Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children - Ransom Riggs

Holy hell, creepy levitating child-flapper.  Only you would catch my attention in the midst of BEA's eye-feast.  They didn't have any copies on hand, but long story short I accidentally requested two copies, because I have a memory like a salad-spinner.  When the first one came I passed it along to my sister, all You read this now and I will read the one that is surely right behind, but then the Canada Post strike STRUCK and then when the package finally came I wasn't home and then when the package finally came and stayed my Tall One took a fancy to it and SWIPED IT, all of which to say that the hooks were well tentered by the time I had it in MY own grabby hands.


Ok so, Young Jacob's grandfather tells him stories of how he had to flee Poland, which was positively lousy with 'monsters' and then went to war to fight those 'monsters,' and you are like, I recognize a thinly-veiled Nazi when I see it.  But then maybe two pages later Jacob figures out for himself that it's the Nazis and you don't feel half so clever, and then the Nazis drop out of the picture altogether and you are like, derrr.

But grandfather's stories also contained fantastical elements, like mouth-tentacles on the monsters, and then an orphanage of levitating/invisible/shape-shifting children (it's basically this:

) and Jacob laughs them off because he is older now.  But then grandfather is attacked by a THING and by the time Jacob gets to him he is all, *gasp* should have told you *hack* no time *rattle* find the bird and the loop etc. and then dies!  Jacob, you have a quest, son.

So Jacob finds a letter and goes on a quest vis a vis the orphanage and my friend Alicia is always like, You spoil every book you review, so I tell you NOTHING ELSE except that for seventy years it was the last day of their lives.  It's a tagline, it can't possibly be a spoiler, but it's what GOT ME.

Oh and also?  Abandon all hope, ye who prefer ye's novels to end with All The Things done.  This one ends with Various Protagonists setting off on another quest, maybe as sequel-bait but maybe just as nuts to your expectations.

And then, unexpectedly, it is hilarious.  Not like, HELLO I AM A VERY FUNNY BOOK PLEASE SEE MY JOKES AND IGNORE THE LACK OF CONTENT!  But like, Behold this story I have to tell, which I will augment with wit.  Ransom Riggs, I want to kiss you on your clever mouth.

And have I mentioned the photos?  It's riddled with vintage found photographs that Riggs and his cronies have unearthed.  The photos are worked in in a way that feels like they came from the story, and not vice versa.  And they're SPOOKY.  And you say, but Raych, you are a sissy.  This is correct, this thing you have said, and while I would let any 12-year-old of mine give this book ago (provided they are sterner of stuff than 12-year-old Raych), there were a few photos that gave me the fantods even in broad daylight, like THIS ONE:


Right?  (Can you see that he has no eyes?  He has no eyes, amigos.)  And ok so it was mostly that one, and then one of a creepy Santa and the rest are just sort of unsettlingly odd, but right when I got to this photo a THING FELL in the other room and I was almost not writing this review (on account of being dead [from the fright, not the thing, which was a phone charger and not terribly dangerous]).

It is probably for the best that the book gods spat down two copies upon me, so that my sister and I aren't fighting over who gets to keep it.  There would be slapping.

Nine caterpillars.

Requisite ass-covering: book(s) received from publisher.  AND I know this is unlike me lately but this book is actually out already, and you can read the first three chapters here.  YOU'RE WELCOME.

13 comments:

Celine said...

Curse you and the shameless way you ad to my tbr.

raidergirl3 said...

My 11 year old daughter is reading it now. She is liking spooky, scary stuff, so that we had to rent Jaws last month. Jaded children today, however; none of these are scary said she.

I loved loved the pictures.

Eva said...

That photo is SO CREEPY. lol Have added to my tbr list!

pagesofjulia said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE! Just wrote my review yesterday although it won't be up for like weeks. My impressions are remarkably like yours, sigh (I swear I wrote it yesterday!) but less clever. +1 in recommending this book.

Sandy Nawrot said...

I just saw this book featured in EW this week! And girl, creepy gets my engine running. I love these pictures. Hmmm...Borders just had a 20% off coupon.

alitareads said...

I *just* read about this on another blog. I'm a little sissy, too, but this sounds too wonderfully creepy to pass up. Now that the postal strike is over, I can order it right now. And then hope that the rain stays away long enough for me to read this in broad summertime daylight.

Alexandra said...

Also going to the wishlist. Sounds perfect for this year's RIP Challenge!

Jeff Rivera said...

Creepy, interesting.. Great! i think I'll like this book! Im putting this to my list of books to read and hopefully I'll get a copy without the trouble you had, that must have been frustrating!

Marigold Lott said...

I ordered it last week. I was looking for something different to read. Now I can't wait my mean little hands on this book!

Jennifer said...

I read your review, after seeing this book in a couple other places. I downloaded it immediately and read it in less than 24 hours. I would have finished it in one day, but I was scared of more scary-ness and stopped well before bedtime. It was a fascinating book, and the day a sequel, or something else from the Riggs comes out, I am so on that.

Christy said...

What Alexandra said - sounds perfect for the RIP Challenge!

Wella S. Añonuevo said...

Wanna try downloading the ebook also and read it in my mobile while the lights are off in my room.:).. I seldom read books with this genre so I wanna try this one now because of your review! :)

Meg said...

I'm such a scaredy cat that I wouldn't touch this one with a ten-foot (or any other foot) pole, but I enjoyed your review! And my sis and I fight over books all the time, too. It's one of our things.