24 August 2011

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
Ransom Riggs
Quirk Publishing

Holy creepy book Batman!  I've admitted to being a wuss before, but I really think this book would give just about anyone the heebie-jeebies.  Having said that, YOU REALLY NEED TO READ THIS BOOK.  Wow.  Wow wow.  It's sooooo good.  And I hate scary things.  But this book had me hook line and sinker from the get go.
So here's the basic storyline.  Jacob has grown up around his very peculiar grandfather, Abe, who always told him stories of children with special gifts - an invisible boy, a levitating girl and a boy who had bees living inside him.  When Jacob was very young he believed his grandfather's tall tales, but as he got older, he realized that there was no way the stories could be true.  When Jacob's grandfather dies mysteriously, Jacob suddenly wants to know more about Abe's odd childhood.  Finally, Jacob convinces his own father to travel with him to the small British Island where Abe grew up in search of some answers.  What he finds are more than answers and will lead him to believe all his grandfather's stories and lead him into great danger.
And that's all I'm going to tell you.
Ok, I lied.  Here's some more.  This book has it all: history, fantasy, science fiction, time travel, creepy crawlies, bullies, bad guys, good guys, bad guys disguised as good guys, oh...and some serious sheep do-do.  But what really makes the book stand out is Riggs' use of antique photographs.  First off, some of the photographs are down right creepy (demonic Santa Clause posed with two innocent children on a reindeer?  Creeptastic).  However all of the photos add to the storyline.  The story starts out with Abe showing Jacob the pictures and telling him the stories, and it comes full circle in the end.
I will admit that I started reading this book one night before bed and promptly had to put it down.  The next day I went through the entire book looking at the pictures in an attempt to un-creepify them.  Then I restricted myself to reading only when it was light outside (though the middle of the book is not so creepy, it's just great writing, so that part I could read before bed).  I also started to freak out about shadows (eeeh...they're ruined for me forever) and, I won't lie, considered sleeping with a lamp or two on one night.  And you can bet your knickers I checked and double checked the locks before going to bed each night.  Which reminds me....

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