So I do not ever normally read young adult fiction, the last time I did I was in my early twenties, I think, when I absorbed Phillip Pullman’s trilogy at lightening speed! Therefore Im not entirely sure why I haven’t really given the genre a second look for such a long time. I have been missing out if Riggs’ debut novel, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is anything to go by.
The book was totally new territory for me in terms of young adult fiction, but also in the way that the text is interspersed with around fifty curious, antique photographs. Initially I did think, I am not so sure I like this! I love photographs in biographies, but fiction is where I like to imagine scenes and characters for myself. The photographs however, soon really added to the book, and it was interesting to reflect back after finishing the book, that it was so unusual to see a writer’s inspiration first hand through images.
The story follows our hero Jacob, through an ‘awakening’ tale from loss and bereavement, to his ‘enlightenment’ through the journey to understand his beloved Grandfather’s history and heritage. The story unravels with some truly comical moments, one of my absolute favourite lines is “Then it clicked. Their clothes, strange even for Wales”, perhaps not for the reason the American author intended! There were a few cringe worthy moments, I think most likely because I am not the intended audience, I found the rapping Welsh ‘hoodies’, for example a little absurd! However I found myself drawn in, willing Jacob on to fit the pieces of the puzzle together as fast as we the readers had, and to steer away from the inevitable danger.
The story takes us on a magical journey from a melancholy, dejected life, to other worldly excitement and mysticism. I enjoyed the romantic subplot; it was incredibly innocent and sweet, and not a teenage angst ridden whitewash. I can see several complicated, ‘course of true love never did run smooth’ type relationships developing in future novels.
After putting aside the frequent use of the words ‘turds’ and ‘pissing’, this novel is incredibly enjoyable for a more ‘mature’ reader! I understand the book has already been made into a Hollywood blockbuster, set to hit UK screens in late September, and to be honest its really obvious why. The book has extravagant cinematic qualities from the get go. From fanciful, extraordinary characters to sparkling, fantastical scenery.
If you are or have a young adult in your life this is a great book, especially if you are looking for the next big thing after ‘The Hunger Games’, ‘Harry Potter’, the ‘Divergent’ trilogy. My prediction, given the Hollywood seal of approval, is the film is going to be big in the Autumn, and there is already and will be even more books to follow. If, like me you sometimes just like to enjoy an easy read, a bit of adventure and some light hearted fantasy, plus you are the kind of person that likes to read the book before you see the film, I would highly recommend Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children for a weekend read!
If you are interested in purchasing Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children please click here
I was sent a copy of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by the lovely people at Social Book Co to review. The Social Book Co is a magnificent price comparison type site for book lovers. I, until recently only ever bought books from the river/jungle site and never really thought to shop around for the best price, odd considering I love a bargain! Just like hunting for a discount voucher online, or using a cash back website, its an extra step when buying books, but it can save you a few pennies, so you can buy even more books!