Sunday, May 6, 2012

Review: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

The word "Peculiar" is the key to this one!

Miss Peregrine was named Best Fiction for Young Adults by the
Young Adult Library Services Association and although fantasy and time travel are not what I normally enjoy reading, I had to see what all the fuss was about.

It's a fascinating read, and I can readily understand how young adults (I'd say in 12-15 age range) will just eat this one up.  As an adult, who had to really suspend belief, I found myself almost putting it down several times waiting for something big to happen, but once I got about half-way through I knew I had to finish it to see if there was a realistic ending.  And I won't tell...

The narrator Jacob sets out on a journey to see if some of the wild tales his grandfather told before he died could possibly be true and if they have anything to do with the monsters he keeps "seeing."  He also wants to track down the stories behind a box of old pictures he found in his grandfather's things.  Accompanied by his father, he returns to the scene of his grandfather's mysterious childhood spent in Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.  He had been told that this was an asylum for children who were sent there during World War II to escape the Nazis.

In his attempts to locate and understand the past, he enters a time "loop" of fantastic dimensions, in which the same day keeps repeating itself, and realizes he must be one of the "peculiars" who are able to travel between the two worlds.  Nuff said.  His adventures are suspenseful and well-written.  The story is made all the better by the inclusion of the over 20 black and white photos helping to illustrate the monsters, and supernatural happenings described.  The enchanced version of the audio book comes with a disc of pdfs showing the picture, so the reader can follow along while listening.  A great way to enjoy the story.  On top of everything, the characters are endearing and once the reader is introduced to them, he or she will have to stay on the ride until it ends.

Jesse Bernstein's narration is outstanding.  He manages to portray a wide panaply of accents, voices, ages, and intent.  I actually did a double work out at the pool one day because I did not want to stop listening, but then I wanted to hurry home so I could go back and view the photos I'd missed!  No matter the format you choose, if fantasy, time travel and well developed characters are for you, so is this book.

Author: Ransom Riggs
Publisher-Format: Quirk Books (2011),  Hardcover, 352 pages
 Enhanced audio book with disc of photographs: Books on Tape 9 hr 42 min  
Narrator: Jesse Bernstein
Subject: time travel
Setting: Wales
Genre: time travel, fantasy, young adult fiction
Source: Public Library download


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