Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

First Lines: I had just come to accept that my life would be ordinary when extraordinary things began to happen.  The first of these came as a terrible shock and, like anything that changes you forever, split my life into halves: Before and After.  Like many of the extraordinary things to come, it involves my grandfather, Abraham Portman.

When you read supernatural stuff as much as I do, you begin to think there aren’t many surprises left.  Everything’s been touched upon or every subject has been sufficiently covered.  But Miss Peregrine felt really new, even though I can point to a number of things that have been used in previous stories, like the characteristics of the peculiar children.

Jacob Portman’s life has always been pretty ordinary.  The only child of rich parents, he’s been spoiled and doted upon for years.  However, his grandfather was different.  He told Jacob stories of peculiar children he knew back when he attended school on a small island during World War II.  When he was young, Jacob ate those stories up.  Now he knows better than to believe them…but what if they’re true?  After a family tragedy brings Jacob to the island his grandfather always talked about, he finds that things can be rather…peculiar.  The school is in ruins now, but what if children are still living there?…the same children…?

Yesterday, I read nearly all day because I realized if I wanted to read anything else before Thanksgiving, I had to get this one done.  So I booked it, no pun intended.  And once I really got rolling, I didn’t want to stop.

The story was more complex than I thought it would be.  There was always so much going on and so much you had to keep straight.  For the most part, Mr. Riggs did a good job of writing it in a way that could be easily understood even if you weren’t completely keeping up with it (which I wasn’t always).  It’s given to you in chunks, as Jacob learns everything.

I didn’t expect this to be as creepy as it was.  If I had known, I may not have read it as quickly or at night.  I thought it would have creepy elements, yes (have you seen the pictures?), but I just figured it’d be a fun, la-di-da read.  So not the case.  It tackles very heavy material.  Be forewarned.

I didn’t expect, either to like it as much as I did.  Even as I was finishing reading it, I was like, “It’s not worth 5 roses.”  But afterwards, it lingered with me for so long that I had to reconsider. Also, there was so much set up at the end that you know this has to be a series.  After digging a little, I found that in fact, there is a tentatively planned sequel for 2013.  So keep that in mind.

Good story.  Creepy at times, and perhaps a little hard to follow if you aren’t familiar with the sci-fi genre, but still good.

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