Monday, 30 July 2012

Book Review: 'Miss Peregine's Home for Peculiar Children'

A mysterious island. . . . An abandoned orphanage. . . .A strange collection of peculiar vintage photographs.

‘Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children’ is the debut novel by Ransom Riggs which tells the story of  how a horrific family tragedy and thin trail of clues sets sixteen year old Jacob off to a remote island in Wales, where he is lead to an abandoned orphanage.

Jacob has grown up listening to his granddad’s captivating stories about the island he lived on during the Second World War, which included monsters and strange children with powers. When his grandfather unexpectedly dies, Jacob finds himself taking solace in these stories and decides to try and find the truth within his granddad’s stories

He finds the abandoned and crumpled down Orphanage sure enough, and while he explores what is left in the ruins, it slowly becomes clean that maybe Miss Peregrine's children were more than just peculiar . . . . Maybe they may have been dangerous . . . . Maybe they were quarantined on a remote island for a good reason . . . And somehow 70 years on, they may still be alive.
Now I’m just going to pause here (as I don’t want to give away too much of this story) and explain what made me pick up a children’s/young adult book to read. . . .honestly, it was the pictures.
Riggs is a collector of vintage photographs and injects these photographs into the novel as a narrative guide that paints a realistic element to the story. While this does make this novel very original in this way, I couldn’t help running parallels with Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children’ with the X-men (big house, kids with superpowers cordoned off from the general population) . I thought it started off great but started slowed down rapidly towards the end that I started skimming over the pages just to get to the end.
It's pretty hard to show any originality in books these days, but I was pleasantly surprised by how different (and similar to the X-men) this book was. I actually quite like this book and gave it to my sister to read but given that she started reading this book late at night, she claimed she couldn’t finish reading the book as the photos creeped her out. *shrugs* I guess not everyone appreciates the same things.