This was a book I had started before YALLWEST but unfortunately did not get the chance to finish before the festival. It worked out okay also because I did not end up meeting this author. It also took me about a month to read this book, which for me is a long time to read a book. I kept getting distracted by responsibilities such as papers and exams to study for.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs is about a seventeen year old boy named Jacob who grew up listening to magical tales of his Grandfather’s time at an orphanage on an island off of England. When his Grandfather passes away Jacob goes a little crazy but his parents convince him that his Grandpa had just been telling him stories and that they weren’t true. Believing it will help him move on from his death, Jacob’s dad takes him to the island that his Grandfather grew up on. While there he realizes that maybe they weren’t just stories after all….dun dun DUN.
I really liked the incorporation of pictures in this book. Riggs had worked with a couple of people who collected vintage photos and had taken the ones he liked and managed to weave a story out of these pictures. It was amazing how he was able to look at one picture and decide how to work it into the story. The pictures were also included in the book so whenever a photograph is mentioned you get to see it on the next page. It was almost like reading the book with the author right there to tell you “And this is what inspired this character”. I also really liked the universe Riggs had created in his book. Whenever author’s create this new world within our existing one I am always impressed. The way he explained Peculiars and hollowgasts and how they meshed with our world was really cool.
This book had some wonky character development too. There were a couple points where a character would do something that felt a little strange but it wasn’t in huge aspects that made me not like the characters such as some other books have. The book was really slow moving. It took about 130 pages for the plot to really pick up and catch my attention. This was one of the reasons I think it took me so long to read (that and again those pesky essays and exams). Once it picked up it got better though. However, it still felt like it was more of a set up book. There was a lot of backstory explanations in this book that felt more like you were being prepared for the next two books rather than being a solid book in a series.
Overall though this book did catch my interest enough that I look forward to reading the next two books. I would recommend it. It is also being adapted into a film directed by Tim Burton, which I look forward to see how well he pulls it off.