Miss Peregrine's by Ransom Riggs
(Sequel yet untitled to be released Spring 2013)
YA Paranormal Thriller
Spoiler Alert: Only a little
Note: This author has the coolest name ever. I need to thank his parents for this.
This guy's awesome. There, I said it. And I think his name set him up for great things. If you get a chance, check out his YouTube videos about the book trailer for this book and the making of the book trailer, and all the others he has out there. So much entertainment from one guy. Here's what he did: He went around to flea markets, etc and purchased old and intriguing black and white photographs (apparently this is a pretty popular hobby) and turned them into a story. It's spectacular how they all dovetailed together.
This was another book that I tried to get as an ARC because it looked and sounded cool. I had to buy it by myself, which I was more than happy to do. I have to say, that even though it was well-written and a brilliant story, it wasn't anything like what I was expecting. I will even go far enough to say that the was a bit of false advertising that went into me buying the book. Let me show you. Here's the official summary according to Ransom's blog:
"A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. And a strange collection of very curious photographs. It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children who once lived here—one of whom was his own grandfather—were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a desolate island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.
"A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows."
After reading that, I was expecting thrills, mystery, ghosts, and a lot of scariness. The only a tiny bit of what I felt was promised, was delivered. And that was at the beginning when he was in the woods behind his grandfather's house. Overlooking that, I thought it was a very entertaining story. Clever and imaginative, and given its paranormal nature, pretty believable. The only part I found hard to swallow was the end, when Jacob makes a decision there's no going back on. It's going to be interesting to see how Ransom makes that play out in the follow-up to this book. How he's going to make it believable and realistic. The characters were interesting and surprisingly well-rounded.
Even though this wasn't what I expected or one of my favorite books, I'll probably pick up the second installment to see what happens to Jacob and the other peculiar children in Spring of 2013. It looks like it's going to be made into a movie as well (screenplay written by Jane Goldmen X-Men First Class and a rumor that Tim Burton might be directing it—which would be, in one word, perfect) and I'd actually be VERY interested to see. I already know a song they should put on the soundtrack – Dead Hearts by Stars.