Barnes and Noble Overview
A mysterious island.
An abandoned orphanage.
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 were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.
A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.
I have to say, I have been eyeing this book for quite a while now. It’s always on the top books search in my nook but for whatever reason I never gave in to purchase. Thank goodness for the book club or else it would probably still be on my wish list among all the other books that I have marked as to read on Goodreads.com.
Let’s start with the fact that Ransom Riggs uses vintage photos to illustrate this book. Umm genius? I think so! I think it really brings this book to life. I mean really, what adult doesn’t like a picture book? lol. And while reading through it, you almost get excited because you know when there is going to be a new photo. He goes into such detail about the people that you just know there is going to be a photo on the next page. Which makes you want to go through the book and read and see what photo will be up next. Clever… clever man.
We cling to our fairy tales until the price for believing them becomes to high. p.9
The story itself was engaging. We grow up listening to stories and tales told by our parents and grandparents and to a point where we really believe them. This is what happened to Jacob, when he was young his grandfather would tell him about his life on this island; in a house that was filled with sunshine and peculiar children… A little girl who was as light as a feather that they would have to tie a string around her waist and leaded shoes to keep her from floating away. A boy who has the ability to make inanimate objects come to life with hearts of other mammals.
What made them amazing wasn’t that they had miraculous powers; that they had escaped the ghettos and gas chambers was miracle enough. p.11
These peculiar people are being hunted by monsters. Monsters, whom Jacob’s father had just associated their horrible qualities to be metaphors for the Nazis that Abe [Grandpa Portman] had to run and hide from. Until [Spoiler Alert!] Grandpa Portman is found by Jacob… dying at the hands of one of those monsters. No one believes Jacob. They think that he is having stress attacks and that seeing his grandfather dying in his arms, triggers something that can only be explained in a way that he is having some sort of episode. So he starts lying to his therapist about being better…
— so one day my mother sat me down and explained that I couldn’t become an explorer because everything in the world had already been discovered. I’d been born in the wrong century, and I felt cheated. p.6
Eventually Jacob finds himself on an island with his father, trying to understand just what Grandpa Portman was trying to tell Jacob. To try to understand the photographs that his grandfather had once shown him. But Jacob gets a lot more than he can handle when he finds himself in the basement of the house his grandfather grew up in… hiding, until he sees that who he is hiding from is a little girl who seems to be his age… lighting the darkness of the basement with a ball of fire in her hands. Chasing her… trying to figure out who she is and what she is… he is transported into the same place… just a different time.
Riggs does a great job illustrating what the house looked and felt like. You can image the ruins that lay before him when he finds the house. The instant shock of seeing that same house, in perfect condition…
What stood before me was now no refuge from monsters but a monster itself, staring down from its perch on the hill with vacant hunger. p.53
When I was a kid, Grandpa Portman’s fantastic stories meant it was possible to live a magical life… to have endured all the horrors he did, to have seen the worst of humanity and have your life made unrecognizable by it, to come out of all that the honorable and good and brave person I knew him to be — that was magical… p.59
I think we all live our lives thinking that we’re ordinary. That we have to find adventures and be crazy and spontaneous to live an extraordinary life, however our lives themselves are pretty extraordinary. We all do something that is extraordinary that others might not be able to do. So don’t let yourself think that your life is a bore or that nothing ever happens to you that is exciting because the tiniest little thing could change that in a fraction of a second.
I used to dream about escaping my ordinary life, but my life was never ordinary. I had simply failed to notice how extraordinary it was. p.224
I absolutely loved this book. One of the things that we talked about when doing the whole Books and BFFs book club was that we weren’t going to do book series. Just because some people might not like that, if they hated the book, they wouldn’t want to participate anymore. When we picked this book, we had no idea it was part of a series until I had actually added it onto my Goodreads account and saw that it said (Miss Peregrine, #1). Honestly, I’m excited that it was a series, because the way that it ended made me want to get the second book all the more! I highly recommend this book. It’s the kind of adventure that you want to be a part of.