Friday, March 23, 2012

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children – Ransom Riggs

First of all, BIZNISS.  We have a giveaway winner:  Kristine G., from right here in my ‘hood!  Kristine, please contact me with your sewing request; I’m looking forward to making something for you!  Thanks for participating, lovely readers.  Now, on to the book.

People.  I haven’t been this excited about a newly-released book in a long, long while.  In fact, I actually had a completely different write-up ready for today, but just bumped it because I couldn’t wait to tell you about this one.  Go out and buy it, stat, then come back and read this review.  Priorities! 

To continue. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children has major geek-out potential for me.  I’m one step away from one or more of the following options:

1.  Dressing up as one of the characters for the movie premiere,
2.  Photoshopping images of myself onto the bodies of the peculiar children, and using said images as Facebook profile pictures, or
3.  Creating an online chat room centered around Miss Peregrine’s loop, in which role-playing will most assuredly be involved.

It’s just that kind of book, y’all.

Miss Peregrine’s is actually another YA novel (I promise, I do read Big People Books as well).  The main character is sixteen-year-old Jacob, who, in the aftermath of his grandfather’s death, embarks upon an overseas trip in order to answer questions about said grandfather’s mysterious life.  What he finds is…well, Crazy Pants Town.  (This is so hard to write, because I don’t want to give anything away!)  But I will tell you that time travel is involved, and that Riggs sets up the book as the first of a series, which for me signifies that this is going to be The Next Big Thing.  It’s going to explode, you guys – I’m predicting Hunger Games- or Harry Potter-type madness.  If the movie rights haven’t yet been purchased, then Hollywood is even stupider than I thought, because this book would (no, will) make a spectacular movie.

An aside:  I usually hate books and movies that deal with time travel in any way, because there’s always a breakdown in the logic at some point.  Here’s a “for instance” scenario.  If character A went back in time to 1980 and didn’t get on that airplane, then she wouldn’t have met character B, which would totally change the result, but now here we are back in 2010 and character A still knows character B and their meeting is never explained.  OMG I CANNOT TAKE IT.  This kind of thing happens in this genre constantly, and it makes me insane.  (The problem here might very well be with me, though – why is it that I can completely suspend my disbelief over the concept of time travel in general, yet be completely disturbed by its outcome?  Totally irrational.  Also?  This issue of mine annoys the shit out of Mike, who adores anything sci-fi/fantasy/bending of the space-time continuum, because I am the worst movie talker in history and I just can’t shut up about the flawed mechanics of these movies.  For reals.  (An aside to the aside:  Mike’s adoration just might have something to do with the presence of Milla Jovovich in an overwhelming number of this genre of movies, but whatever.)) 

Back to the point, though – Miss Peregrine’s is one of the only time travel stories I can recall that circumvents this logistical breakdown, due to the fact that Riggs sets up the time travel on a completely separate plane, unrelated to the future action.  Perfect.  He’s a smart dude.  Another super-cool feature of the book is how the author went about creating the story.  Apparently Riggs collects old photographs via swap meets, antique stores, and the like.  For Miss Peregrine’s, he utilized these photos to create his cast of characters, and the photos became the illustrations for the book.  In the hands of a lesser writer, I think that this strategy could have proven disastrous – hokey, or contrived – like a high school creative writing assignment gone wrong.  But Riggs makes it work, and beautifully, because the plot is just so good.  Plus, the pictures are bizarro-town.  Who doesn’t love a freakshow?  Check it out:

Fabulous, huh?  Anyway, gotta run.  I must get to some Very Important Reading Material, in preparation for tonight’s festivities.  (So excited I’m salivating, just a little.)

P.S.:  Just checked and Yes!  The movie is in pre-production to be released in 2013!


  1. This sounds like the perfect book for my flight to Australia this weekend. Ordering now...

    (Have fun at the movie!)

    1. Great! Enjoy, and let me know what you think. I just started OSCAR WAO, thanks for that rec as well!

  2. Thank you Sarah!! I just joined a book club here in Vietnam, and as a non-reader (hangs head in shame) I have never had any ideas to contribute when it came to suggesting new books. This looks great, something that I would actually like to read!

    1. Great! I think it's the kind of book that everyone will love. Let me know what your book group thinks! (And feel free to direct them here, if they want to know what it's about!) ;>)

  3. You might be interested in this blog post from one that I follow. She is incredibly thorough and this post on houses that were Riggs' inspiration is very creepy/interesting. Take a look:

    1. Erin, this is WONDERFUL, thanks! I loved his narration, esp. when he described his feeling of deja vu when he saw the first house! So amazing, thank you for sending it. Have you read the book?

    2. Also, I love how it illustrates what fires his imagination - allowing us, the viewer/reader, to kind of "get inside his head." Such an unusual way to approach both the writing and the reading of a text, love it!

  4. OMG - as you know I LOVED this book. Like ignore your family, reading at stop lights, bathing only to have more time to read in the tub, LOVED IT!

    I vote we dress up as those creepy clowns for the premier. Can you sew us those pantaloons?? :)