Author: Ransom Riggs
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, Drama, Historical Fiction
Publisher: Quirk Books
Rating: 5/5 Stars
"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."
Oh my goodness, how I loved this book! The first thing that drew me to it was, of course, the creepy floating girl on the cover. And she isn't the only beautiful and haunting portrait in the book. In fact, there are quite a few. The story revolves around vintages photographs of children with special talents (all of the photos are real antique prints and most have not been altered). They are so creepy and beautiful, I just couldn't get enough. This alone probably would have been enough for me to love the book but, to top it off, it also happened to be a great story!
It revolves around a teenage boy named Jacob and his relationship with his aging grandfather. All of Jacob's life his grandfather has talked about these children and the incredible photos of their talents. As a young boy, Jacob is enthralled by his grandfather's stories, but as he grows older they grow apart and Jacob stops believing that the children were really as special as they seemed. In an attempt to learn the truth about his grandfather's childhood and the children's home where he lived during the early part of World War II, Jacob travels to a small Island near Wales where he must try to find the children and the monster that haunted them.
The story was so complex and rich that I found myself completely wrapped up in it for days, even after I had finished. Jacob is such a wonderful character. In many ways he is a painfully normal teenage boy. He is bored, insecure and somewhat lazy, but he is basically a good kid who just needs some direction in his life. Watching Jacob's personality develop throughout the course of the book was really something. By the end of the book he is a brave, confident young man with purpose and drive.
Another great thing about this novel is the creep factor. It isn't a horror novel really, but it is so unnerving at times that I definitely had trouble getting to sleep some nights. First of all you have the pile of spooky photos, which I've already talked about. Then, of course the setting is this tiny, rainy island off the coast of Wales and, in particular, a huge decaying mansion that seems to have just been abandoned one day. Finally there is the monster, this horrible unseen force that is chasing Jacob and is possibly responsible for the deaths of dozens of children. One word that I could use to describe the whole thing is: haunting. The creep factor can be seen in the book trailer as well. (I wouldn't watch before bed if I were you!)
The ending is satisfying but there is room for a sequel (yeah!). This book was just amazing. The pictures add so much to the story and make it really easy to visualize the whole thing. There is already talk of a movie and according to Rigg's blog Tim Burton has signed on as director! I'm so happy that I was able to read this one and I can't wait to see it on the big screen!