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33 of 34 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

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58 of 59 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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58 of 59 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
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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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33 of 34 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
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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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15 of 16 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)   
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Will delight teenagers, but also all those who are looking for a good adventure, 19 April 2014
This review is from: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children) (Paperback)
One teenager, one island and one secret caught up in this debut novel by Ransom Riggs whose novel ‘Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children’ is rightfully considered bestseller and translated in to the 35 languages.

Jacob Portman at first glance, an ordinary teenager from Florida, is in no way different from his peers. The only unusual thing in his life is Jacob's grandfather, Abraham, a man with a mysterious past who tells Jacob from his childhood strange stories about the house where he grew up when as Jew he escaped Poland from the Nazis.

Although all his life Jacob thought that his grandfather stories are just a fairy tales that he was talking to amuse him, one summer evening he will change opinion. On that day, Abraham dies under mysterious circumstances, and the life of a teenager is changing radically. Following grandfather's last words, Jacob will find a secret letter that takes him on an adventure of life on the island Cairnholm where his grandfather spent his childhood. The island has no electricity, there is only one phone and only a few hundred residents, though the secrets it hide are numerous.

Determined to understand his grandfather's death and his last words Jacob explores the dilapidated house that he thought it was a home for war orphans. What he found there convinced him that the children who lived there were not orphans of war, but curious children from all around the world who have found a home on the island, realizing the story of grandfather Abraham was real. What is even more incredible, these children may still be alive...

As an added bonus, the novel is enriched with incredible photographs that were presented in their original form, carefully collected from various collectors. Thus, the text and images in this novel are perfectly complementing each other as they confirm each other.

‘Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children’, a marvelous novel about curious children will delight teenagers, but also all those who are looking for a good adventure, while Jacob Portman and his unusual friends adventures readers will enthusiastically follow.
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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 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children) (Paperback)
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 Miss Peregrine, 15 July 2011
By 
Miss Victoria Ramage (Leeds, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I was so excited to get a copy of this as this is my favourite type of book: nice flat spine, a secret signature underneath the cover, thick pages that smell amazing, filled to the brim with photos and illustrations and the start of each chapter has a different patterned page. In short, a book made with a lot of love. Of course, all this work is useless if the story isn't as good but for me the story was just as rich and delightful as the book!

The narrator of this gripping and mysterious tale is Jacob. The story starts when Jacob is a young boy, listening to fantastic tales by his Grandfather, of Miss Peregrine and her Peculiar Children. He believes every word about the levitating girl, the invisible boy and many other children who lived with Miss Peregrine, but as he grows up he realises that what his Grandfather has been telling him might not be real after all. Then the worst happens - Jacob's Grandfather dies and he's left with many unanswered questions. So he decides to find the old house and see if he can find his answers.

I loved every word of this book, just as Jacob loved every word of his Grandfather's tales. It drove me insane wondering if the children were real or not and I was so happy when my questions were answered! There's many twists and turns that I wasn't expecting and I enjoyed the book even more for them. I did find that Jacob seemed to act a little older than his age (16) but that may be because I'm used to YA books written by women who use a different tone. The tone of this book is quite gothic and mysterious and I even felt a slight chill down my spine when I read it! Thankfully it didn't keep me awake though! Miss Peregrine is definitely a book that both teens and adults can enjoy and I'd recommend it to anyone who likes spooky tales. I believe there's a sequel in the works, which I can't wait for!
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20 of 22 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Certainly peculiar- but in a very good way!, 18 July 2011
By 
Nicola F (Nic) (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This was a practically faultless debut by an author that I'm really keen to read more of in future- and the way has most definitely been paved for a sequel, which I'm also really pleased about and keeping my fingers crossed for at some point soon.

It's difficult to add anything more to what has already been said about this book by the other reviewers so I won't summarise the plot for fear of inadvertently giving something away, but I do want to say that I enjoyed this novel very much. It's very well written and also *looks* spectacular- the use of vintage photographs was excellent and the book itself is beautifully bound and the typography is stellar. This book is set apart from others by those factors alone; it's such a genuine pleasure to find a novel printed so elegantly and bound so beautifully.

The book itself mingles fantasy with fairytale and the supernatural and was just genuinely a real joy to read. The characters are all well written and the idea, though odd, just works and kept me turning the pages quickly. It's quirky, imaginative and fun and most definitely not just a book for young adults!

Read it and enter a very peculiar world where nothing is quite what it seems...
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A lot of potential, unfulfilled, 2 Sept. 2012
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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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50 of 57 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A peculiar story, 29 Sept. 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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Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children)
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