I have no explanation for why I am only reading this now, because after reading reviews and the synopsis for Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, I was so curious that I went out and bought the book for myself. This happened almost a year ago. The best part of reading book reviews is that I knew that this is not a book that you must read in e-book format, but rather get the paperback. Why? Because of the vintage photographs in the book. The photographs are real, used from the collections of vintage photography collectors. I love that.
Jacob Portman is an ordinary boy who is about to lead an extraordinary life. He idolizes his grandfather and from a young age his grandfather, Abraham Portman, has been telling him stories about his life and the children who grew up with him at an orphanage, under the care of Miss Peregrine. Abraham shows Jacob photos of his friends, weird pictures of a levitating girl, invisible boy and a boy who has bees living inside of him. Abraham Portman had a difficult life, experienced many horrors in his life and his son (Jacob’s father) believes that he is exaggerating the stories that he tells his grandson.
His grandfather believes there are monsters that are after him. Is it the men he killed in the war? The men who destroyed his family? Is he imagining this all or is he telling the truth? When something terrible happens to his grandfather, Jacob finally sees the truth and it haunts him, so does what his grandfather pleaded to him. He needs answers, so he decides to travel to the island where the orphanage is, where his grandfather grew up. What he initially finds is an abandoned orphanage and no Miss Peregrine, but he persists until he finds her. When he does, he learns that what his grandfather told him was true all along, including the children! What happens next is Jacob and his new friends fighting off the monsters that haunted his grandfather…
This is not a horror as you would suspect it might be, judging by the cover alone, neither is it a thriller. To me, it was an eerie mystery tale and there is even an underlying story of unrequited love. If you expect a horror, you might be disappointed when you read the novel, but I LOVED it. Once I got to about a quarter of the book, I couldn’t put it down. I couldn’t wait to learn what happens next. I could visualize the children, the abandoned orphanage… I enjoyed the story the author has written around the photographs, it is quite something “different” and I look forward to reading Hollow City, which is the second book in the series. I didn’t even know that it was a series.
I must admit that once I paged through the book and saw the pictures, I was scared to read it and that might have been one of the reasons why I delayed picking it up. Some of these pictures looks like the type of picture you may see in a promo of a horror novel or movie. I am glad to learn that the story wasn’t, but I do think that if you are a fan of horror novels, you might think that the story didn’t do justice to the pictures. However, I loved the book and I think you should give it a try, if you find quirky reads like this one enjoyable.