Monday, June 27, 2011

Book Review: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Title: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
Author: Ransom Riggs
Reading Level: Young Adult
Publisher: Quirk Books
Hardcover, 349 pages
Date Published: June 7, 2011
Description (Taken from Goodreads): 
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.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is one of those books that is completely unexpected and almost swathed in mystery. I had only the slightest clue what it would be about, but was thoroughly absorbed the moment I began. Jacob is a sixteen year old loner – not by choice – who spends a great deal of his time with his Grandpa, Abraham Portman; a man who escaped nazi-invested Poland as a child and moved into a peculiar home off the coast of Wales. Grandpa Portman claims the home was full of peculiar children with special gifts, but Jacob lost faith in that story years ago.

After Grandpa Portman’s death, at the hands of what Jacob thinks is a monster, he ventures – with his father – to the island where the home stands. This is when things start to get better and better. The sense of mystery, and even a little trepidation, jumps off the page. Jacob isn’t sure if he’s just a little crazy or if he should believe the stories his grandfather told him. He flips between the two thoughts and being a part of his uncertainty creates an eeriness. I never knew what to expect or what was going to happen. Each detail is revealed slowly and with care. Learning more about Jacob’s grandpa unravels the mystery about the island and the children, but also about the person that Abraham Portman once was.

The photos that go along with the peculiar children are creepy and help to bring the story to life. Ransom Riggs has this descriptive writing style that vividly introduces the island of Cairnholm and makes it a character all on its own. I don’t want to give anything away because Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is a book that screams ‘read me.’ Like its title, it is a peculiar book, full of peculiar children, and peculiar happenings, but it is also a daring and imaginative story that will captivate the reader and fully immerse you in the dreary, rainy world of Cairnholm.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is part character driven, part historical foray, and part paranormal mystery, but completely fascinating and beyond interesting. Ransom Riggs has tied two forms of art together to create quite the story. It is the perfect balance of creepy and coming of age; meaning, it may give you nightmares, but it will also make you smile. Any book that can do that cannot be bad.

Opening line: I had just come to accept that my life would be ordinary when extraordinary things began to happen. ~ pg. 8

Favorite lines/passages: When I was a kid, Grandpa Portman’s fantastic stories meant it was possible to live a magical life. Even after I stopped believing them, there was still something magical about my grandfather. To have endured all the horrors he did, to have seen the worst of humanity and have your life made unrecognizable by it, to come out of all that the honorable and good and brave person I knew him to be – that was magical. ~ pg. 88
Definitely a 4.5
*This review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it.

You're going to want to check out Ransom Riggs' blog because there's a really interesting video that has to do with the book. It's incredible!

Find Ransom Riggs online:
Buy it online:


thecheapreader said...

Sounds interesting. I'll have to put it on my to read list.

Tahleen said...

I have heard so many great things about this and it looks fantastic! Thanks for the review--I'll be sure to pick this up at some point.

Candace said...

Oh I'm even more excited to read this now! Awesome review! And thanks for video too :) I'll have to read it real soon!

Lily Child said...

I've been on the fence about reading this one. Your review definitely makes me want to give this a chance! :)

Let's Evaluate said...

new follower! [:

Great review, I've been thinking about picking this up so I love reading everyone's opinion.

new blogger, stop by if you get a chance:

Nikki (Wicked Awesome Books) said...

thecheapreader - It IS interesting! And weird, but in a very good way. You should definitely check it out.

Tahleen - If you plan on going to any signings in the area soon, let me know and I'll bring it for you to borrow!

Candace - READ IT CANDACE!! It's a very refreshing book because it's completely different from other books.

Lily Child - Fall off the fence to the side of readreadread! You won't regret it.

Let's Evaluate - Thanks for following! I hope you get a chance to read it and enjoy it as much as I did.

Bere said...

Fantastic review, Nikki. I've seen this one around a lot lately. I have to say that the cover is brilliant. I love everything about it. It's bit creepy and scary but in a totally awesome way. And the title is just fabulous too. I think I would definitely like to check this one out. :]

Lori said...

I loved this book so, so much! It will definitely be on my favorites list at the end of the year! I can't wait to devour more from Ransom.

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