I have wanted to read Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs since the book trailer was released last year. I watched the trailer and read the synopsis probably six months ago but resisted buying it several times due to an overly large TBR pile.
Then, I was given the book for Christmas by someone who didn’t even know I wanted to read it. I was thrilled and proceeded to consume the book in two days.
A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. And 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 who once lived here—one of whom was his own grandfather—were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a desolate 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.
From the publisher, Quirk Books
The day I started reading Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, I stayed up till 6 am reading and could not keep my eyes open any longer. If that isn’t enough of an endorsement, I don’t know what is. The typography and design was enchanting, the photography was beautiful and haunting (and authentic), and the story was utterly absorbing.
As the author explained to HuffPo, “because the photos are anonymous, long divorced from whatever context might have explained them, I don’t know what’s up with them any more than my readers do. All I know is that they creep me out. Each photo is an unsettling little mystery — and I like them that way.”
I don’t know what it is about the book—possibly the same appeal that historical fiction has, the fact that it’s based on something real. All the photos within the book of peculiar people are real photographs that have not been Photoshopped in any way. Sometimes the narrative does seem strained to fit the photographs, or that the images are too pivotal to the text.
The ending was particularly good and I actually hope they don’t have a sequel. I remember loving these eerie books from fantasy lands as a child and when the ending was open it left room for my imagination to grow and create stories. While I would love to find out what happens next, I would prefer the author not have to live up to the expectations that a sequel invariably creates.
However, a glance at Ransom Riggs’ blog shows that he is currently writing book two. It also reveals that Tim Burton is directing a film adaptation of the book… Perhaps Jacob will seem less flat in the movie version. While I really enjoyed the premise, sometimes the execution of the story left something to be desired.
- Read the prologue and the first three chapters (on the publisher’s website)
- Check out Ransom Riggs’ book of found photographs, Talking Pictures