Author: Ransom Riggs
Published: June 7, 2011 by Quirk Books
Buy: Amazon $10.58, Book Depository $17.54
Source: ARC from Quirk Books
Rating: 4/5 campers saved from a hideous death
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.Writing Style: This book was pretty slow-paced. Usually, this grates on my nerves until I'm forced to light the book on fire, but the combination of a great plot and the promise of another super-awesome vintage photograph in a few pages kept me pushing right through. The main character was humurous, too, which is absolutely necessary for me to love a book.
All of the vintage photos that were in the book were real photos. The author collected them from a lot of professional collectors of old photographs. This was my favorite part of the book. I kept looking at the pictures and reminding myself that they were not edited with today's technology, but simply manipulated with clever illusions. Or perhaps they were... real photos!
Plot: Crazy, crazy, crazy! I can't actually tell you anything, because it would ruin the story, but it was fantastic. For some of it, I was like, "Yeah, saw that coming," but for most of the book they had me guessing. There will certainly be a sequel.
Characters: I wasn't very impressed with the characters. They were believable at times, but then they did something that made me think, "Why would they do that? I thought they would [insert some other action]!" The dialogue felt old-fashioned, but I suppose that would just be the dialect of the characters.
The main character didn't have a real definite personality. When faced with a decision, I really had no idea what he would do. Usually, I can guess that a person will either do the noble thing or wimp out based on their background information, but with Jake, I didn't know. Also, his best friend was a punk rock rebel with bright green hair and a devil-may-care attitude, and the entire time I was thinking, "Why would he be friends with this guy? They have nothing in common." He was pretty funny, though.
In Conclusion: This book was good, but not the best I've ever read. It doesn't seem like a book I'll just forget by next week, either. I would only recommend it to my friends that are willing to be patient to get through some slow parts. Loved, loved, loved the pictures! They really tied in with the story well.
As an extra, here is the super-cool German cover:
I love the green tint to everything, and the awesome lacy border makes me jealous of Germany.