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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Curiouser and curiouser....
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is from start to finish a fantastic young adult novel. Ransom Riggs has written one of the most original and inventive debuts I've ever read.

It follows the story of American teenager Jacob who journeys to a small, remote Welsh island to discover the secrets of his grandfather's childhood. He comes across the ruins of...
Published on 28 July 2011 by Charliecat

versus
52 of 53 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unusual
It's pretty hard to show any originality in books these days, but I was pleasantly surprised by how different this book was. The plot has been cleverly interlinked with many unsettling vintage photos of children doing unusual and spectacular feats.

The story is complex with many mysteries, that are sporadically punctuated with strange photographs. This creates...
Published on 18 July 2011 by Kirsty


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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Curiouser and curiouser...., 28 July 2011
By 
Charliecat (Oxfordshire, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children) (Hardcover)
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Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is from start to finish a fantastic young adult novel. Ransom Riggs has written one of the most original and inventive debuts I've ever read.

It follows the story of American teenager Jacob who journeys to a small, remote Welsh island to discover the secrets of his grandfather's childhood. He comes across the ruins of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children but soon learns that not everything is quite as it seems and things start to become ever so peculiar. Interspersed with genuine vintage photographs which Ransom Riggs seems to have used to build a story around it is a truly bizarre but brilliant reading experience. The photos add a chilling otherworldly feeling to the novel and really helps the story to come alive in a new way.

By turns frightening, fascinating and amusing I would recommend it to adults and young people alike as an excellent new voice in children's fiction.
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52 of 53 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unusual, 18 July 2011
By 
Kirsty "book fan" (Wales) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children) (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
It's pretty hard to show any originality in books these days, but I was pleasantly surprised by how different this book was. The plot has been cleverly interlinked with many unsettling vintage photos of children doing unusual and spectacular feats.

The story is complex with many mysteries, that are sporadically punctuated with strange photographs. This creates a realism that draws you in and keeps you hooked, as I found myself reading for longer to reach the next picture. For me the photos were the best part of the book, as some of them are quite creepy.

The first two thirds of the book moved at a nice pace and the story was engaging, with plenty to keep the reader entertained. However, once the mysteries of the house and the children have been explained I felt that the plot slowed down quite dramatically and dragged on a little. I did have to push myself to finish the last few chapters and felt that it could have been tied up much sooner and with a much harder hitting ending. The story itself did vaguely remind me of vintage re-telling of the X-men comics, as a group of gifted children are segregated to a big house, to use their powers freely and be mentored by an equally unusual adult.

It seems there may be a sequel or two in the pipeline, and I actually think this is a shame, as the popularity for this book stems from it being unique and unlike other books. I don't think the story is strong enough to branch out to a full series and I doubt I would buy the next book. However, the book is worth reading for it's quirkiness.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful. Couldn't put it down, 17 Aug 2011
This is a wonderful book. Brilliant premise, superb pace, great writing. I couldn't put this book down. Once started I just kept on reading because it was so good. The great reviews I have read about this book are justified. Although the book can stand alone,I sincerely hope that he will write a sequel because the characters were so wonderfully evoked that I would love to know what happens to them next.Cannot recommend this highly enough.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfectly captured peculiarities, 18 Jun 2011
By 
E. Flynn (Swansea, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children) (Hardcover)
Even though one of the photographs in Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children did cause me to utter a sound not unlike a yelp whilst reading on the bus this morning, I loved this book. The fact that found photographs (mostly non-terrifying, although definitely all peculiar) were interspersed with the text added a depth to the, already unique, storyline that isn't often found in Young Adult fiction.

I'll admit here and now that the idea of opening the book and loving the story, and then being confronted by potentially disturbing photographs did worry me at first. I seem to have a lock on my imagination where, most often, I can force myself not to visualize some things I read... but once I see something, really see it, that something tends to stick in my head despite any efforts I might make to shake it out. I can only think of one photograph in Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children that I want to shake out (page 48, and it's likely my own fault for being crept out by humans and animals looking remotely like each other).

Enough about the photographs, it's time to talk about the prose. This book was one of the most beautifully written that I have ever read. Ransom Riggs manages to capture the voices of different eras, localities, and temperaments with a witty accuracy that is a joy to read. Jacob is a great character to follow on his journey from adult-diaper stacking teen to ... well... becoming something of a `hope` in a vacuum. I loved sitting on his shoulder for the ride.

