Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar ChildrenMiss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Series: Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children #1
Publisher: Quirk
Released: June 7, 2011
Pages: 352
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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.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is a peculiar book. It tries to be an impossible amount of things at the same time. It doesn’t succeed at being all of them, but it makes a very honourable attempt, and it’s not like anything else I’ve read.

I’d describe this book as a genre-defying fairy-tale for grownups. I mean that in the best way possible, but also as a bit of a warning. The reader will have to give themselves over entirely to the book and the world it creates. Disbelief has to be suspended, and one has to allow for the unlikely and fantastical, even by the standards of the “rules” set out by the book itself, to happen.
I wouldn’t really blame anyone for not being on board. The characters (with a few exceptions) don’t become much more than props which help drive the story forward, and several places the plot feels very forced.

Hoooowever…

If one manages to look past all of those things, this really is a wonderful book! I allowed myself to be pulled into it, and it repaid me with dividends. Reading it awoke in me a sense of childish wonder and adventure that I can’t remember having experienced in quite a while.

And that’s not because this book is childish, because while it often uses language and tropes one would associate with books for children, it treats its readers as adults. There are a lot of elements that make this story very grown-up, both in terms of subject-matter and plot. I really felt that the story managed to keep hold of the playfulness, sense of adventure, and the magic of a story written for the wide-open mind of a child, while seamlessly venturing into mature territory when the story requires it. The style really appealed to me, and I really liked the story.

I’d recommend this book to anyone who wants a modern-day, addictive, and really entertaining fairy-tale.

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