2012: 18.  Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

"I had just come to accept that my life would be ordinary when extraordinary things began to happen."

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, Ransom Riggs

      This is a perfectly servicable young adult book - but I thought, before I read it, that I was going to love it, so my sense of it is one of disappointment.  The hook that grabbed me an caught my fancy is that the book is filled with strange antique pictures - pictures of people flying, people with birds for heads - very Wisconsin Death Book type stuff.  The pictures are real - which is to say they are authentic old pictures, though they are obviously antique trick photography.  Anyway, the novel is written around the creepy old pictures, and creepy old Victoriana is very much something I find fascinating, so I was eager to read this.

    And its fine - pretty good, even.  The idea is that the narrator (whose name escapes me) finds these pictures in his grandfather's house, and that leads him to this strange island where he finds the children in the pictures are real (why are they so old-timey? because the island is out of time).  And there is a lot of creative stuff here, and the characterization is pretty good.  So why am I disappointed? I think because of the ending.  SPOILERS herein - one of my pet peeves is when you get near the end of a book and realize, shoot, this is not going to be wrapped up in the few pages remaining, and that instead its setting it up for a sequel.  I get that that is the name of the game in YA, and when I know that going in it doesn't bother me, but when it catches me off guard it leave a bad taste in my mouth.  Which is unfair to Riggs, I guess.  The book is clever, and the old-timey pictures are creepy and cool, and if you know that the book leave you hanging, you'll probably like it fine.

Categories:  YA, Library Book

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017