Monday, March 3, 2014

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

Riggs, Ransom. (2011). Miss Peregrine's home for peculiar children.  Quirk Publishing.

Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal

I gave this book 4.5 out of 5 Stars.

Imaginative, fantastic, inventive! I really liked this book and pretty much read it straight through in one sitting. What seemed to be a turn-off for some(that the cover was creepy but the story wasn't quite creepy enough) was fine with me. The creepiness was not found in the peculiar children (though the child who can reanimate the dead is CREEPY) so much as in the creatures hunting the peculiar children -- but make no mistake, there was a creepy element. 

And as for the pictures: I loved them! They harkened back to carnival side shows of old and the fascination with the freakish, and in later years, of being drawn to something that had been defined as politically incorrect and inappropriate, but - like the proverbial train wreck - you can't stop looking. Whew!

I found myself quite impressed with how Riggs found these pictures and then incorporated them into the story. True, some pictures were simply mentions, but not one seemed like it didn't belong. He weaves a great story, with plenty of plot twists and turns, and richly described characters. Some of the characters seemed familiar (hello Charles Wallace from A WRINKLE IN TIME?), but overall, this book was unique and entertaining, and as soon as I finished it, I ordered the sequel.

The book is appropriate and entertaining for anyone over the age of twelve (adults included), I'd think, though younger readers may find the monsters and their attacks a little too intense.  There is some fairly bloody violence and disturbing situations, war, and death. Adults drink alcohol readily, and heavily. Also, there is reference to adultery, a budding romance and some kissing, but the language is clean.

Why not a 5? Can't go into that without revealing spoilers, but let's say that I found our main character's relationship with his parents and decisions and situations in relation to them a bit unrealistic.

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