Feb 19, 2012

Review: Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children

This is a young adult novel that just screams future Tim Burton movie and I have a vague idea who Johnny Depp would play and I support it.  I was actually joking about that, but I looked it up and it turns out it may be true.

Here's what goes on in this book.  See if you can spot the Tim Burton appeal:

Jacob's grandfather appeared to have a wild imagination.  When Jacob was younger, he told him stories of how he grew up on an island in an orphanage full of people with special abilities - levitation, strength, invisibility - complete with pictures of these feats.  Once Jacob grew up, these stories weren't enough to fascinate him anymore and his grandfather stopped.  But when Jacob finds his grandfather bleeding to death after being attacked by a monster, he realizes that these stories may be more true than they seemed.  He must trace his grandfather's past to figure out why he was murdered and finally understand the truth.  Jacob goes to the island and locates the now abandoned orphanage, finding clues that lead him to believe the orphans were dangerous and kept there for a reason.  During one of his explorations, Jacob enters a time loop and ends up in 1940 with these "peculiar" children his grandfather once knew, learning the horrible truths his grandfather carried with him until his murder.  Jacob is left to work with these potentially dangerous peculiars and finish his grandfather's lifelong work.  

It's odd, mysterious, and chock full of real photographs.  Ransom Riggs located authentic photographs from collectors and used them to create and enhance the story.  Some of them look incredibly familiar, some don't, but they are all amazing and bring a completely different element to what would be a great story without the images.   

My only problem with the novel was that there's no complete resolution to the story, but that's more of a personal reading preference.   Plus, it leaves the possibility open for a sequel...

So to recap: this book is well-written, very mysterious and creepy, if you like Tim Burton movies, you should read it, and if you don't like Tim Burton movies, you should read it before he makes the movie and then you can make snide remarks about how the book is better. 

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