Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is a enthralling tale of youth and peculiarity. Jacob has grown up listening to the “fairy stories” told to him by his paternal Grandfather. Dismissing them in his teen years, he is confronted with them again on the day his grandfather is killed by one of the monsters from the stories. Psychoanalysis and a journey to a small island off the coast of Wales take Jacob to places he could barely even begin to imagine. With a memorable cast of characters created from a collection of old photographs. Ransom Riggs has created a world unto itself in many ways. Some of the photographs were disturbing, others intriguing, mostly it was just interesting to know that the character came from a real photograph. It added an element of almost morbid realism to a fantastical story.
There were sections of this book that made me sleep with the light on, there were sections where I wanted to put the book in the freezer, but mostly I just couldn’t leave this book alone.
Elements of the story will seem familiar to any fan of time travel fiction or The X-Men, but there is enough ingenuity in story line, and such interesting character development, to make the familiar feel part of this story instead of the other way around. I had decided a while back, to give up on young adult fiction, but I’m glad I made an exception for this book. Yet like much YA fiction these days, this book ends with the promise of a conclusion, but no conclusion, and I found that frustrating.
I grew up daydreaming about discovering my grandfather was a spy, finding out I was really a mermaid or wishing to be an American heiress, so I really identified with Jacob when he finds out that he is something more than he seems. This book is for everyone who has grown up wishing that there was something hidden in their past that would spring out and make them un-ordinary. It is also for those with monsters hiding underneath their beds.
Of course the movie rights have already been purchased by Fox, and so we can expect a film version at some point. I like to read the book first, so I’ll be in line for the movie when it comes out. Hopefully with Sean Biggerstaff as Jacob, before he gets too old for the role.
I received a copy of this book from Quirk Books for review purposes.