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.