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26 of 26 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

51 of 52 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Curiously different, 10 Oct 2011
J. Holmes - See all my reviews
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Great book. I loved the idea of using creepy old black and white photographs to illustrate the story. They really gave an added depth to the book. An unusual but fascinating tale which, despite other reviewers comments, I thought was well written and the story really was intriguing. My only disappointment was the ending which left ends untied so presumably there will be a sequel.
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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
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Miss Peregrine, 15 July 2011
Miss Victoria Ramage (Leeds, UK) - See all my reviews
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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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Peculiarly unsatisfying, 3 May 2013
This seemed to me a wasted opportunity, great idea, poor execution. The beginning set up the mystery quite well, the photos were a touch of genius, but once we left the States it went rapidly down hill.
I wonder if the author had ever visited Britain or heard a Welsh person speak but I can assure him p63 "I said shaddap, ya dozy bas****s" does not sound remotely like a Welsh accent even from a stereotypical drunken pub owner. And sea captains who say "wager" and "twixt" probably only exist in the pages of Treasure Island. Likewise Welsh islands cut off by storms, with no night time power or phone signal probably exist only in the imagination of non British writers.
The story did not fulfill its potential, it became a poor copy of X Men or the Incredibles. Magic and mystery was lost due to tedious explanation of every plot twist or time loop. Having an audience of young adults or children is not an excuse for this, look at Philip Pullman's complicated plots and beautiful writing.
It looks like this is the beginning of a series I will not be reading more or recommending them to my children.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good start but..., 1 Nov 2011
Like another reviewer here, I also thought this was a book for grown-ups and the book is superbly produced. It has a good start and the first third of the book is tantalising enough. Unfortunately, after the protagonist meets the "peculiar" children it turns into a banal matinee adventure, not particularly well written. It could have been so much better given all the possible topics arising from the story.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Style over content, 18 July 2011
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Review for people who haven't read it

This is a very stylish and beautifully packaged little book. It's also a quirkly little sort of 'urban horror come fairy' story.

Our hero Jacob, a slightly nerdy teen, has grown up listening to his Grandfather's seemingly far fetched tales of monsters and children with strange magical powers. He outgrows them and even becomes annoyed at them till one day... Well that would be telling wouldn't it. Needless to say this is not about one boy's fight to cure his Grandad's mental health problems but a tale of weirdness that takes us from the good old US of A to a small weatherbeaten island off the coast of Wales in search of a peculiar childrens home.

The story is a very visual affair with the author telling the story through a series of photographs as well as text. It's a clever idea and certainly has an impact and gives the tale an other worldly quality. My advice is also finish the story before reading the authors notes at the back.

OK now the whinging! Well first off I found the photo's which were initially the best bit of the book, started to get on my nerves two thirds in. More of that below but with spoilers. Also for me the story didn't quite live up to the packaging. There were some nice idea's - the time travel elements, the little mini clay golems and their slightly twisted little master but other bits didn't quite add up (again see below) or live up to the early promise.

One thing that was spot on and seemed to point to a bit of time spent on our fair shores was the American authors depiction of British people and culture. From the couple of gangsta wannabees to the general swearing it was nicely observed.

In summary I was left with a feeling of book that is probably best enjoyed by children and young teens (though there is a fair bit of swearing!) so no CBeebies watchers!

Spoilers For those who have read it! (or who don't mind spoilers)

Back to the photo's! I was intrigued by their creepy nature of some of them so stupidly flicked to the back and read that they were all genuine photo's borrowed and worked into the story. Knowing this I became very aware/ sensitive to the story being rather contrived to get the pictures in. This then started to jar with me and stopped me losing myself in the story. I do wonder what my enjoyment would have been like if I hadn't been so bloody daft!

The other things that didn't quite add up for me were the fact the children still acted as children even though they were in affect in their 80's and also this made it hard for me to get into the romance bit too, especially as it was the ex girlfriend of his Grandad!? Even with the magic of time loops that is just sick and wrong!

Anyway enough moaning already! This is a clever and novel little book and as I said at the top very stylishly presented and I would have thought a brilliant gift for a young teen. It didn't quite cut it for me as an adults book but plenty of other reviewers seemed to love it, so it's your dosh you decide!
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not the best for Kindle, I'd suggest a real book would be better., 14 Jun 2011
U. Mann "Quality, not quantity..." (Berkshire, UK) - See all my reviews
This is a very gripping plot that is both frightening and fascinating. I enjoyed the story a lot and thought I'd give the kindle version a go even though there were pictures in the book. I have to say I wish I had the hard copy now - it would have been nice to study the pictures in more detail. Also, there are some "letters" in the book that are handwritten and they are very difficut to read on the kindle.

The story is great - the idea of using the photos is creepy and wonderful. So this is definitely a keeper - and it's set up to be a series from the ending of this book. You just might want to check out the real book first before committing to the kindle version.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A most peculiar read..., 25 July 2011
Laura "@ Scattered Figments" (NEATH, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
I've sat on this review for a little while because I wanted to let Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children sink in. And, if I'm honest, I wanted time to make up my mind about this book.

It didn't work. Letting my mind breathe like a nice red wine has not allowed the flavour of my thoughts to mellow and mature. This book was like wine in a lot of ways, I guess. There was subtlety, complexity and richness. Furthermore, it was a book I could only sip. I'm usually all for swallowing books whole but I couldn't gulp at this one.

