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Tuesday, 26 June 2012

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

Published June 7 2011 by Quirk Books

Goodreads Description
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.

I've always been intrigued by the cover of this book. It just wasn't something that I saw everyday and it wasn't until that I actually picked it up to read it did I discover that the girl was actually floating in the picture. I had originally thought that it was just some sort of shadow behind her. Anyways, I read the summary inside the book jacket and was immediately taken in by the mysterious wording that promised a good suspense read and it was.

Originally, when I read the brief description mentioning "family tragedy" and "journeying to a remote island", somehow I pictured Jacob Portman being stranded there by a mechanical failure of a sort, but it wasn't like that. Instead, the book started off with Jacob listening to his grandpa tell incredibly unbelievable stories that left him hanging for each word. Some of them spoke of an invisible boy, whose clothes that he wore were the only aspect of him that were visible. Others included a boy who had bees living in his stomach and whenever he opened his mouth, they would fly out. Naturally, they were just stories, right? With his grandpa's age, it was even harder to believe those old stories. But when an unexpected event occurs, Jacob starts to question whether or not they were some form of truth.

By piecing together small hints that his grandpa gave, Jacob eventually ends up on the island in his grandpa's stories. And there, he discovers the ruins of the old children's home, where his grandpa had once stayed. At first glance, it seemed impossible that anyone could live there. And when Jacob asked around, it turned out that that very spot had been the location of a bomb during World War II and all its residents had perished. And yet, there was something about that home that called to Jacob, which leads him to meet the peculiar children, who had somehow escaped the disastrous event and were still living, nearly 70 years later... at the age that they were during that day.

The writing had me hooked right away. Everything was so suspenseful that I had to know more. What added to the book were the photographs that were a little terrifying, yet intriguing. They showed some of the peculiar children, who had very interesting talents, such as the ability to float, the talent of manipulating fire and various other skills. The way the photographs were taken were striking too. There was an air of mystery in them that made me anticipate what the next photograph would be like.

As awesome as the writing was, I did find some of the plot to be rather confusing and I was unable to keep up with what was going on exactly. For the characters, there wasn't a particular character that I felt attached to, since there wasn't a lot of detail for each of them, other than their peculiar abilities. And because of that, I bumped it down a few notches. Nevertheless, it was an interesting read and the photographs were definitely worth looking at.

Source: Borrowed
Rating: 4 coffee cups (Enjoyed it immensely)

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