Note: The book(s) written about in the following blog post were given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
The first time I saw the cover of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children my skin crawled with creepy curiosity. This is one book whose cover begs you to take a closer look. Once you do, even a quick flip through the pages delivers even more mystery as it is filled with approximately fifty black and white peculiar pictures of children from the past. In fact, I never had such a response to an Instagram photo of what I was reading as I did when I first shared a shot of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children! Immediately, my friends were asking what the book was about, what I thought of it and if I could take a pic of the back cover so they could read what this book was all about for themselves. Ransom Riggs, the author of Miss Peregrine's, is a former film student who uses still photos to inspire a tale that takes its readers on a journey across the world and through time to a mysterious island and an even more mysterious home.
You know how sometimes there is a perfect time to read a book? Well, as I read Miss Peregrine's in these past weeks, Staten Island happened to be overcome with gray skies and unforgiving torrential rain storms. It was the perfect weather for reading this story. As Jacob, our protagonist, battled his own sadness and explored the boggy land of Cairnhorn, I felt as though Ransom Riggs' writing painted the scene so well that it poured out of the pages enveloping me in my own damp environment.
Riggs does a great job of world building in Miss Peregrine's - the island, the home and even the surrounding waters filled with shipwrecks all came vividly to life for me and are, surely, what will keep me coming back for more when its sequel, Hollow City is released next January. However, overall, something was off for me. While Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children was a good book, it is not one of my favorite reads of this Spring. With that said, I am highly anticipating the sequel, as I feel that what is amiss in this book is what befalls so many "firsts in a series" - there is so much to tell just to get the whole universe right.
Other Versions Of This Book
This book took me a bit longer to read than most because of the aforementioned "perfect weather" for its reading. While the storms did wonders for the setting, they wreaked havoc on my quirky health.I wanted to finish Miss Peregrine's quickly so I could share it with you, so I checked my library for the audiobook. Awesomely, it was available. Even better - it was narrated by Jesse Bernstein (I am a super-fan of his from the Percy Jackson audiobooks)! While this wouldn't have been my first option for this book, since the pictures are so much of the story (the digital version was enhanced with a file of pictures), Jesse Bernstein is an incredible narrator and does the story justice.
The Graphic Novel
In addition to the printed version and the audiobook, I found out at BEA that there wil also be a graphic novel version released in October. Since this is such a visual story, this adaptation makes perfect sense. I received a sample chapter from BEA and I think it is great. The original photos are embedded within the story, and the only changes made to the original narrative are edits made for easier reading. I think they were wise moves as (from what I can tell from the first chapter) the action moves along quicker and is not overwrought with too many details.
Overall, I think this is going to be an exciting series to follow. The ending of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children does leave me wanting more and I feel invested in Jacob's adventure. I am still slightly uncomfortable with the unique back story of Jacob's love interest, but this is something other readers have let go of easily. In anticipation of what is to come, (not only from this series, but also from the talented Ransom Riggs) I recommend Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. It is a unique novel with pictures that will haunt you long after you close it's pages.
It's time to share the goodies! If you are ready to dive into Ransom Riggs's new world, then I want to help you get there. In this week's giveaway you can win:
- my (slightly battered) copy of the paperback edition of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children which includes an interview with Ransom Riggs, even more creepy photos and the first pages of Hollow City, the book's sequel, AND
- the BEA exclusive excerpt from the Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children graphic novel by Ransom Riggs with art by Cassandra Jean
To enter use the widget below. Good Luck!
Unfortunately, this giveaway is open to US residents only.a Rafflecopter giveaway