A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of curious photographs.
A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.
Young adult and fantasy books are not ones I normally read – especially combined – but I’d heard such good things about Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children when it came out I had to pick it up when I saw it in the library. The cover alone is enough to catch the eye and then the description just sounds interesting, which it was.
It has many of the characteristics of other young adult books I’ve read – a disengaged teen (this time portrayed by 16 year old Jacob) discovers they are special (or in this case peculiar) which gives them inner strength to fight their demons (figuratively and literally) and change their lives (for the better) – but it didn’t feel stale or boring or standard. A difference for me was it wasn’t set in a dystopian future but rather the present and the past, which was a nice change.
The story was well constructed and well written, with strong characters in Jacob and Emma, one of the children – with all of them becoming more real thanks to the photos used throughout the book, reinforcing their descriptions. I really liked the photos and they added to my enjoyment of the book. And I did enjoy it – a lot – more than I expected. I found myself turning pages and couldn’t wait to pick it up when I had to put it down, all good signs and meaning this is a recommended read.