First of all let me preface this review with the simple fact, I chose to review this book based on the upcoming movie coming soon, and the new trend I see coming to young adult novels geared to our teens and young adults. As a Christian parent and book reviewer, no book rating system exists so parents might be surprised at what their teens are being drawn to and how it relates to what lies buried beneath the covers.
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs is geared for young teens and adults. If you have seen the trailer for the movie due out in the fall, you can see it is a bit darker than most seeing as Tim Burton produced it, and adds in the premise of a woman, Miss Peregrine, who is the headmistress for a home of peculiar children. These children used to be employed by some circus groups or side shows in order to help hide them from those who would seek to destroy them in an effort to learn how to stay immortal and never die. They each have their own gifts, from being able to float, to creating sculptures from plants, to controlling air or fire. No child is the same and thus the need to keep them away from the prying eyes of the world who can not understand their unique gifts and would see to exploit them.
Each of these groups of children is led by a headmistress who is a ymrynes, one able to change into the shape of a bird, and all women. In this case, Miss Peregrine is a Peregrine Falcon who can change her shape at will but when attempting to change back into a women, is left naked, so she must be careful where she shape shifts. On September 3, 1940, during the height of the great war, the home of the children was about to be bombed when Germany dropped bombs over the small island. Miss Peregrine was able to stop time and loop it back on itself so that now the home sits in what is called a time loop, where every day is the same 24 hours up to just when the bomb was about to destroy the home and all the children in it. The children are content there because they don't age and are safe from those who would seek to do them harm called Hollowcasts.
Hollowcasts were a group of peculiar's who tried to find a way to exist outside the time loop and made themselves into a bit of what you might call monsters that can exist outside of time loops but can't enter them without the aid of a wight, a human-like accomplice who aids Hollowcasts in seeing to find and kidnap peculiars and their headmistresses for a second try at their failed experiments in immortality.
Jacob Portman has heard these stories of a magical life and children from his grandfather, but didn't believe they existed even though his grandfather had a set of odd black and white photos showing they did exist. Jacob believed they were simply photoshopped to help spur grandpa's fantasies into some form of reality for him. Being a survivor from the war, the Portman family chalked Grandpa's stories off to aging and stopped listening to them despite his warning that he wasn't safe any longer. When Grandpa Portman frantically calls Jacob at work trying to find the key to the gun cabinet, Jacob returns home in time to find his grandpa brutally murdered by what police believe was a animal attack. But Jacob knows differently because he saw what killed his grandpa and he doesn't want to believe what he saw is real.
I reviewed Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs after my own personal purchase and did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review. This is my own unbiased and personal opinion of the novel. Based on the trailer, it appears there will be discrepancies between the book and the movie in some varying story line but that waits to be seen how it all plays out in the end. I for one, would have liked to see it stick more along the lines of the novel. It does contain quite a few photographs that inspired the author to write this series of novels about peculiar children and that makes the novel more enjoyable because you don't have to imagine what something looks like, because he shows you. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and could see how someone who is different might be judged by society on the basis of outward appearances and therefore ostracized by those who considered themselves normal. This opens up the dialogue for some great conversations between parents and teens. I would rate this novel a 4.5 out of 5 stars and readers even get a sneak peek into the first chapter of the sequel Hollow City as well as an exclusive Q and A with the novels author Ransom Riggs.
For more information about Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, Ransom Riggs or where you can pick up a copy of the novel today, please click on the links below:
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