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TOP 500 REVIEWERon October 5, 2016
SPOILER FREE REVIEW - We are constantly encouraging our 11 year old to read more. Until recently she would only flip through magazines on occasion, or pick up a joke book with short one liners. It took a lot of prodding to get her interested in reading a novel. We would go to a bookstore and suggest dozens of books while trying to make each one sound as exciting as possible.

This book was one of the first books SHE mentioned wanting to read on her own. We jumped in the car and raced off to the book store to see if we could capitalize on her "read all of the books mood" once she flipped through the book she was hooked in... inside the store! We wanted to order it on amazon, so we negotiated the two day wait for shipping with her by offering to buy buying all three books in the series. She agreed.

Some people may have an issue with this book's language or somewhat sketchy subject matter being appropriate for children, but honestly... She is 11. It's nothing she hasn't heard by now. If I am completely honest- With as much effort as we have put into encouraging her to read over the years, if she asked us to buy her a copy of Helter Skelter I might seriously consider it. Mom might not, but I would.
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on July 22, 2017
(Kindle Version) >>> I love it. The B/W old photos make the book even more engaging, mysterious & peculiar. There is enough character development in Book One to care about the kids and "bird", plus enough action and suspense to keep the story moving & tense. There is also the dilemma every growing kid has to face, which carves his/her own future, shaping into adulthood. I also really appreciate males and females working together in this story to use their strengths, not evaluated by gender, but for the talents in & of themselves. Have not seen the movie yet, but as noted in the book with the author interview, one can see how this is ready-made for a movie. Definitely will be getting Book Two.
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on February 29, 2016
Oh my goodness...This book. It's not often that I pick up a story that I literally cannot put down. Not only did I read this book in two sittings (bringing it with me whenever I got up to grab something or do anything else), I had a VERY hard time falling asleep on the night of the 7th and focusing at work on the 8th because all I could think about was the story and how badly I wanted to be reading rather than sleeping/working! I honestly can't remember the last time I felt that way about a book... though I have read plenty that I had a hard time putting down, I didn't lose sleep over them because they just didn't hook me as much as this one did. I loved everything about this book. The storyline was wonderful, the characters were all very interesting, and (the best part in my opinion) was that I was totally amazed by the way it was written. While reading, I felt like I was really there, like I was actually watching the events unfold. At the very end of the book, in an interview with the author, I discovered why this was the case. Ransom Riggs first went to college to study literature and got a degree in English. Then he went to study film school at the University of Southern California in LA. Bravo Mr. Riggs! I also really liked the use of the photos. Some were very creepy and I think it is incredibly interesting that the author collected these photographs from flea markets and such over time. I've read reviews where people said the photos ruined the "modern storyline" and I think they've missed the point-these photographs are all very old, from the time when the children were able to move about as they pleased. I loved this book so much that I went out and bought the second one so I can find out what happens next as soon as possible!
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on August 11, 2016
This is a book that I've had sitting on my Kindle for year and I only got to around it now because I wanted to read it before the movie was released. After I finished, I cursed myself for waiting so long. This is one of those books that fills a very specific hole in my interests, and it does so wonderfully.

I'm going to be especially vague in this review, only because I think a reader needs to go into this book with as clean a slate as possible. There are more than a few plot twists, and many of them come up out of nowhere...which is always fun in a book like this.

Jacob is an excellent drawn main character. Riggs succeeds in framing this story so we can see that Jacob is just your run of the mill average teenager. I think that element of normality is crucial in this story as the plot starts to veer away from it. I also felt that Riggs paced the novel well. The reader seems to amble into the meat of the books, but is wrapped up in the sprint at the end.

Now, this part is just an aside and had no bearing on what I felt about the book itself. I read this book on my Kindle Paperwhite and, if I could do it over again, I would have opted for a print copy. There are strange and peculiar (get it?) pictures throughout the book and they are just harder to see on the Paperwhite. Also, the way the pictures come up in the eBook version breaks up the reading experience.

This was a fun ride of read and one that I would recommend to everyone, even to those who say that they don't like fantasy novels. It was an engrossing story and I can't wait to read the rest of the series.
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on July 26, 2016
I really wanted to like these books (I ordered all three) but the characters just really didn't stand out to me. After the first book, I found I didn't want to keep reading and that's very atypical - I usually get enough out of a book to keep going. It also seemed to end kind of like the end of a chapter rather than a book, so I'm wondering if the series was initially meant to be just one book and like movies these days, they tried to split the story up just to get more money. Not to be too discouraging as obviously many people are liking these. I did have two other avid fantasy reading friends say they had the same experience I did and never made it past the first one. Ah well. I gave them to my library.
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on January 10, 2016
Well that was indeed peculiar…

While with an interesting premise and creepy photos, I found the story difficult to get into because of the main character. Jacob is annoying, whiny, and bratty, and his only redeeming quality is the relationship he has with his grandfather. I couldn’t connect to Jacob because he was entitled and snobby; filthy rich with a great, loving family, but still has time to cry and moan about how “boring” and “ordinary” his life is. Jacob gets better as he keeps meeting the other peculiars, but maybe that’s because the focus isn’t all on him then.

The aspect of the photographs is interesting in theory, but lacked in execution. I was never particularly creeped out or anything of the sort. I thought it was interesting that the pictures were actually real, but at the same time their introduction to the story seemed a bit too forced. I felt as if the author specifically wrote a scene or said something to include as many pictures as possible.

That brings me to my next point: I was bored with the writing. The writing never captured me as I thought it would. I usually like boy narrators, but this time around Jacob’s voice only made me want to take frequent breaks in between readings because I was so bored. I think the book was a little bit too long-winded for everything that did happen in it.