Recommendation: If you look to YA paranormal fantasy for more than just werewolves and vampires, are willing to get drawn into a world where improbable childhood stories come true, and love beautifully written stories then try Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.
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50 of 57 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A peculiar story, 29 Sep 2011
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I've read through some of the reviews (hardback and Kindle) for this book with just a hint of annoyance, mostly because I don't know what the reviewers had been expecting to read when they purchased it. If it's a "real" book as opposed to an e-version, I've usually thumbed through a chapter or so in the local bookstore whilst deciding if it's worth getting and it is rare that I've regretted a purchase. And as Amazon have the 'Look Inside' option on the hardback, you get a couple of chapters to go through so you have much the same opportunity to weigh things up. I looked and I bought.

It has been marketed at young adults - same age range as The Vampire Diaries/Twilight series etc - although there are none of the trademark handsome protagonist and angst ridden heroine stereotypes or sparking vampires and brooding werewolves/shapeshifters. Whilst I agree that some of the writing appears contrived at times, I'd say that this is pretty much the case with a number of authors (including some that are long established and much raved about by their target audience). Yes, the ending is probably a bit woolly and does set the author up for Book 2, but look at Twilight - the first 3 books all inexorably lead towards their sequel and as for the last book......I could go into it but I'm not reviewing Breaking Dawn! This is, after all, his first novel and hopefully Ransom will learn from the reviews from Amazon and elsewhere and develop his approach differently for the next one.

I personally found it highly enjoyable, occasionally unsettling, and the photo's didn't distract me from the story at all. As a way of introducing young adult readers to the fantasy genre, it's certainly worth reading. As a considerably older reader, but who still enjoys a wide range of genres, I found it refreshing and different to much of the young adult literature out there that I've read and would recommend it to all.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars abandoned half-way through, 1 Feb 2013
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Perhaps the photos(of which there are many)should have sent me a warning, but this novel descended into time travel portals and headmistresses who could turn into birds of prey. It all became too much for me and the writing left quite alot to be desired. I decided to not waste any more time on it and put it on the pile of books to be taken to the charity shop.
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52 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Modern Day Fairytale, 7 Jun 2011
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This review is from: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children) (Hardcover)
A mysterious island.

An abandoned orphanage.

A strange collection of very peculiar 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 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.

Jacob has grown up listening to his grandfather's tall tales about the island he lived on during the Second World War. These stories about monsters and strange children with powers were a delight to Jacob as a youngster, but as he grew up, he became disillusioned with his grandfather's flights of fancy. When his grandfather unexpectedly dies, Jacob finds himself drawn back to these stories. He decides to undertake a journey to try and separate the truth from the lies.

There are some fantastic characters in this novel and normally I would take great delight in describing them to you, but in this case I believe the less you know going in, the more I am sure you will enjoy the novel. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is a novel all about uncovering secrets and so to divulge too much in a review would be to do it a dis-service.

Setting the majority of the book on a remote Welsh island has given the author the opportunity to capture not only the bleakness, but also the stark beauty of the location. The island can be seen as a haven and a prison at the same time.

Before you even crack open the novel you will no doubt be struck by the strange picture that adorns its cover. Your brain will be telling you that something just isn't right. The photo is an old black and white image that shows a little girl in a dress wearing a tiara. At first glance everything appears normal but when you look again you realise that the girl is hovering just off the ground, and you realise this picture is anything but normal. The entire novel feels like this. The author is giving the reader tantalising glimpses of another world.

This debut by Ransom Riggs is a rare treat. It really feels like something special. Every time I thought I had it figured out it defied my expectations and veered off on a completely different tangent. Part mystery, part supernatural adventure, I was consistently impressed with the author and his world building. There is far more going on than I first assumed.

In addition to the strong writing, I think special mention has to be made of the striking pictures that are used throughout. These vintage photographs help to enhance what is already a gripping story. I was struck by the fact that each image tends to require more than one viewing. It is only when you look again that you pick up on small details that you may have missed the first time around. Looking at the pictures in isolation you can see small hints that there is a larger tale being told but it is only as a companion to the text that the reader gets the full experience.

Last week I heard that 20th Century Fox have picked up the movie rights. I do hope they manage to do this book justice. It has all the hallmarks of a classic and I can imagine that fans will become very protective of this story. In the books pages lies modern day gothic fairy tale that could translate very well to the big screen, I'd certainly rather watch a movie version of this than Twilight.

