Thursday, 13 February 2014

Book Reviews (304): Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children & (305): Hollow City - Ransom Riggs

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children #1)

Publication: 7th June 2011
Publisher: Quirk Books
Pages: 352
Genre: Fantasy
Age Appropriate: Young Adult
A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of very curious photographs.

It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, 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.

A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.
My Thoughts.
Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children has been on my wishlist/tbr pile for what seems like quite a long time now, so when I got the chance to review a copy I jumped at the chance.

From the cover and synopsis I've always thought that this was going to be a creepy, too scary to read before bed type of book, unfortunately I was wrong.

While I did still enjoy the book, I was disappointed to discover that the book wasn't what I expected it to be, the start of the story was a bit boring and it took a while for the book to pick up and go somewhere and to make me want to keep on reading.

I found the photos throughout the book fascinating and creepy in parts, and I love the idea that the story was based around these photos that the author had come across in his travels, what a great and clever idea for a story.

Jacob is a character who is interesting to read about, thrust into this strange and intriguing world after the death of his Grandfather, who used to tell Jacob tales of when he was a young boy living in a children's home on an island, astonished to come to the realisation that every story he told was true, Jacob finds himself immersed in the middle of the lives of these peculiar children who have been hidden away for so long.

Danger and action prevails as Jacob helps to save them all from an enemy who is all to eager to be rid of the children and their headmistress Miss Peregrine.

For what it was, whilst not what I was hoping it to be was still very well written, a great concept helped by the images scattered within.

I urge everyone to pick this book up and give it a read.

I give this 3.5/5 stars.

Hollow City (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children #2)

Publication: 14th January 2014
Publisher: Quirk Books
Pages: 399
Genre: Fantasy
Age Appropriate: Young Adult
The extraordinary journey that began in Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children continues as Jacob Portman and his newfound friends journey to London the peculiar capital of the world. But in this war-torn city, hideous surprises lurk around every corner. Like its predecessor, this second novel in the Peculiar Children series blends thrilling fantasy with never-before-published vintage photography to create a one-of-a-kind reacting experience.
My Thoughts.
Hollow City is the sequel to Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children, continuing on from the first book we find Jacob taking a journey with some of the peculiar children to find a cure for Miss Peregrine, whom is stuck in her bird form.

Along the way they have their brushes with danger and with that a lot of action and adventure on their travels, Jacob with his newfound peculiar abilities will help them keep abreast of any Hollows that may be around.

I didn't enjoy this book as much as I did the first one, I found all the traveling around to be a bit boring and I preferred the first book quite a bit more than this one.

Just like the first story we have some unusual and fascinating photographs that coincides with the storyline in some way which is such a unique aspect the two books thus far in this series share, adding something different  that makes these books stand out from the current YA books currently out there.

I still plan on seeing this series to its end, I'd like to see how it's all wrapped up and what's in store for Jacob and his friends.

For people who were fans of the first book especially, or readers looking for something a bit different, then definitely pick this series up.

I give this 3/5 stars.

I grew up in Florida, went to Kenyon College in Ohio, then film school at USC in LA, where I still live. I write books and screenplays, blog daily for, and make short films. 

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is my first novel. I'm really excited about it -- it was challenging and rewarding and I hope people like it. If you read that and like the found photographs in it, you might be interested in a book comprised entirely of found photographs that I have coming out January 2012 from HarperCollins. It's called Talking Pictures. You can find sneak peeks by doing a search for "mental floss talking pictures" (I included a number of images in blogs there) and I made a kinda-sorta book trailer for it, which is on my youtube page:

Also, watch out for a Miss Peregrine book trailer, which I'm working on right now! I get to go to Belgium and film inside creepy abandoned chateaus, which I'm *really* looking forward to.

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