This book has been a “to-read” for quite some time, ever since I first saw it at the book store. Unfortunately, I forgot about it for a while. With the film coming to the big screen soon, I knew it was time to dig in.
That along with the fact that I received it as a “just because” gift from my fiance. Always a nice surprise.
I hope I can share my thoughts without divulging too much of the story. No spoilers here, I hope.
Jacob is a young man that adores his grandfather, Abe, despite the fact that age seems to be getting the best of him. Abe tells Jacob stories of the orphanage he lived in growing up and the children he lived with. But these children weren’t ordinary orphans, but rather peculiar. Jacob dismisses what he’s told until the untimely death of grandfather at the hand of a strange creature in the woods. After months of counseling, Jacob and his father venture to the island where Abe’s orphanage was located. What ensues is far beyond Jacob’s expectations as he learns that not only were his grandfather’s stories right, but there is far more to the tales than what he was told.
The chapters are long with only 11 total, but broken up with pictures to add to the descriptions of the characters. I usually don’t read books that have pictures, but this added to the image I was creating for each character in my mind instead of distracting from the story. Ransom Riggs artfully crafted a vivid description without pictures but placing copies of the antique images found only added to the almost realistic quality of the story. I also found myself staring at the pictures and wondering the origin and true story behind them.
I dreamed about peculiar children and the home Miss Peregrine provided them. I traveled to their island and was transported to 1940 along with Jacob. Jacob, mature beyond his years, became my neighbor and friend. A character, along with Emma, that I rooted for and wanted to see succeed.
I wanted to know more about these peculiar children. Who they were, where they were from, how long they had been under Miss Peregrine’s care.
I was so hooked on this book that 2 nights in a row I had trouble putting it down and continued to convince myself to read “1 more chapter.” That “1 more chapter” of course became 2 or 3 more.
The story was unlike one I have read before, and I mean that in a good way. Yes, there were similarities between it and Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters, but Miss Peregrine’s home was more of a refuge than a school. It was new and I love new. Miss Peregrine, while teaching the children, was a surrogate mother for many of them. Add in the “time-traveling” concept and this is a different overall concept than Marvel’s.
The story flowed from scene to scene and left me on the edge of my seat waiting to see what would happen to Jacob and his peculiar friends. Before I knew it… it was over. The book was finished. There was no more!
I can’t wait to dig into the next 2 of the series solely based on how this one read and, to be honest, had it not been 1am when I finished this one, I would have dug in immediately.
But now I have dug in and, so far, I am not disappointed.