Thursday, April 26, 2012

Book Review: Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children

I feel like a little background on my introduction to this book is necessary. I suffer from migraines. A lot. Like, if I don't get at least one headache every two weeks, something is wrong. Well, this past Friday I got a headache so bad that it made my eyes water and I wanted to vomit my entire being, while I was at work. So I went home, ate a bunch of narcotics (because that's what the doctor has prescribed because that's the only thing we've found to work on my headaches) and went to sleep. Saturday morning I woke up with a headache STILL. I was supposed to go to the Frist to see the Fairy Tale Exhibit, and not being one to miss out on things that I have really really been looking forward to, I took a few more pills. And by a few, I mean enough that my allergic reaction to the codeine within wasn't bad and yet my headache was gone. So, I went with my boyfriend, since he was driving, to his work meeting. He conveniently works next to Target. In my narcotics-stupor, I wandered over to Target in the almost-freezing rain and spent maybe 45 minutes walking around picking up stuff I did not in anyway need. I got things like a headband, bracelets, a new clutch bag, toothbrushes (the only necessary thing) and this book.

I know the reviews for this book have been less than favorable. These people are clueless. Don't read a book from the young adult/adolescent fiction section and then complain about how it's geared towards children. These are probably the same people who just don't understand the glorious fun that is found in children's books. Or think that Harry Potter teaches kids to be witches.

I really really enjoyed this book, unsurprisingly. In all honesty, I did start my Master's in English with my focus on children's literature, folklore and fairy tales. This book is right up my proverbial book alley. This book would fit right in my personal library. And it does; quite well, actually.

The pictures are what drew me to the book, as they do most people who are unfamiliar with Ransom Riggs. A contributor to the online compendium Mental Floss, Riggs is a collector of found photographs. Most interestingly, he prefers the ones with writing on them.

What sold me on this story, and this is a personal interest and one that may not draw you into in the same way, is the way Riggs intertwines World War 2 into the narrative. I thought that was a neat parlor trick. I probably should have expected it, yes, but it served as an excellent backdrop most of the time. I mean, Jacob's grandfather served in the war fighting monsters. But it encompassed so much more than that.

My favorite books tend to be the ones that involve supernatural story lines, time loops/shifts, and different dimensions and worlds. This book encompasses all three. I'm looking forward to the second book and possibly the movie, providing Tim Burton doesn't screw it up too badly.

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