Thursday, 22 May 2014


MISS PELEGRINE'S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN is a debut novel of american author Ranson Riggs. I came across this book while browsing through Waterstones website about 18 months ago, just before it was released. It immediately caught my attention. The promise of a story based on old photographs was irresistible. But it took me a while to purchase it and even longer to read it.

Luckily, I have been lacking an inspiration for reading lately. Somehow I found all the YA novels I owned a tad boring, so it was time to grab this hardback and see what the book has in store for me.

Firstly, I have to mention the lovely hardback edition sitting on one of my book shelf. The photographs are mesmerising and the whole edition is just gorgeous. When you peel of the sleeve you find a red journal of Alma LeFay Peregrine. This really is one of the most beautiful hardbacks I own (but still it isn't on the level of The Night Circus hardback - that book is in a completely different league!).  I love the idea of this story based on old, found and very peculiar photographs. They might be just tricks of photographers who are playing with our minds, or they might truly capture something unexplainable in the world. And they definitely make this story  more paranormal and interesting. They are intertwined within the story itself and compliment it. They make this book that little bit more special! 

Jacob Portman used to love the stories his grandfather used to tell him as a child. He even had photographs to prove every single of his stories! But as Jacob grew older, the stories became less and less real and the once amazing photographs became pictures which were tampered with. He broke his grandfather's heart by not believing him. A little Jacob knew, that after tragedy strikes and his beloved grandfather dies, Jacob starts to question everything. What if the stories grandpa told him when he was a child, are true? What has really happened on the beautiful island which his grandfather described as a paradise? Jacob decides to find out the truth  for himself and travels to Wales only to find out the HOME in ruins and being told that every child died on the eve of 3rd September 1940. But something keeps bugging him and he returns to the ruins of the home everyday... And then the impossible happens! One afternoon he is surprised by bunch of children who's photographs he's seen before... And so the adventure begins....

Writing this book review took me quite some time. I have been thinking and thinking... having little discussions in my head ... What do I think about this book? I am still not sure what I want to say to you about this story.... I did enjoy the book and the story itself. It was engaging and the photographs in the book gave it the extra edge. At certain point while reading through the night shift, I got a little bit scared. You know how it goes.. You see it. You read about it. You get freaked out when the scary part of the story comes in.

I have loved how modern the writing was. I could relate to the characters and found them all very fascinating. The relationships in this story were beautiful, strong and empowering.

As I said I truly enjoyed the fact that the story was written based on the found vintage photographs on the flee markets in different cities and countries. I also liked how the story evolved into different time lines. The story itself was really entertaining and I found myself routing for the peculiar children..

But having said that... It didn't leave an everlasting impression on me. Everywhere I go and everyone I speak to, I recommend to read the book, but I have been really struggling to find the words for this review.

I read it. I liked it. But I don't think I will re-read it any time soon.

Next time it will be the second instalment of the book which came out this year - HOLLOW CITY. Again, I purchased in hardback to complete my collection and in the fashion of the previous book, it is beautiful. I so hope that the story will continue to engage my liking.

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