Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
(from the book jacket)
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 Miss Peregrine’s children were more than just peculiar. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow – impossible though it seems – they may still be alive.
This book starts out like it is going to be a sort of coming of age tale. And in some ways it remains one. But it also spins off and becomes much more. It has little pieces of adventure, romance, mystery, fantasy, and even a little historical fiction. So I’m unsure how to characterize this book. Time travel would be science fiction, but it isn’t really, monsters would be fantasy, but I wouldn’t call it that either. There isn’t one genre I could put on it but the mix works well. The characters are fun and interesting. There is one that seems slightly out of place to me. It wasn’t anything glaring or obtrusive to the story but he was unnecessary in a way the others were not. I like how the photos are woven in and become an integral part of the story. The photos by themselves are interesting too and it’s cool that they were not made for the book but are actual antique photographs. They make for a visual appealing book as well as a good story. There is action and danger but there is also good character development and personal growth in the main character and it makes for a nice pace throughout the book. There are a lot of interesting ideas in what makes the kids ‘peculiar’ and where the bad guys have come from that make it differ even more from other books that I’ve read than the photos already had. So even though there are some elements that have been done in many stories before it isn’t old. It is an entertaining story but if you are like me and are tired of all the young adult books coming in trilogies or series and are dying for a book that actually ends on the last page you might want to give this one a pass. The end definitely bodes of more to come.