Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

Ransom Riggs
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children Cover

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children


We get it. You're jonesing. Bad. The Boy Who Lived is all grown up. Harry Potter has kids. And sideburns. Panem has been overthrown and you're still peeved that Jennifer Lawrence has been cast to play Katniss in the upcoming film. So what's a self-respecting adult fan of YA fantasy lit to do? Have no fear, kiddos: Ransom Riggs has your fix in Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.

"Peculiar" is the operative titular word here, describing not only the tone of the book–a captivating blend of magical mystery, realism and creeping menace reminiscent of the Harry Potter series–but also the transformation of the main character, Jacob, from routine teenage outcast to young man determined to pursue his unique destiny.

Read on for the rest of the review / how to win a free copy.

Jacob's journey begins with the tragic death of his grandfather, Abe, whose tall tales of monster hunting and children with strange powers entertained Jacob as a child. Unable to cope with the loss of his grandfather, and encouraged by his therapist, Jacob travels to the isolated Welsh island that served as the setting for Abe's stories. What Jacob finds there, of course, is more peculiar than either he or the reader had imagined.

Riggs' knack for storytelling is obvious from the first pages of the book, which draw readers in with promises of the weird adventures to come. The characters you'll encounter in Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children are immediately recognizable; you may not always like them, but you don't always like everyone in real life, either. And that's what makes Riggs' skill at characterization so apparent: His ability to portray as whole (that is to say, complex and, thus, not always pleasant) personalities with minimum detail, a talent Riggs uses to establish, setting, too. It's that rare skill of achieving complexity through simplicity that makes Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children such a compelling book to read.

Any review of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children would be incomplete if it didn't comment on the book's design. Bonus points to Riggs and Quirk, the publisher, for bucking the digital trend and creating a beautifully designed print book. Sure, the cover, featuring a black-and-white photo of a levitating girl, is creepy. But it's the use of vintage photographs–collected by the author and his friends–as storytelling devices inside the book that really make the "book-as-thing" special. Peculiar in this age of e-readers, indeed.

So there you have it, readers: The perfect book to get you through those cold shakes you've been having since you saw Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II for the third time. Have I mentioned that the movie rights to Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children have already been optioned? Better just give it a try. It'll make you feel good.