“Miss Peregrine’s” by Ransom Riggs has been on my “to read” list for a while, but I kept putting it off – until I saw the commercial for the movie that Tim Burton is directing. I grabbed this 350 page Young Adult Fantasy and enjoyed the quick, easy read.
The story centers around 16 year-old Jacob who witnesses his beloved grandfather’s murder – by a monster that everyone else believes is make-believe. Jacob follows clues to help him explain what happened to his grandfather, and that takes him to an abandoned orphanage on an island. The children on this island have peculiar traits; some create fire, some float, some have mouths on the back of their heads. These characters and the concept of the island itself are so well fleshed-out that it becomes totally plausible in your mind. Like in “Harry Potter,” the author has a deep understanding of the world he has created.
The photos in the book are authentic vintage photographs, rescued by collectors. Some are eerie and disturbing, others are simply representations of early darkroom manipulation. You can tell that Mr. Riggs was inspired by the photos when writing the book, but in my opinion this book still has all the right components – love, action, fantasy, meaningful values, and none if it feels forced or contrived. It is no surprise to me it was on the New York Times Best Seller list for 63 weeks (and the number one spot for a month.) There are two other books in this series: “Hollow City” released on Jan 2014 and “The Library of Souls”, released on September 2015.
“Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children,” the movie, comes out in September 2016, in plenty of time to read the book, and if you like, read the sequels.
Favorite Quote: “We cling to our fairy tales until the price for believing them becomes too high.”