August 27, 2011

Haunting, memorable

I saw Miss Peregrine's School for Peculiar Children on several IMM posts, so I decided to investigate to see what the "hype" was all about. What I discovered what that every person who read this novel was in love with it. I was worried; I tend to have different interpretations of novels. If everyone loves a book, it tends to be the one I do not enjoy. This was NOT the case with this novel.

Summary (from cover):
A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of very peculiar photographs.

It all awaits the be discovered in Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes 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 Miss Peregrine's 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.

My thoughts:
First let me say that this is one of the most amazing novels I have ever read. The reason is not because the story is so incredible (it is nonetheless) but because the author so cleverly weaves the plot to fit the pictures. I would read a section and think, "I wonder what the point of that was?" Chapters later it would become quite clear, with a photograph to illustrate, leaving me in awe.

The story of the novel is an absolute page-turner. From the moment the tragedy occurs to the final page, Riggs leaves his readers guessing. On more than several occasions I found myself discussing his twists and turns throughout the pages with others who had read the novel, simply so surprised at how much (1) I was enjoying the novel and (2) at how high the creep factor was. While many parts of this novel left me wanting to sleep with the lights on at night, I simply could not put it down.

Jacob was quite a character himself. I never seemed to know where I stood with him and his curiosity to learn more about his grandfather. That is all I can say. If you've read the novel, you know what I mean. While he seems to be the heart of this novel, it is the supporting characters who steal the show. Without them, this novel would not be the page-turner it was for me. The worst part? I cannot go into any more detail than that because it would ruin this novel for you.

The heart and soul of this novel lies with the photographs. They are haunting, but they are an intricate part of the experience of reading this novel. Because of the photographs, I say do NOT read this on your eReader. The experience will just not be the same.

Why I loved this novel: The plot combined with the pictures; the supporting characters; the guess factor; the creep factor

Who should read it: If you love YA, if you love Neil Gaiman, if you love a great read, if you are into photography, read this novel!

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