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on 5 September 2017
I read this for my book club and I have to say I was really looking forward to it. There was so much hype around this book that I was massively intrigued. I also loved the idea of the pictures and it has to be said that the look of the book is great. Having said that, it is really hard to read such a hyped book with an open mind. Will the book ever live up to expectations? Also reviewing a YA novel as a 36 year old is also quite tricky. Without a doubt my 14,15,16 year old self would have loved it.

My 14 year old self would have loved the photos. Would have thought they were absolutely amazing. 36 year old me is slightly more cynical. It seems a little paint by numbers. Briggs describes a character and the next page is a picture of said character. So far so good. Unfortunately it gets a bit silly when you see a photo of some silly squiggles which are then described as Horace’a premonition. The same as the photo of the girl smoking a pipe and peeling potatoes. Really???? Did Briggs just find these photos and think ‘yup, I’ll just chuck ’em in the book.’

Sometimes I’d find a new photo that just demanded to be included in the story, and I’d find a way of working it in; other times I’d look for a certain type of photo to fit a story idea I had.

Raymond Briggs
I started questioning what the book would be like without the pictures?? This is slightly unfair as the pictures are a massive part of the book. Nevertheless, I don’t think the story alone is that impressive. All in all, I did enjoy it but I wasn’t blown away.

Should I read the other 2 in the trilogy????
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on 17 October 2016
I loved this book from page 1! I knew nothing about the story but was hooked right from the beginning. Full of surprises, twists and turns, not predictable at all, very much like some of the characters. I bought it on a whim as I saw the cover in a shop and decided it looked interesting and I am so glad!
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on 27 March 2017
i found the first few chapters of this book really spectacular ... really truly magical

but was so disappointed when we got to the cairn
and it veers off into science fiction
which seemed like a let down at that point

althoug i realise its a book with hidden meanings that i don't understand

it seemed at that point to turn from an adults book to a children's one

Lucie Robson
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on 16 August 2017
I know it says it's a children's book; but I enjoyed reading (and I'm currently 29). I loved the pictures included in the story and loved them even more to find they were genuine pictures (some of course having been altered slightly).

I was a bit sad when I reached the end of the book (reading it on kindle so didn't realise how close I was to the end) without realising. It did end on a good cliffhanger and look forward to reading the other books.

I thought the passing of the story was spot on. Was quite pleasantly surprised how it made me gasp (audibly as well) in some parts when information was given and I made the possible connections in my head.

I'm rambling now; get it, read it and love it.
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on 30 July 2017
loved this original story. I had not seen the film so had no preconceived ideas.
A good adventure, which will please young and old readers who like this genre. Well drawn characters with some interesting life questions to deal with - well written without moralising. Couldn't wait to start the second book.
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on 27 July 2017
Thouroughly enjoyed reading this book, so much so I have bought the rest of them! Such a different style of book that others i have read by including the photos to help the storyline. Very good idea for a book, super imaginative and also amazing price. Would recommend for children and adults, amazing read!
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on 28 September 2013
I always know I have read a good book when I feel a wrench of loss when I finish it. This book is wonderful, on the surface an engaging story that kept me hooked all the way through, but there are many deeper issues which are touched upon that make it rather more complex than the usual young adult fare. Then there are the photographs, which are similarly haunting and thought provoking.

Even though it was aimed at a young adult market I found it intelligent enough to keep me interested and I'll definitely be purchasing the second in the series.
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on 6 February 2012
I selected this from the recommendations that appeared on my Kindle. It sounded intriguing and after reading the sample I thought I'd give it a go. The story is well written and keeps you turning the page and builds to an exciting finale. However, to me (and my husband, who also read it), it seemed to just finish without resolving several plot details. I won't say what they are so as not to spoil it for anyone else.
Overall, a very good read, written in nice easy to understand and yet high level language, a good story and characters but a disappointing ending, which for me ruined the book. Maybe there's going to be a sequel but I haven't seen a mention of it. If there is, I'll definitely read it.
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on 22 March 2014
I've wanted to read this book for a while, ever since seeing the cover and reading the title. It sounds interesting and looks alluring. It is that, at times. I like the beginning and the set-up of Jacob and his grand dad, Abe's, relationship. We're invited to take a look at a few pictures, of Abe's friends, during the war, at a place he stayed on an island in Wales. Abe, growing increasingly paranoid about "monsters" who are out to get him, is finally killed, just before Jacob could come to the rescue.

Thus ensues a trip overseas, through a portal and into a time-loop. I enjoyed the setting very much. I'm a sucker for island-settings and this locked in time place was enjoyable to read. And the peculiar children who live on the island are also, mostly, adorable. The plot, however, takes a while to get going. Even though it's nice to read about the world Rigg's has created, the plot, when finally fully introduced, is a bit thin to me. The monsters Abe was so afraid of all his life are opposites of the peculiar children ,who all have some sort of power (levitation, making fire, invisibility etc) and the monsters live on peculiar meat. eat enough peculiar meat and you become a wight, whose job it is to make sure the monsters have enough to eat. Now, this already sounds fishy to me. Because becoming a wight compared to a monster, is surely an upgrade, no? Why would it be their job to procure the meat for the monsters? Turns out the wights are planning to create an all consuming time-loop by the help of Miss Peregrine and other "birds" of her kind. We're told about what happened the last time someone tried this. It caused a huge explosion and created the monsters!

Another thing that made this book a bit of a downer for me was Jacob's cluelessness. When he steps into the time-loop he spends ages not knowing that he must be in the past, because EVERYTHING is different. Instead he spends ages figuring it out, almost getting beaten up by an angry mob he created whilst walking around clueless covered in mud. Jesus, kid, get it together. The pictures, littered throughout the book, also don't do it for me. They don't really add anything to the story apart from visualize a scene or a person who's already been described. A few of them are kind of cool, I guess, but all in all I don't really see their merit.

It kept me reading, but I doubt I'll be picking up the next one.
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on 14 July 2017
an enjoyable series about as stated peculiar children with a greater amplification by the incredible use of creepy different photos taken from i believe an abandoned institution for children.
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