Since last summer I have had Mrs. Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children on my “To Read List”. I finally found it at our local used book store (McKay’s) for super cheap and bought it with much excitement. I dove right in to the book and finished it in about a week.
I usually read fast, but I wanted to slow down for this one. My reason being that for school I read hundreds of pages a week (thousands sometimes..) and I did not want to read it the same way as I do my school readings… if that makes any sense.
SO, with that being said, I give this book a full 5 stars. If you don’t know anything about the book, the author, Ransom Riggs, tells the story of a boy named Jacob who loved to listen to his grandfather’s imaginative stories from his time in World War II. Jacob’s grandfather was a jewish child at the time and found refuge on an island on the coast of England, which is the setting for his wild stories with peculiar characters that he recounts to Jacob. As Jacob grows up he disbelieves these fairy tales; however, after his grandfather’s mysterious death (or murder) he sets out to find this island. Anything else would be a spoiler so I won’t go into detail, but the rest of the book is wonderful.
Ransom Riggs consulted vintage picture collectors and used several black and white photographs (only some were slightly edited) throughout the work. I loved the experience of reading a book with vintage pictures. It added more depth to the visual part of reading. Some pictures were pretty creepy, while one in particular actually caused me to shut the book and cry a little because it was so sad. I loved turning to page and seeing what had been described to me on the previous; it was like my imagination was working with the author on a deeper level to fully understand what peculiarities he was describing through his words (which were still very descriptive, even with the aid of the pictures).
It was definitely a book I think I would have enjoyed from early high school to now. Since I read A LOT of philosophy and theory for school, reading a book like this felt a little out of my element at first. I was wondering, “Am I too old for this?” and “Am I going to be bored?”; however, it was not boring at all. I found the plot to be pretty simple, but the mythological and purely fictional elements of the book to be creative and unique.
Since the book is narrated by a sixteen year old boy, there were points that I found laughable because it reminded me of my guy friends in high school and their thought processes. But the narration was not un-relatable at any point, which I think can happen in any book when it is written in first person and there is an age division between the narrator and the reader or the character is of the opposite sex than the reader (this is just a personal opinion from reading experiences but it does not happen all the time).
Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone over the age of 14. It does not have explicit content or any sort of inappropriateness about it, but I think that in order to fully appreciate the duo of the pictures and the writing, that a more mature reader is the one who needs to pick up the book.
AND I can’t wait to read the sequel! But first I am going to go back to philosophy for a while… because I do miss it. I will say hello toHeidegger before picking up my next read. Again, I will be consulting goodreads.com. My new BFF.