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Showing 1-10 of 6,157 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 8,382 reviews
TOP 1000 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 June 25, 2016
4.5 out of 5 stars

I confess I got this book solely on account of its cover. The creepy, black and white photograph of a (very children-of-the-corn looking) girl, standing stock still, staring directly at the camera, as if contemplating how best to eat your soul stood out like a corpse at a holiday party. And the title? How could I resist? I plucked the book from the shelves and brought it home. Then (as you already know, if you read my post from a few days ago), I got distracted (things were shiny), and the book languished on my shelf. Then low and behold, the book will soon be a movie--directed by Tim Burton no less--and I didn't even want to look at the previews without reading the book first.

Miss Peregrine's is a young adult novel, but one that transcends the genre and is enjoyable even for those of us who have left high school far in the past. The best books in the genre (think Harry Potter) feature young adult leading characters and high school age problems, but also rise above the mundane to speak to the problems of a bigger adult world. The less enjoyable books in the genre (sparkly vampires *cough*) leave you wondering if you might have enjoyed the book when you were thirteen, but fairly confident you were never that insipid (though, obviously, all teenagers are insipid by nature).
Miss Peregrine's is one of the better books in the genre. Following the death of his grandfather, sixteen year old Jacob finds out that the fairy stories his grandfather told him as a child--about a magical island inhabited by children with paranormal abilities--may not have been just stories after all. Jacob sets off to learn the truth about the island with its mysterious house of peculiar children, all watched over by a bird who smokes a pipe.
The story is accompanied by photographs throughout the book, all black and white, with that particular creepy vintage vibe you get if you google search "scary Easter bunny". The pictures are all quite striking, and serve to add to the atmosphere of the book. When you learn that all these photos are actual vintage photographs (most unaltered), collected by the author, it adds to the creepy vibe (what were those people doing?) rather than detracts from it. The book is largely an adventure story suffused with all the creepy atmosphere an ancient, fog-shrouded island off the coast of Wales can deliver. There are a few scary/creepy/violent moments, but these are generally around the level of the dementors in the Harry Potter novels (as, after all, this is still a YA novel, creepy atmosphere not withstanding).

In all, this is a great read, and a fine example of a YA novel not only accessible for adults, but enjoyable as well. The characters are interesting and generally well done, and the backdrops, first of Florida, and then the Island are fully realized and contribute well to the tone of the book. I enjoyed my time with Miss Peregrine's and can't wait to read the second book in the series.

I do, however, reserve judgement on the movie version.

Check out more reviews by checking out my blog!

[...]
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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 March 25, 2016
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
With the upcoming release date of the movie, Miss Peregrine’s is once again in the spotlight. In all actuality, has it ever left? Spurring remakes, spinoffs and copy-cats galore, this novel is not the first of its kind but is certainly one of the more excellently executed that I’ve come across so far. I first read this novel a few years back, but decided to jump in for another dose before delving into the next edition to the series, and boy, am I glad I did! This was not only an explosive novel from a debut fiction author, but a sensational work in its own right as well! Yes, Quirk, the publisher did a wonderful job of packaging and selling it, but this one could also stand on its own once unwrapped, and that’s refreshing. It was creative and bold, particularly for YA, which I basically never pick up.
This is the tale of Jacob, a boy who, after years of hearing tales at his grandfather’s knee of peculiar children, feels that he has grown out of believing such nonsense. Until, that is a family tragedy brings him to the coast of Wales where he stumbles upon the ruins of Miss Peregrine’s “home.” As he explores those dark corridors and seemingly long-abandoned rooms, he comes face to face with these children and is forever changed. Tinged with adventure, oddities, danger in the woods and a touch of supernatural, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is an anomaly on the shelves well-deserving of the title.
We’ve all heard the old adage, “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” but this cover is exactly what originally drew me in! After a cursory glance at the cover and venturing to take a peek inside, I was immediately rewarded with a slew of black and whites that quite literally chilled my soul and peaked my interests to the point of near obsession. Immediately, the book was bought, and that’s a pretty tall order for me; I don’t attract easily to the nicely packaged big read of the moment anymore. (In fact, oft times, that fact is a repellant.) What Ransom Riggs did here was not a first, but was most certainly innovative and, ultimately, visionary. This work took creativity of mind and spirit that all cannot boast; it took an idea and turned it into a journey with a cast of delightful characters that tickled and tricked both the reader and themselves in that enthralling way that children do. The orphans themselves were the star of this work, as I’m sure they were meant to be, and their numerous powers and personal oddities made them simultaneously creepy and intriguing, empathetic and entertaining because they still displayed all of the quirks that children do, the naughtiness and teasing, the reprimand and need to seek comfort and family in each other.
The novel started out in a way that made me curious, because it started with a story at Grandpa’s knee. Classic, but where would this take me? Yet, honestly, it was the brilliant and chilling display of photojournalism that made this one such a pleasure. A grand sommelier couldn’t have paired the photos better, I tell you, because there were moments when the combination was just unnerving enough to make me pause…for more than a few seconds. And Riggs’ use of vivid imagination was perfectly paired with those wild imaginings of a child or pre-teen’s, making the world that he crafted wholly believable and enchanting. Mind you, this isn’t the YA novel for Grandma’s generation. The backdrop of social strife in the real world that hovered outside of Peregrine’s island added another layer that made this read both suitable for adults and literarily elevated for young readers. Here you’ll find the appropriate level of adult swagger, as the kids today have, when they say things like:
“Were you just smoking and chewing tobacco at the same time?”
“What are you, my mom?”
“Do I look like I blow truckers for foodstamps?”
That made it all the more realistic, because our little sisters, brothers, nieces and nephews would certainly say that to one another today, making this one altogether enjoyable for all ages (well, above 11 or so, depending on the maturity level). The only qualm that I had with this one was the ending. In the interest of avoiding spoilers, I’ll leave that one there. Let’s just say I’m glad this one has a continuation and even more glad it’ll have its shot at the ole’ silver screen. Four stars. ****

