Monday, January 2, 2012

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children


Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs

It's hard to resist the creepy vintage photographs in this novel. I assumed at first that the photos were modern products of Photoshop, but they are old, and were found by people who like to look through piles of unknown old photographs. Riggs borrowed the pictures and built a story around them, which I think is really neat.

Jacob is an utterly ordinary teenager in an ordinary suburb, but when his grandfather dies mysteriously, he starts to have problems. Grandpa used to tell him stories about his amazing friends on a magic island, and how he fought monsters--was he lying to a little kid, or could he have been telling the truth? Jacob ends up looking for the real story on a tiny Welsh island, and gets more than he expected.

The writing was good, the story is engaging and creepy, and there's something original about the whole thing that is more satisfying than I would have expected from a well-used storyline. Riggs could easily set this up for a trilogy, but I got the feeling that he didn't intend to do that--though I wouldn't be too surprised to see it happen, given the book's enormous popularity. It's already being made into a movie.

5 comments:

herdingcats said...

I really liked the book too. I did not know it was going to be a movie. I am not sure what to think about that. They usually ruin the movies. The Harry Potter movies were good, but the Lightening Thief one was horrid and so was the Vampire's Apprentice and that dragon one - they just make some really rotten movies from good books sometimes and this is a really good book.

Michelle said...

I found your blog through the WTM 52 books thread. I'm looking forward to poking around here a bit and getting some ideas on new reads. Miss Peregrine's home for Peculiar Children looks intriguing so I'll add that to my list for starters. Thanks for the review!

Jean said...

Thanks for stopping by!

Yeah, the idea of a movie is kind of worrying.

Caryl said...

I read this one and enjoyed it; my favorite part was thinking about how he put the story together around the photographs. I think that would be a really fun and challenging project!

Jean said...

Yes, I agree! When I was a kid I had a book called "Made-to-Order Stories," where the kid would give his mom a random list of things and she would build a story around it, and this reminded me of that.