And then there was the slight... bitterness. This book left a bad after-taste with me when I was done. Just like when you indulge in a few too many glasses of red, when I was finished with this I felt the face-palm of regret. I couldn't figure out why until I sat down to put my thoughts in line about this book.

I regretted the fact that I didn't love the book as much as I had so desperately wanted to. Ransom Riggs' writing is interesting and I loved the premise of the story. Unfortunately, the only character I liked was the protagonist, Jacob. Everyone else in the story either got on my nerves a little bit or drove me completely nutty with annoyance! In some cases this annoyance came from the characters' qualities. The love interest, for example, (whose name escapes me...) was really irritating! Take that and couple it with the almost incestuous fact that she was Jacob's grandfather's ex (I know, right?) and this was a romance that just didn't float my boat.

So many of the characters had such potential. There was one creepy li'l kid who could bring clay golems to life by giving them the hearts of living creatures. He was one of the few characters who had a bit more going on other than his peculiarity. In most other cases the peculiar children's little quirks were all they had. Their personalities weren't developed and there just wasn't much beneath the surface.

The pictures were disturbing, even more so after the Afterword at the back of the book. These have me curious about Riggs' up and coming work, Talking Pictures. Other than these visual interludes, I found little else about the book creepy.

So...where do I stand? Now that it comes to thinking about how many little stars to post below, I must admit that I'm a little bit stumped. This book has worked its way under my skin in spite of my disappointment with the book as a whole. I still want to read the sequel because there really is so much potential to this premise and these characters. I'm going to give this one a 3 star rating. A cynical little voice in my head is muttering that it should be lower. A bright little voice is chirping that it should be higher. Screw them both, I'm playing it safe and sitting my butt firmly on the fence!
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27 of 33 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars WHAT!?, 3 Nov 2011
I will try to do this book justice.

The reason why this book is so disappointing is due to high expectations. The sudden change from great to boring is amazing.

It begins so well, the writing style is funny and detailed, the timing of the characters perfect, and the topics are puzzling and serious, the breathtaking tension wonderfully accentuated by the beautiful, creepy vintage photos. Subjects of family secrets, second world war, psychological distortions, subjective interpretations of the past and an unexplained, underlying feeling of the supernatural makes it hard to put down the book. Why aren't all books written like this one, you think. Why can't every book have such an exciting, broad setup and such beautiful illustrations?

And suddenly 1 or 2 thirds in, when you've spend hours reading, it happens: Everything that made the book so great disappears. All of the mystery is solved by the sudden and too convient appearence of people with magic skills. From one moment to the other.

But one thing is even worse: All the interesting subjects, world history, psychology, are suddenly dropped. Some are never even mentioned again - because why waste your time on real life topics, when you can have a ball with people who turn into birds or are invisible! WOW! Invisible people?! Totally overrules boring topics like the human consequences second world war.

Why even bother creating 200 pages of creepy tension when the target is nothing more than a banal fairy talish story? Why not keep to one thing or the other? Why waste hours of the reader's time until she realizes what the book is actually about?

I only finished the book, because I hoped that it would make an equally sudden re-turn back to the subjects of the beginning of the book. But no, the book turns into and dies like a children's book, totally stripped of anything worth giving a thought. This is not a part from the book, but it might as well have been:

Girl 1: "But WAIT! How will we cross the bridge when it is broken!?"
Girl 2: "We'll just use the magical shoes I got from a wizard a year ago!"
Girl 1: "OMG, I totally forgot about those shoes. Now you can carry us. BUT WAIT! When we get to the other side, how will we ever fight against the horrible, green giant frog from the specie of HJS75643 that can resist psysical pain!? We would need laser eyes for that!"
Boy 1:"OMG - I HAVE LASER EYES! I just haven't told you, because I wanted to keep it a secret. NOW LET'S GO!"
Boy 2: "BUT WAIT - I have allied with the awful giant frog of the specie HJS75643, I have just transformed into the shape af a regular looking boy to pretend to be your friend and fool you all! MUAHAHA!"

It's so sad that a wonderful start like the one of this book is followed by no reflief. It seems like the beginning and the ending of this book are written by two different people with two different agendas. Therefore it satisfies neither. Please: someone write a new last third of the book and do that wonderful beginning justice. I would give the beginning of the book 5 stars and the end 1. Combined the book tilts towards the latter. It's a sad case. It truly is.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dreadful, 24 Jun 2014
This is a truly awful book. Nice idea but the package is dreadful. It’s Gothic-lit for 12 year-olds. Attracted by the cover, the odd photographs and the endless reviews declaiming this book was better than sliced bread, I bought it. Big mistake. It was toast within 50 pages. American father and rich precocious son end up on an island off the Welsh coast called Cairnholm (after the Scots word ‘cairn’ and the old Norse word ‘holm’ What the Welsh with their own language would make of it doesn’t bear thinking!) Son slips through a time warp. Lots of kiddie magic with all the adults named after birds – you don’t want any more of this do you? Meanwhile, the ornithologist father thinks Manx Shearwaters gather during the day. And did you know that everyone in Wales speaks as though from Brooklyn? I hated myself for this book; hated that I gave up otherwise profitable time ploughing through. So this is a warning. Don’t buy. PS: I’m Welsh with family in Brooklyn
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