Things that I did like:
I really liked the sound of these peculiar children! It was sometimes hard to keep track of which child had which power, but I got the hang of it eventually. I liked the idea of seemingly “immortal” children with special powers, it was interesting to see them interact with Jacob.

I also really enjoyed the ending of the book even if I didn’t particularly click with the pacing. The ending made me want to read book two, so I have got to give it that.

Overall, while I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I thought I would because of the slow pace, unlikable main character and lackluster storyline, I do want to read the next book if only to get some much needed answers.
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on October 8, 2015

Rating: 4 Stars

Okay for those of you who don't know what this series is about I'm going to try and explain the idea without ruining the story. This series is based around a bunch of old photographs, some of which are kind of creepy. They also include the images in the book (I've been told they don't work as well on e-reader though) which really adds an extra element into the book. Modern day sixteen-year-old Jacob grew up on tales of his grandfathers adventures and of a home full of peculiar children. He grows to not believe the tales of course but after a tragedy, Jacob finds himself going to the isolated island in Wales where this home of peculiars was said to live. He finds the abandoned and crumbling home he finds there may be truth to his grandfathers old tales, and even stranger, these peculiar children may still be alive.

Basically this book has a lot going for it, especially for October. It has the whole creepy mood going for it with old photographs that seem hard to explain some of, monsters, time loops, and children with peculiar powers! I went in a bit unsure, knowing after hearing Jesse the Reader gush about this series and push it so often I'd have to give it a try but then when Bogdana at Bogdana The Booknerd said she wanted to read them as well and gave me more information, that peculiar meant powers, I was ready to check them out. Then Ransom coming to the area for the release of the third book I had to be on top of things, so we read them with our Goodreads group.

The book starts out moving pretty quick, drawing you in. Then for me it had a bit of a slow moment where I was questioning if I'd finish but then right as I thought that it drew me right back in. The story was well written and seemed to go quickly with the design of whole pages taken up by pictures here and there. Also the book itself has one of those old school feels under the cover and it is beautifully done design wise. The cast of characters are so unique in their peculiarity but also their distinct personalities were fun to get to know. I think Mildred might be my favorite, though I have a special place in my heart for each of them.

I will say the biggest suggestion I can make is to go into it without much information and be surprised. Also don't over think the time loop aspect, just go with it. Just know you're going to meet some peculiar children, do some peculiar things, have some monsters to deal with, and lots of interesting learning about the world.
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on June 12, 2016
I normally am unable to stay interested in a book. I wanted to try and read this book in anticipation of the upcoming movie. While the storyline took a while to get into the actual peculiar side it still kept my interest. So much so I have read the second book and am now moving on to the third. It's a definite read. I will say I do see a variation from the book than the trailer of the movie. I'm hoping that it's just the trailer making it appear that way. The photos in the book really help to pull you into the storyline. They're supposedly vintage photos with minimal altering which leads even more mystery to the story and a little magic to life as the photos themselves are peculiar. Take a chance and read this book. You won't be disappointed.
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on November 8, 2017
Truly, what I loved most about the book were the pictures. The author's ingenuity in incorporating them was splendid. It's not that the story wasn't great, because it was, very much. It's just that those pictures came in handy, especially after a particularly descriptive scene/ peculiar/ situation. I recommend these books to anyone searching for a story where they will be hooked on it since the beginning. And having watched the movie, I got into reading the books. Because like all books made to movies, the books are even better.
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on August 26, 2017
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is a unique action fantasy about how “peculiar” kids can stand up to big threats by working together and pooling their supernatural talents. While the outside world viewed them as odd or unacceptable and often dangerous, the peculiar children in the story have found refuge by bonding together and accepting one another’s idiosyncratic traits. Author Ransom Riggs depicts Jacob, the main character, as an average boy who learns that he has a special gift after facing a horrific family tragedy. He goes on a healing journey encouraged by his psychiatrist but winds up in a WWII era time loop filled with orphaned children who all have some peculiarity ranging from fire throwing to invisibility. As Jacob discovers the amazing and frightening aspects of this unfamiliar world, he seeks to find meaning for why he is there and what his peculiarity might be.

The main theme in this book is the ageless topic of good vs. evil and the different ways to perceive evil. After a horrible experiment gone wrong, many “peculiars,” or children with odd attributes and abilities, were turned into tall monsters with sharp teeth and long tentacles. The monsters feed on the remaining “peculiars” because if they eat them, they will become more human. In the book, Jacob encounters many of these monsters and learns to fight them. However, the monsters believe they are morally right because they are only trying to become human again. The author does a great job of including old black and white pictures into the book because it helps readers see these peculiar children. The pictures make it seem like this fantasy could be based on reality and suspends the reader's disbelief of the incredible peculiarities of the children.

While the book is packed with new fantastical concepts that make for an exciting read, the book is quite violent compared to other fantasy novels I have read. For example, when Jacob’s grandfather died, the book described how much blood was on him, and how a wild animal ripped him apart. Also, I did feel like the plot developed too slowly in the beginning because the first half of the book was only trying to find out if the peculiars were real. However, nothing very exciting happened until towards the middle and at the end of the book.

I recommend this book for anyone who wants a fairly quick read, enjoys elements of fantasy and the supernatural, and is okay with graphic violence. I found the concept of time travel presented in the book to be a fresh twist on a common element that many authors explore. Riggs uses a unique approach by using “time loops” so the characters can go from present time and enter a time loop to relive one day in the past to stay hidden from danger. Overall, I would rate this book a 4 out of 5 stars. It was compelling, suspenseful, and engaging. I withheld one star because of slow plot development in the beginning of the book, but other than that, I found it a quick and enjoyable read. As far as age goes, I would recommend this book to pre-teens and teens ages 12 and up; the violence may be too harsh for anyone younger than 12.
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