Reading Level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Quirk Books (June 7, 2011)
Source: Finished copy provided by the publisher
Cover: I thought the girl on the photo was a bit creepy in her dress and the expression on her face. Yeah, she was off. It took me weeks to realize why... she's floating. That put an entirely new creep factor on the cover. The background is creepy, the girl is creepy and I love the font for "Peculiar Children". This is an amazingly effective cover. I love it!
First Sentence: "I had just come to accept that my life would be ordinary when extraordinary things began to happen."
Mini-Review: An expert blend of magic and realism, Miss Peregrine is an unforgettable debut, so creepy you can't turn away and so good, you won't want to!
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.Book Review:
I don't know enough languages to impress upon you how much I loved this novel. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is an unforgettable blend of fiction and fact, fantasy and photo, that will delight the reader from beginning to end. Combining larger than life characters, an exciting plot, the past and the present and an exotic location, Miss Peregrine's is a masterpiece.
Jacob grew up being spoon fed stories of odd children by his grandfather who insisted that they were real. As Jacob grew up, he started to separate fact from fiction and realized his grandfather had lived a difficult life and his stories were his only way of coping. Until he sees one of the monsters with his own eyes and makes everything real. Jacob spends most of his time denying what he saw, trying to be the young adult people expect him to be but still searching for the truth. As a narrator he was equal parts realistic and fantastical and because of this quality, it made for an exciting read. He didn't let things happen to him, he worked to be a part of them.
As he visits the home his grandfather left, he is both haunted by what it might have been and elated that what he thinks he witnessed couldn't be real. Then, he finds it is. All of it. The children and Miss P herself make for an interesting cast. They each have a distinct personality and fill out the book. Emma is a fireball, much like her abilities and her situation is so sympathetic. I felt that she drove the story. Plus, the abilities the children had were all unique. It wasn't just super sped but odd ball things like hovering and turning into a bird. I found it really fun trying to guess what each child would do as they were introduced.
The tiny secluded island was a perfect setting for this novel that was equal parts horror and adventure. Raining and gloomy half the time and with one foot back in the past anyway, it really reflected the mood of the story. As Jacob describes the dilapidated house the first time, you can literally feel the horror that took place in it. It works perfectly to seal the image in the reader's mind so even when we do get to the house that Grandpa always described, it is marred by what has come. It gives it this creepy vibe even though it's still in perfect working order, like knowing the date of someone's death before it happens.
What impressed me the most was the blend of fiction and photo. I savored the author's description of the photo before I saw it, to understand what it means to Jacob first so I can see it with his eyes. The author weaves a fantastic story with these eerie and fantastical photographs that breathes on the page and stares back at you in the form of human eyes. It enhanced the experience, made it feel real the way it felt real to Jacob when he was younger.
My only compliant about this novel, and it's minor, is that it felt a little overly formal at times. For me, it felt more like an adult looking back on his teen years at times than an actually teen because of the formality of the writing. It also made the pacing drag just a little. However, it didn't really detract from the novel.
I'm so in love with this story. Each character felt real with the compliment of the photograph and it's like finding out all those stories you loved when you were little are true. Jacob is an easy protagonist to root for and the antagonist are so terrifying they make you want to read with all the lights in the house on. With an exotic setting and time-bending thrown into the mix, it's creates an addictive read that's hard to put down and impossible to forget. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is a must read and an incredible debut by an author to look out for. It earned every single inch of it's five bunnies.
Don't trust my love? Well, this novel was already purchased by 20th Century Fox before it was even out! I will be biting my fingers waiting!