Monday, June 17, 2013

Book Rant: Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children

A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. And a strange collection of very curious photographs. It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience.

As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children who once lived here - one of whom was his own grandfather - were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a desolate island for good reason.

And somehow - impossible though it seems - they may still be alive.

I know I'm a kajillion months late on the bandwagon, but. This is good, guys. Real good. I read the whole thing yesterday. This continues, I think, a trend of general excellence in the creepy, horror that I've read. First with Long Lankin and then The Name of the Star (we don't speak of its sequel).

First, this book is gorgeous. Visually, I mean. Just look at it! The cover is incredible, and I love the idea of making a story out of the photos. Yes, there are photos that accompany the story, and yes, they're all real. They're super creepy and delightful and add so much texture to the plot. The book would be missing a real spark without them.

Second, this book is astonishingly well written. It's like the difference between good beer and cheap, I'm-a-poor-college-student beer. It glides down smooth, and you never feel like the writing is getting in the way. Very beautiful writing. And it's a debut novel. So impressive.

Third, this book reminds me, in all the best ways, of Coraline by Neil Gaiman. Same eerie feel, a little bit older, perhaps. Absurdly interesting the entire time. Neither book wastes page space. If you like weird, fantastical, creepy, then both of these books would be good for you. This one might sit better, because it's got more heft and feels more substantial (plot-wise). One of the best parts of the book is figuring out what is going on; Ransom Riggs (also, what a baller name) does an amazing job at dropping clues that all tie together at the end, but that you almost certainly won't figure out before the climax happens. It's pretty awesome. You feel like this book is at your intelligence. It is neither too smart for you nor too stupid. I highly recommend it.

Also, as a random sidenote, apparently Ransom Riggs is friends with John Green and both went to Kenyon College. Kenyon College is doing great on its authorial alums front, damn.


  1. I've heard such good things about this book, and it's remained on the teen bestsellers the entire three years I've been working for Killer B. Thanks for the reminder that I really should pick this one up!

    1. Definitely do! You'll finish it fast. It's so good.