Published: June 7, 2011
Number of pages: 348
Publisher: Quirk Books
Genre: fantasy, adventure, romance
Verdict: 5 hoots out of 5
A novel that mixes fiction and photography. The story begins with the tragic death of Jacob’s grandfather who warns his grandson about ‘monsters’ and to return to Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob journeys to the small island in Wales where he discovers its crumbling ruins, he explores the abandoned house and learns that there maybe more to the children than he understood.
This is one of the most strangest and thrilling novels I’ve read with black-and-white photographs that are just as peculiar as the story. We’re introduced to the unextraordinary life of sixteen-year-old Jacob Portman living with his grandfather who tells stories of him staying at a home with the most unusual children he’s met. But on the day of his death, Jacob witnesses something terrifying that makes him revisit the children’s home beginning the extraordinary new life of Jacob Portman. During the journey, Jacob changes from a normal teenage boy to the hero of the story as he learns about his peculiarity and to overcome his fear of monsters.
I enjoyed reading about the peculiar children and Miss Peregrine. If the children’s home were Hogwarts than Miss Peregrine would be Dumbledore watching over her students and teaching them to control their abilities. But Miss Peregrine is more than the headmistress; she is their guardian against dark shadows that are a threat to the children and by the time we discover the island’s secrets, the story turns fast-pace with additional spine-chilling fight scenes between monsters and a possible time-loop catastrophe.
The collection of vintage photos is unusual and creepy which is why they fit the story perfectly. When I looked at them I wondered if they were real until I read the author’s notes that each photo is authentic and was borrowed from personal archives of countless collectors who found them in flea markets and antique malls. Each photo is memorable as they add to the reading experience and creating a useful tool as to how the children looked like.
A haunting story with a collection of peculiar black-and-white photographs of children living on a mysterious island, and of a Before and After life of a teenage boy makes a delightful fantasy not just for younger adults but for older adults as well. Be warned that this story will grab you by the hand and pull you in, so you won’t put down the book until the very end. Can’t wait to read the sequel!