that up to me being a big chicken, but I really got into this read.
For anyone who is looking for something new, that doesn't feel like it's been hashed over a million times, then you should give this novel a try. It was refreshing, spooky, and beguiling--an odd combination, right? That is just how this novel came together! For sure, this is a book that I'll be sharing.
*FTC Disclosure: This review was based on a library copy of the novel.