A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of curious photographs.
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.
So I had tried to read this book or at least I had borrowed it from the library before but I never read it because I thought, just from appearances that it would be a scary book (akin to Stephen King). I’m SO glad that I gave it another chance because I was wrong. Wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong. It’s fantastic! Yes, it took me a couple chapters to get into the groove of the story but once I got sucked in, it was very hard for me to put it down to return to reality.
I think what’s great about this book is that it reminds of the books from my childhood where you chose your own adventure (reminds me of, it’s not a choose your own adventure book mind you). It’s such a fantastical adventure that you are right there with Jacob- running, fighting, falling, getting all muddy. It’s a book that you enter, you go into the world the author has created. And THAT, is how a book should feel. It should make you feel you are part of the adventure.
Jacob at first does come off as a kid who’s off his rocker and needs to be in a straight jacket and have 4 padded walls surrounding him. I mean, you meet his Grandpa and he’s the same. They’re both crazy! But no, they are peculiar. It’s sad in a way in the beginning because Jacob’s parents have him write his own grandpa off as whack-a-doodle because they think his grandpa has PTSD and dementia. So Jacob grows up and doesn’t think anything of what his Grandpa says, it’s just grandpa. Sad sad. But then, he finds his grandpa’s body and it’s tore up. Which I tell you, if that happened to me I would gladly welcome 4 padded walls and meds for my life. But it’s only in cleaning out his Grandpa’s belongings that he discovers the pictures from his grandpa’s childhood that he used to show Jacob as a kid. But he finds more of them, many more.
When his aunt gives him the inscribed book from his grandpa she found cleaning out his house, it’s then everything starts to make sense. He finds the clues he’s been looking for and he discovers that he isn’t crazy, and more importantly, his grandpa wasn’t lying. Jacob then embarks on an adventure like no other. He meets these unique individuals who have abilities and who are secluded to an island that his grandfather told him about growing up. It’s all real. The people. The Island. The Bird (Miss Peregrine). Everything. And the monsters. You find out that Jacob is peculiar also, like his grandfather- which is why only he can see ‘the monsters’ that his grandfather talked about.
So usually, my favorite character is the main one. But not in this case, my absolute favorite character is, Emma Bloom. She’s a peculiar on the island. Jacob’s grandfather’s former love and now Jacob’s crush (sounds weird and icky but honestly, it’s not, well, not too much). She is fire. I mean that’s how I think of her. She can light a flame with her hands. But more than her ability, she’s fierce. Her attitude fits her to a T. She’s strong, smart, pretty, able- and she can start a fire without matches/lighter. She’s great!
I like all the other peculiars as well, they all have these interesting gifts that make the story incredible. One of the BEST things about the book- it includes pictures. It’s crazy because you’re like man if only I could see them with my eyes, well, there’s pictures in the book. It’s amazing! I love that there’s pictures. And what’s more, it almost requires it because of all the mentioning of the pictures from the Grandfather’s childhood. It helps the reader better understand what and who the author is describing.
The adventure is amazing. I honestly think everyone should read this book. No lie. It’s great. Adventure, love, monsters, time travel…you can’t want much more from a book.
4 out of 5 stars! Why 4? Well, because it took me about 3 chapters to really get into this book. Which isn’t bad- with Harry Potter’s first book it took me just as long to get into and I am a HP LOVER! Give it a read.