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Friday, 6 September 2013

Book Talk: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Before I'd even finished this book, I was already thinking, "Wow, I can't wait to tell the blog readers about this one!" But then I went to America, and then I read Send and had to blog about that one, so this post is coming later than I would like. But c'est la vie. Also, this is the my first post from my new laptop, so pleas forgive any typos -- the keys are bigger and hard to get used to.

"A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of very peculiar photographs."

Following the tragic death of his grandfather, sixteen-year-old Jacob Portman just can't get the old man's last words out of his head. Giberish, perhaps, but they have to mean something. They must. And though torment him these words may, he must find that meaning out.

So begins his journey to Cairnholm island, off the coast of Wales. At first glance, Cairnholm seems to house nothing more than drunkards, bad rappers, diesel generators, and a couple-hundred-too-many sheep. However, hidden at the far end of the island, through the bog, deep in the shadows, is Jacob's destination: the crumbling remains of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children -- the source of his grandfather's collection of very odd photographs. Seemingly abandoned, the house looks like the victim of an air raid, yet unless Jacob really is as crazy as his family believe, unless he imagined the knife-wielding girl and he invisible boy, there are still people living on the premises. Children. Peculiar children.

Who were these children? Why were they quarantined on this island? And how, despite all logic, can they still be alive?

This is a very, very rare book. It is a book with thrilling plot, interesting characters, and a VERY COOL setting, which, on top of all that, is written absolutely beautifully without needlessly flowery descriptions or unnecessary blah blah blah. And don't even get me started on the AWESOME vintage photography. It gives you chills.  This is book you must buy a physical copy of -- E-BOOK WILL NOT SUFFICE. I love my Kindle, don't get me wrong, but you really need the atmosphere that comes from turning the pages here. This is a book with HUGE cross-over appeal. I can't think of a single person who would not love this story. It is an international best-seller, and it's pretty darn obvious why. Go get yourself a copy of Miss Peregrine now, because if you don't you are missing out on something amazing, haunting, thrilling, and altogether perfect. I could find no fault with Ransom Riggs in any way. (He had the decency not to kill off my favourite character, even! I love his dude!)

And the twists...I never saw it coming. Usually, I can tell when there's going to be a twist even if I can't tell what hat twist is going to be, but this! It hit me like an invisible freight train travelling at the speed of light. The betrayal! And Ransom Riggs is awesome at doing that thing, you know, where authors sprinkle in seemingly irrelevant details seamlessly, and then those details turn out to be extremely relevant. I just love that.

In this book.

Star Rating: 5/5

I would also just like to add that the promise of the sequel, Hollow City, is the only thing that will prevent me from curling up and bursting into tears in January. GCSE mocks, but then a wonderful book to read when it's all over and I can feel my brain again. Ransom Riggs, you are keeping me sane.

Until next time, wonderful readers!