Sunday, 30 October 2011

Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Reviews

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I think that, just by looking at the cover, we can all see why I chose to pick up Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children! Flipping through it, and seeing all of the crazy antique photos strewn throughout the pages convinced me, and now it is my turn to convince you!

Jacob was raised on the fantastic and adventurous stories of his beloved grandfather's youth. Then he grows up a bit and realizes that, of course, everything Grandpa says is hokum, and the stories are just his way of coping with the horror of living through World War II and his journey to and life in a home for war orphans in Wales. Then Grandpa is murdered, and Jacob starts seeing the monsters from the stories. Which, naturally is all marked up as some sort of stress related reaction and, when his birdwatching father decides to go to Wales for some research, Jacob's psychiatrist agrees that it would be therapeutic for Jacob to go along and do a bit of his own research about his grandfather's time at the orphanage.

Unfortunately, the orphanage no longer exists. On a remote island off the coast of Wales, Jacob gets the same story - the orphanage and all the children were destroyed by a wayward bomb. Then, and I won't tell you how, Jacob finds himself at the orphanage again, only this time, instead of an empty shell full of unbelievable photographs similar to the ones that his grandfather had, it's a living breathing community of, not orphans, but Peculiars. Children with extraordinary powers (like Olive, the floating girl on the front cover!). You'll have to read (and I highly recommend that you do) the book to know how this is possible. But know that something is threatening the Peculiars. And now everyone has a choice to make. Other, similar groups of children all around the world are being attacked. Do they remain in the comfort of an endlessly sunny day, waiting to see if the monsters will eventually find them? Or leave the safety of the orphanage grounds and try to put a stop to the evil plot? And Jacob? Will he return to his father and the boring existence that was driving him nowhere? Or remain in the 1940s (how did he get THERE?) and use his own Peculiar powers to help his new friends?

The book is AMAZING. I highly recommend it to both boys and girls. If you liked Percy Jackson, chances are you'll enjoy this. Only two things bugged me. The first is that it ends with a cliffhanger. For once I really just wanted a good old fashioned stand alone book. But I imagine I'll get over that as soon as the sequel hits the shelves. The second is (naturally) the photographs. They are specified within the story as being from certain time periods. And they're just not... And there is definitely one photograph that is described as being a girl, and the child pictured is very much a boy. Side part and all. Oh well. This is where I'm too nit picky for my own good. The point is, read the book! *shoo*

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