Title: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
Author: Ransom Riggs
Release Date: June 7, 2011
Publisher: Quirk Books
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Jacob has listened to his grandfather’s mysterious and fanciful tales about his childhood all his life, but he always assumed they were exaggerations. That is, until one day, when sixteen-year-old Jacob finds his grandfather dying after some sort of vicious attack and sees the monster that murdered him, something right out of his grandfather’s stories. Desperate to understand what has happened, Jacob travels to a small island off the coast of Wales in order to find the truth about his grandfather’s past.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is one of the most unique books I’ve read in recent memory. Not only is the story singular, but the layout of the book is very appealing. The novel is centered around old black and white photographs that Ransom Riggs actually found in people’s collections. People used tricks in order to create optical illusions within photographs – a levitating girl, a double reflection in a lake – and it seems that Riggs used these in order to craft this novel, asking, “What if these weren’t optical illusions at all? What would the stories behind them be?”
Jacob is an appealing young narrator. His sense of guilt permeates the novel; he wonders what might have happened if he hadn’t doubted those old stories, if his grandfather might still be alive. His openness to the strange things he finds on the Welsh island is welcome and refreshing. He feels connected to that place, like he has somewhere to belong, something he hasn’t found in the everyday world. Riggs wrote a wonderful main character for this book, someone readers will really be able to connect with regardless of age or gender.
The story of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is really magical. It seems like it would be a super creepy book from the cover, but it’s not really. Of course it has spooky and frightening elements, but it’s more of a fantastical novel with some dark twists. I absolutely fell in love with the world that Riggs created, and it makes me so glad that he is writing a sequel to this novel.
I will say that Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is a novel that needs to be read in print; readers need to be able to easily flip from description to photograph, to be able to really study the pictures on all the glorious detail. What’s more, Quirk Books has done an amazing job making this book absolutely beautiful to behold. While an ebook might work fine for the story, it will take away from really experiencing the book.