See more reviews for new releases and others at The Navi Review (...) and follow the blog on Twitter @thenavireview
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on January 9, 2017
I made the mistake of reading this book after seeing the movie which biased me on my rating. Overall the book is well written and enjoyable. Kind of reminds me of The Lemony Snickets books in a way. The book does not follow the movie closely, so I would definitely recommend reading the book first otherwise you may notice some glaring changes. The plot of the book is basically about a boy whose grandfather passes away under unusual circumstances resulting in the main character having difficulty coping, experiencing almost PTSD like symptoms. He decided to follow his grandfathers direction and find Miss Peregrine. That decision changes his life as he finds out he isn't as ordinary as he once thought. I would recommend reading this book series and have enjoyed watching the movie adaptation
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on May 7, 2017
For all of us, lovers of the impossible, this is a very good reading. Very interesting! Not boring at all.
But don't even begin if you are hoping for something unique. Granted that it's very well written but there are a lot of moments where you can sense bits and pieces of other books of the same genre like: His Dark Materials, A Wrinkle in Time, Harry Potter and even Paradise Lost.
But if all you want is a good time then go for it! It's worth it!
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on March 22, 2017
If you have seen the movie, stop what you're doing and read the books. They are so much more complex and detailed than the movie. Damn Tim Burton grotesquely twisted the story to achieve a few minor scenes he just HAD to have in the movie that are not exactly present in the book. Not to mention, he tweaks the characters in a way that makes it truly frustrating when you read what they are truly like in the book.

That being said, I am spending too much time complaining about awful Tim Burton, so I will end the review this way. Read the book. It is much better.
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on November 2, 2013
I feel the synopsis of what the book is about makes it sound a lot better than what it is. I wanted to like this book, I really did. I had high hopes for it. Unfortunately, it didn't do much for me. I was expecting more of a ghost story. Instead I got more of a sci-fi story, and one that wasn't very good.

Jacob's grandfather tells him of a magical island of which he spent his childhood. He shows him photos and tells him stories about the peculiar children he grew up with. As Jacob becomes a teenager, he stops believing in his grandfather's ridiculous stories until something awful happens. Jacob travels to the mysterious island to find out about his grandfather. Little does he know that by going to that island he's put himself and many others in danger.

First off, I thought the word building/setting were fantastic. The author made me feel as if I was on the island. I'll give him props there. The description of the world was beautifully described.

I couldn't relate very much to the characters. I can't really place why that is. I just couldn't connect. I found myself not caring what happened to any of them. Perhaps the author should've spent a bit more time character building to make me relate to at least one the characters. The characters just felt a bit one dimensional. There wasn't even one that I could remotely say that I favourited. Okay, that's a lie. I liked Fiona, the Irish girl, but I only liked her because she was Irish, and I love all things Irish. That's it.

I found the pacing to be a bit slow. I'd read a chapter, then I'd get bored with it and go off to do something else. I really struggled with this book. There are a couple of chapters that the pacing is great in, but it's not until the last two chapters that the pacing definitely picks up.

The dialogue was easy to understand although some Americans may not get all the slang British terms. There was one scene where a character says "I was taking a piss" where he meant that he was joking around. The phrase he meant was "taking the piss" which is a British slang phrase for joking. "Taking a piss" isn't a typo either as it's mentioned a few more times. This annoyed me because taking a piss, is just that, it means urinating. "Taking the piss" means to be joking around. Other than that, the dialogue was good.

The best part of the book was the photographs found within the book. I loved that little touch! I found myself studying the photos and enjoying them a million times better than the actual book.

The cover is also something I loved about the book. How freaky does that little girl look??? The German cover looks even better. It's the same photo, just with a green hue. If I was marking the book based on the cover alone, it'd get 5 out of 5 for me.

The title of the book doesn't really leave anything to make you wonder what the books about. It says exactly what the book is about - a home for peculiar children.

All in all, this book left me feeling empty. I didn't really feel much of anything reading it until I got to the last two chapters where it got exciting. However, I will not put myself through the torture of reading the second book in the series especially as I don't care about the characters or what happens to them. I'm just glad I won this book in a competition and didn't buy it.

I was going to give this book a 2 - 2.5 star rating but the ending saved it a bit.

My overall score of this book would be 3 stars out of 5 at the best. It's okay, but not great.

(This review can be found on my blog).
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on May 8, 2017
Having first seen the movie, I wasn't sure what to expect when reading the book, however I was more than pleasantly surprised with the character development and the ability of Mr. Riggs to tell a story that could enchant a 55-year-old reader. I found it difficult to put the book down even though I had a fair idea of what was going to happen next. Credit the writing style of Mr. Riggs and his creative characters for their ability to capture the peculiar in all of us.
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on August 18, 2016
First off I must say the vintage pictures were the icing on the cake! Each time one appeared after reading the descript was like giving a burst of light to the story already in my head.
This book kept a very strong hold on my mind from the very first page straight through and past the last! I usually don't continue to read past the story. The acknowledgements and etc. don't usually interest me but I read all the way to the sample of the second book which I will definitely be reading next so no need for the preview I'm already sold!
The writing is amazing. Perfectly descriptive. Captivating story line for those of us that love the different dystopian novel! I 100% recommend for any age of a book lover of the peculiar type!
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