Name of Book: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
By: Ransom Briggs
Publisher: Quirk Books
Copyright Date: 2011
Number of Pages: 352
Format: YA fiction
Reason for Reading: all the reviews in the blogosphere initially piqued my interest (and I wrote it down), then Izzy read it, which made me want to read it even more, so I suggested it to my book club, where it became a book club read for January. Knocking out recs, required reading, and the TBR list all in one. Yay!
Source: purchased from Amazon
Jacob grew up hearing his grandfather’s fantastical stories about monsters; about a beautiful mansion in Wales that housed children with the strangest abilities; stories that were accompanied with the most peculiar photographs. However, he thought they were just that—stories. Until his grandfather’s cryptic last words sent him to Wales to seek out the truth behind the tall tales.
I thought the story was delicious. I read several reviews over the summer and they all served to whet my reading appetite. They were also fantastic at not revealing any telling details so I began this book blind. I had no expectations other than that I should really like it.
I was not disappointed.
Things I liked:
-I was immediately drawn in by the lyrical prose. I loved the way Briggs weaved words together. His descriptions were sparsely poetic.
-The pictures!! I know some people are not necessarily a fan of the photos included in the story, but I loved them. I am visual and I love little unexpected, different elements in a story. They were absolutely weird and quirky. The fact that they were real and (mostly unaltered) appealed to me further.
-The supernatural elements. I was able to figure out certain elements of the story before they were revealed. One element in particular really excited me. (I shall not say which one, as to not give away details.)
-The ending. I know there are people who really disliked it, so perhaps I was already prepared for a jarring, dissatisfying end. Mostly, these feelings were attributed to the lack of knowledge of whether there would be a sequel. I didn’t know beforehand that there is one planned. And I still liked the ending. It felt right. Yes, there are more adventures to be had; however, the point of this particular story is the one that was told. I was perfectly happy to leave the rest of it up to my imagination. (But of course I am now looking forward to reading the next installment.)
Things I didn’t like so much:
-I thought the relationship Jacob developed with one of the main characters was slightly uncomfortable. I definitely saw it coming, but I was kinda hoping the author wouldn’t go that way. However, by the end, it sort of grew on my and didn’t ick me out as much.
Overall, I really loved this book. It fully met my expectations given all the hype over the summer.
I was really looking forward to book club since I knew that not everyone would love it, which always makes for an interesting discussion. I was not disappointed in my expectations. The verdicts were varied: There were a few people who loved it, most thought it was good, and there were a couple who absolutely hated it.
The discussion was lively and opinionated. S. said it just seemed like he took a bunch of photographs and wrote a story around it, which is exactly what he did. It was too contrived of an element for her. She also detests supernatural stories and any whiff of science fiction. M. who really liked it, liked it a bit less as it reminded her of other YA series she had read. The other S. said the story and writing reminded her of Steven King, whom she loves. Also, a few of the ladies really hated the ending, although once I mentioned there was a sequel, they suddenly felt better about it.
-The movie rights have been sold and a tentative release date of 2013 has been scheduled. There are rumors that Tim Burton may come on board as the director.
-There is a sequel planned. The author has already culled a collection of photos for book two.
-The author will be coming out with a book this year titled Talking Pictures, a tome solely of found photographs.
A unique and different take on supernatural YA fiction.