GF and I have been enjoying reading Miss Peregrine‘s Home for Peculiar Children together. These are some of my notes –
When Jacob was a young boy, his grandfather used to tell him stories of peculiar children, with fantastic abilities. Now he’s a teenager, and more than anything else he wants to leave the boredom of American suburbia, and go on adventures.
His hopes are realised in the worst way possible, when his grandfather is horribly killed. From there, though, it takes a while for the plot to take off – there are steps back and forth, hither and thither, until eventually Jacob makes it to the scene of the action (an island off the coast of England). Here, as Jacob stumbles through the moors, it can feel a little as though we’re wandering aimlessly; the middle portion of the story sags under the weight of exposition without the narrative development to hold it together.
In the end, though, the story takes off. Jacob finds the peculiar children, makes a huge choice about his own life, and fights a monstrous villain. The end? Well, I can’t tell you, because it ends on a cliff hanger and we haven’t read the next one.
Part of the charm of the book is the photographs, scattered throughout it. In an afterword, Ransom Riggs explains that they’re real photographs. Drawn from the collections of people who collect old photographs, often acquired with no explanation or context. It’s an interesting addition to a young reader fiction.
Worth reading if you’re feeling a gap in your life after the end of the Harry Potter series, although I wouldn’t say that it’s quite at the same level.