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Thursday, February 23, 2017

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children was a novel that everyone seemed to have read. It had an interesting synopsis, a fantastical setting, and great reviews- so I decided to give it a shot and add my review to the thousands of others that are already out there!

This book is about a sixteen-year old boy, Jacob Portman who finds reason to believe in the fairy-tales his grandfather, Abraham, told him when he was a boy. These weren't fairy tales with happy endings or even happy beginnings. They were stories of monsters and death and fantastic creatures. Jacob's parents had always passed it off as exaggerations of Abraham's life as a Jew in German Poland. Jacob had eventually dismissed them too. Somehow, with the death of his grandfather, these tales become real again.

 This is not a self-help book. Nor is it a book about trauma and stress. It is not a novel that describes shock and grief. It is certainly not a novel about death. What is this book about then? Fiction, Fantasy and Adventure!

 Jacob is a lonely young boy who lost his friends near his grandfather's death. He doesn't enjoy sports and outdoor activities, and is quite mediocre at everything. His parents worried about him earlier, but now, after he claims that he saw a monster murder his grandfather, his parents send him to therapy. His therapist deciphers that in order for Jacob to put Abraham's death to rest, he must travel to the island he so frequently described in his tales. With the help of his grandfather's dying words, Jacob sets off to explore nothing other than Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.

 Ransom Riggs describes the bleak conditions of this Welsh island and the mangled vocabulary of the young rapscallions. What really hooks you to this book though, are the characters. They're not written with "literary finesse". They don't possess perfection or pretend to be perfection. They're just people. People who believe, people with opinions, but most importantly, people who remember.

That my friends, is why you should try Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. The title is quite a mouthful- but everything else about the book is very interesting. This book is part of a series, and while I haven't read the next books, I'd still recommend that you at least try this one. It will remind you of the vast differences that exist within the spectrum of creativity.  It truly is an experience in and of itself.

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