As much as I love the Young Adult genre, when it comes to reviewing/recommending them, I leave that happy task to my 'partner-in-crime', Michelle, owner of thepassionatebookworm blog. She has a great passion and good eye for all things YA.
But for the past year, I have been very eager to read 'Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children', by Ransom Riggs. I'll admit that the cover art initially drew me in, but when I read the synopsis on the book flap, I grew more curious every time I passed the YA section. Borders had a great book loan policy for employees, but every time I tried to borrow a copy, it would be gone.
But now, Borders is gone, and my only source is the library. I was placed near the bottom of the reserve list for about a month. The day I received the call that the book was waiting for me, I practically ran down to the library to get the book into my hot little hands. As soon as I arrived back home, I plopped down on the couch and dove into the story.
And what a story! Mr. Riggs' first novel is nothing but astounding. I read it in the bath tub (sorry, library; I made sure water didn't touch it), my bed, the couch, the car. Once I was finished, I couldn't wait to write my review.
The story is accompanied by a collection of some of the oddest photographs I have ever seen, and they totally enhance the novel. Although the author does a fantastic job of describing the unusual characters, the photographs really bring them into focus, blazed upon the reader's mind.
Jacob has always been close to his paternal grandfather, who used to tell him the most imaginative stories. But as Jacob grew older, he grew to disbelieve the tales, thinking he was getting a bit too old to believe in 'fairy tales'. He learns that Abe, his grandfather, had been sent from war-torn Poland to a home on an island off the coast of Wales during WW2. After a family tragedy, Jacob and his father travel to the island; his father, to collect information about birds, and Jacob, to learn more about the children's home where his grandfather once lived. And it is also the place where Jacob learns the secrets of his grandfather's life...and some secrets about himself.
Atmospheric, dark, and full of twists-and-turns, 'Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children' has most definitely earned every five-star review awarded to it. It is odd. It is different. It is dark. But most of all, it is original. It's a story that will stay with you and one you'll want to read again.