Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of peculiar photographs. It all awaits 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 16-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling remains of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its decaying bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that Miss Peregrine’s children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on deserted island for good reason. And somehow – impossible though it seems – they may still be alive.

My mum bought me this book after she read some reviews of it and thought it would be the kind of thing I would like; I’m so glad she did!

The book is narrated by Jacob, a 16-year-old boy whose grandfather has told him stories of monsters and a strange orphanage on an island off the coast of Wales. Jacob’s grandfather has a box of mysterious photographs that he used to convince Jacob of his tales, but as Jacob got older he began to realise that the photos were just trickery and that his grandfather’s stories were exaggerated versions of the truth.

However, when Jacob’s grandfather dies in a horrific accident which Jacob can’t make sense of, he begins to believe in the stories of monsters and peculiar children again. With the help of his therapist, he convinces his father to take him on a trip to the island where his grandfather grew up.

Upon arrival Jacob and his father aren’t very welcome in the small, slightly backwards community, but two boys agree to take Jacob to the site of the old orphanage. While exploring the decrepit building he comes across a box of photographs similar to his grandfathers’.

***SPOILER***

In the moorland near the orphanage Jacob accidentally discovers a portal which takes him back in time to 3rd September 1940. There he meets Miss Peregrine and the ‘peculiar’ children in her care. They all have unusual abilities, from invisability to levitation. They have been living the same day repeatedly for over 70 years, but for a reason – the peculiar children and Miss Peregrine are being hunted and they are most safe if they remain within their loop.

However, the arrival of Jacob brings new danger and as Jacob learns more about his grandfather and himself he realises that his life is never going to be the same.

***END OF SPOILER***

I really enjoyed this book, the mystery and suspense kept me reading and I loved the way that the photographs were woven into the story. I admire Ransom Riggs’ talent at being able to create such a good story using inspiration from real old photographs he has found.

If you enjoy mysteries, and are looking for something which may well become the next big thing I would definitely reccomend Miss Peregrine. The next in the series, ‘Hollow City’, will definitely be in my basket next time I order from Amazon!

I used to dream about escaping my ordinary life, but my life was never ordinary. I had simply failed to notice how extraordinary it was.

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