Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Book Review: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

When trying to pick what I want to read next, I often look at what my recommendations are on Amazon.com.  Based on what you've enjoyed in the past, the site recommends books that you may be interested in.  My latest recommendation was Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs.  I really had no idea what it was going to be about, but I was intrigued by both the title and the cover art so I requested it at our library.

Jacob is a rich teenager working at a drugstore that's part of a chain owned by his mother's family.  He's living his life bored and trying to no avail to get fired from his job.  His eccentric grandfather has told him stories over the years of his time during World War II when he lived in an orphanage full of peculiar children --- an invisible boy, a girl who can conjure fire in her hands, an extraordinarily strong brother and sister, and a girl who can fly live among them.  Jacob always assumed they were fairy tales or stories his grandfather made up to shield himself from the pain of the war until the day his grandfather calls him panicked at work because he can't find the key to his gun cabinet.  Jacob rushes to house to find his grandfather dying in woods---the victim of a three tongued monster.

Plagued with nightmares and with no one believing his story, Jacob (with the help of his psychiatrist) convinces his parents to allow him to travel with his father to Wales to the location of the children's home.  There Jacob finds that all stories his grandfather told him are true and more.  What I found particularly interesting about this book were the vintage photographs interspersed throughout the book to help in telling the story.  The author is friends with quite a few photography collectors and the inclusion of the photos added to the unique character of the book and helped move the plot along.

Overall, I enjoyed the book.  It was clearly written for the young adult audience and I often felt that in its tone.  A few times I was reminded of the recently cancelled TV show Heroes because many of the peculiars had talents like the characters that appeared on that show.  The girl who makes fire with her hands reminded me of the cheerleader's mother on that show.  It made me wonder if the author was a bit influenced by them.  The book was left open ended, thus leaving potential for a sequel.

I find the latest trend of having a book trailer --- kind of like a movie trailer --- fascinating.  While reading the book, I thought it could potentially be made into a hit holiday movie.  Here's the teaser:
What do you think?  Could this be made into a movie in the future?

1 comment:

chereemoore said...

Thanks for this review - I just saw this book at Barnes & Noble and was debating adding it to my list.