Saturday, March 31, 2012
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
Quirk Books, 2011
YA; Historical; Fantasy
I found the cover of this creepy, especially when you only see the thumbnail sized version. Thus I classified this as horror and stayed away. But I loved Anna Dressed in Blood and kept seeing positive reviews of this book so I succumbed to blogger pressure and requested it from the library.
Not to be obvious about this, but this book is peculiar. I can't even begin to explain all of the details that go into this book. Let's just say it is mostly contemporary with a bit of time travel to the WWII era and a lot of fantastical people and situations. I found the beginning slow and had a lot of trouble sitting down and focusing on it. We meet rich kid Jacob who is doing his best to get fired from his family's store and who is concerned about his grandfather whose delusions about girls levitating from the floor and someone coming after him are growing stronger. Then Jacob gets a phone call and races to his grandfather, holding him during his last cryptic remarks. These fuel nightmares and give Jacob a single-minded purpose to visit the island where his Jewish grandfather found safety during WWII.
Once on the island, Jacob explores the dilapidated house of Miss Peregrine where his grandfather stayed and stumbles upon the unique circumstances around that place. I don't want to spoil anything so that is about how much of the plot I can share. I can say that the house scenes reminded me of "The Woman in Black" which contributed to a sense of terror. There are some scary moments!
But those are leavened with humorous snarky comments from Jacob as he learns the truth about his grandfather's past, learning to appreciate his quiet strength in the face of dark challenges as well as preparing to face what his future holds. I really can't say too much more as it would spoil the enjoyment of uncovering the secrets for yourself but it's definitely worth a shot.
Overall: A different and unique offering to the YA category; for someone looking for the out of the ordinary.
Cover: I don't know if you noticed but that girl is levitating a few inches off of the ground. I didn't even see that until the picture was featured in the book again. I just thought the girl was making a grumpy face and the black-and-white photo made it look creepy.