Thursday, July 7, 2011
When my brother gave me an Amazon gift card for my birthday, I did something I never do: I bought a book without reading it first. (Usually I read library books, and then buy the ones I know I'll read again.)
After finishing Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, I'm glad I took the leap.
This was quite the revelation, and I found myself going back and looking at each photo again, marveling at how seamlessly the author, Ransom Riggs, was able to weave them into the storyline. These aren't simply bonus illustrations on the side; they're integral keys to the entire plot line. As a result, you can tell that Riggs built some of his characters around their images, as opposed to the other way around. Fascinating stuff.
From the description and cover images I was afraid this was going to be a horror story. It's not. In fact, I am a *huge* wimp when it comes to scary books, and I was able to read this in the dead of night just fine - although I could imagine a few of the creepier images in the middle revisiting the odd nightmare here and there. (The Santa in particular was pretty shudder-worthy.)
The ending was everything I like: enough resolution to satisfy - no annoying cliff-hangers - but enough room left over for possible sequels. And I dearly hope there's a sequel.
So, if you like young adult fiction (and after Harry Potter, who doesn't?) I definitely recommend Miss Peregrine's. For a debut novel, the story alone is fairly impressive - but combined with the photographs, it becomes one of those tales that will stick in your memory for years to come.
And finally, I was about to embed the book trailer here, as it's one of the best I've ever seen, but I just stumbled across something even better: the making-of video. Turns out, Riggs went urban exploring in Belgium to shoot the trailer, trespassing in abandoned old mansions, and the resulting film is filled with jaw-dropping scenes of simply gorgeous urban decay. So, by all means, watch the finished book trailer, but you simply HAVE to see this:
Wow. I think I'm going to watch that again now.
Oh, and if you're inspired to take the leap, too, Miss Peregrine's is currently $10.25 at Amazon.
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