Oddly captivating and more than a little bit creepy, I would heartily recommend Miss Peregrine. It is a young adult novel that delights in looking at the world with an ever so slightly skewed view. Left wide open for a sequel I really do hope that there will be more.

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is released by Quirk Books on 7th June 2011.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A lot of potential, unfulfilled, 2 Sep 2012
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This review is from: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children) (Hardcover)
I don't normally write online reviews, as I'm aware of how different people's reactions to a text can be, and I wouldn't want to encourage/discourage anyone with different taste to my own. However, I feel like I needed to review this book as I felt so misled by its packaging and premise. The idea behind this novel is inspired; the vintage photography, the exploration of the impact of WW2 on rural Wales which is hardly ever explored, and hints at the supernatural. Not to mention, the cover and formatting is stunning.
Unfortunately, every positive aspect I was looking forward to going in is set way out of proportion: the photographs are completely forced, as though the author began with a set of images he liked and loosely strung a tenuous story around them, making them feel cheap and meaningless.
Furthermore, his views on Wales and the Welsh are embarrassingly misguided and poorly researched, particularly the attempt at local dialect - several times I was cringing so much I had to stop reading, the WW2 dialogue read like Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins. To give a brief example, a Welsh village he visits in *2011* has one land-line phone on the entire island. It's ridiculous. The tone of arrogance is painful to read; "aren't these Europeans quaint and backward, with their petrol generators and their drinking problems?". If Riggs has ever visited Wales or even the UK he does a great job of hiding it.
Lastly, what writing flair he shows in the beginning (and there is some, I liked the dialogue between Jacob and his "red neck" friend) evaporates as the book becomes over-logged with unnecessary characters (an excuse to use more photographs) and conveniently nonsensical attempts at final twists (I won't spoil anything but if you've read it you'll know what I'm talking about).
By all means, I can see where the appeal lies if you aren't looking for something too taxing (and I don't mean that to sound judgemental at all). I just wish Riggs could go back and spend some more time on this, do some more research, cultivate some more sophisticated plot points, kill off about half of his underdeveloped characters and start again. Because this has the potential to be great, it just isn't.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spooky, striking and magical..., 21 Oct 2013
By 
Ann Fairweather (England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
The striking look of the book with odd old-fashion pictures all through is at the same time, a marvellous way to attract your interest and to make you a little suspicious of the content. Is it not a bit too gimmicky? is there more to it than just looks? Be reassured, it is exactly as good as it looks and more...A boy of fifteen, Jakob, finds one day his beloved, eccentric grandfather dying in the woods, killed by wild beats of some sort, and before dying, manages to reveal to him only part of a lifelong secret... All the boy knows is that he must go to a small island away from the welsh coast in England and discover the rest of his grandfather's past for himself, armed only with a few pictures and the mysterious letter of a 'Miss Peregrine' addressed to his grandfather years ago. Being from a wealthy American family background, Jakob is taken first to see a psychiatrist to help him deal with the grief of losing his grandfather, but also to try and convince him that the vision of 'monsters' he saw in the woods when the old man died, was just that: a vision. But Jakob knows there is more to the strange death of his grandfather than appears and that it is up to him to find out the truth. Eventually convincing his bird-watching, novel-writing, father to go on a trip to the island, they arrive on a peculiar small island not unlike the one, you think, in the Wicker Man...From there the story becomes too good and too magical to ruin by any more details, just make sure you read the book before it becomes a film adaption that Tim Burton has announced he will do... I found it was an absolutely beautiful, bizarre, magical story that completely draws you in, and in some ways an allegory about 'difference'. The author will publish sequels, but whatever happens next, this spooky, haunted and haunting novel stands perfectly on its own.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very impressed, 6 Nov 2011
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So far i have only two niggles with this book:

1. the few written letters as images are hard to read - Hard to read on my kindle, impossible to read on the kindle for android client i also use. The letters really needed to be copied out in the text as well to accommodate some devices.
2. the book is clearly part of a series, i have to wait for the next book. :D

Not too hot on reviewing books here, but i will say it hooked me utterly leading to me reading the entire thing in one day as i *had* to know what happened next.
Hoping theres a sequel or more to properly finish the story
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