Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
"To have endured all the horrors he did, to have seen the worst of humanity and have your life made unrecognizable by it, to come out of all that the honorable and good and brave person I knew him to be--that was magical."
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is probably best described by one word: peculiar. I mean that in the best sense of the word. Ransom Riggs' novel is stunning in its perfect melding of pictures and text into a creepy, memorable, oddly believable story.
Jacob's grandfather's death sparks an adventure that will forever change what he believes to be true. He's always heard stories from his grandfather about peculiar things...but when Jacob starts to research his grandfather's past, he begins to realize even the most unbelievable stories can turn out to be true. He also learns that what he believes is an ordinary life is anything but. As he begins to explore Miss Peregrine and her peculiar ward, he starts to question if he is made for something more.
I liked Ransom Riggs' interesting writing style. He has an eclectic mix of flowing and straightforward descriptions. The vocabulary, the analogies, and the dialogue worked seamlessly to truly create a new world. I loved how he also incorporated WWII into the book, making the book feel more believable. Riggs did a great job at suspending disbelief and really immersing the reader into a believable, logical, yet wonderfully peculiar place. Riggs also did a great job at building the imperfections of the seemingly perfect world created by Peregrine. I like the lack of perfection because it kept it interesting.
I also adored the incorporation of actual vintage photographs with the story. It is eerie how the pictures seem to have been made for the story. I found myself reading more than I planned because I wanted to get to the next picture every time I sat down with this book. It was innovative and something I've never seen in a book of this caliber.
I do think the first hundred pages of the book are a bit slow moving. It took me about a hundred pages to really get absorbed in the book. I understand there was some necessary background that needed to be told, but I wanted Jacob to meet the peculiar children earlier.
Riggs has a talent for storytelling that shines through in this novel. I definitely recommend this book because it opens your mind up to new possibilities while forcing you to explore the question: What does ordinary actually mean?
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