Note: This time of year is always very busy for me. Last year, I hadn't really started blogging yet, so I was able to keep myself above the craziness. This year, I am. My blog is slightly inactive due to the holiday craze. Hopefully will return to the regular posting after the new year. :)


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

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

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Amazon Link
Goodreads Link

Page Count: 352 Pages
Overall Rating: 4 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.

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children was...well, peculiar. Quirky.

I know this is superficial, but I'd like to touch on it just briefly. This novel is possibly the most well-designed book I've ever seen. Not just the cover - which, isn't my all time favorite, but I still adore. - but further than that, on the inside. I knew about the pictures already, but the letters and the other things, looked like actual scans of real letters. The handwriting never looked like a font to me.

The pictures did add a very interesting touch to it, giving it something unique without distracting from the story too much. I did find, however, that I was slightly reluctant to read it in public. The pictures are weird and will only make sense if you've read the book, so explaining it to a stranger who's sitting near you isn't particularly fun.

The story moved a bit slowly for me at first, but it picked up after a bit. I was kind of bored with it for a bit, but not enough to put it down. Mainly, I was just really eager to get to the exciting part, and that took a little longer than I would've liked.

This book switches styles in a strange sort of way. Sometimes it bothered me, sometimes it didn't. It was sometimes very straightforward and other times it was flourished with prose. Towards the ends, I'd discovered little gems that I had to bookmark, which is something I rarely do.

I don't know what it was about this one. I just can't put my finger on it. I really liked the book, but, at the same time, there was something missing for me and I don't know what that is. Because, the entire time I was reading it, I liked what I was reading, but there was always a vague sort of confusion in my mind, something that was gone and should've been there.

And maybe that constant state of confusion wasn't really confusion at all. Maybe that was my brain trying to figure out the splendid weirdness of this book. It was weird and it was supposed to be weird. And, I have to admit, I kind of love it for that. I admire the author for being brave enough to write a weird book, with weird characters and weird places and a weird story. It was a good thing, reading this book. I truly think it's made me change just a little in what I thought was weird before.

I saw this book by chance. I passed it while walking through the store. I'm fairly sure I hadn't read a single review for it, hadn't heard many people talking about it, but I wanted it enough that I ran to the isle (No, seriously. You people know I'm a strange little thing, myself. I run in the middle of stores, despite that people totally know me are there and can see me making a fool of myself.) and picked up my copy. I wanted that book enough that I had my dad loan me the 16 dollars to buy it, for about 25 minutes, until we got home and I had access to my own money.

I just don't even know. A lot of people would say the weirdness was too much for them, but I think it worked. I think it worked wonders for this one. The core of the book is strange and I really like that about it.

You've got to admit, the book will draw attention. I have several of my friends asking to borrow my copy, which, sadly, I don't think I will do, for fear that they'll move all of my placeholders and I'll lose my favorite little paragraphs forever. But you can bet that I'm going to look for it anytime I'm in a bookstore with any of them and I'm going to make them buy a copy. I will.

The end was different from most books I've read. It was slightly solemn, heavy and sad and all its own, but it was a hopeful ending, too. I feel like it leaves a lot open to the reader and could probably have a sequel, though I'm not sure if it will or not. I'll have to google and find out. And, while in some places I didn't like this ending, it felt right. It was right.

This book still has me thinking. I've not stopped wondering about it since I've finished it a while ago. I keep wondering about Jacob and Emma and all of the peculiar children. I keep wondering about Miss Peregrine and her home for children. I keep wondering about what will happen to all of them, if they'll make it out okay.

Most of all, I keep wondering how people would react if they found themselves in Jacob's place. I keep wondering about what they'd do.

And maybe that was the point of it all the while. To make people wonder.

Songs I listened to while reading:

1 comment:

Kare said...

I sooooo loved this book! I think the confusion fit the book because most of the time Jacob was confused. I had heard about it from a blogger before and knew I HAD to have it. Your review basically describes it perfectly!

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