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Showing 1-10 of 6,120 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 8,336 reviews
on 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 December 5, 2016
While I enjoyed his writing for a while, I found the plot to be rather slow-going and the narration to actually take too long to get to the point. I think its about halfway through the book the main character learns what we all knew all along, which is such a sad and unfortunate way to write that it makes the rest of the novel drag on. Instead, he should have refocused the story around learning more about the peculiar children, giving more depth to their world, and really creating the villain we hear about but don't come to know until about the last half or so of book.

It's not that this is a bad book, it's just not a very straight forward one and the way he writes doesn't make up for this.
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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 May 31, 2016
I starting reading this to the kids (12, 10 and 7) and really it's not for kids. Alcohol, drug references, violence and profanity. I would say it would be an interesting read for young adult or older people. I ended up not reading it to them after the first few chapters. That's probably my fault for assuming it was appropriate for kids because of the title.
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on February 3, 2017
I could hardly contain myself while I waited for the mailman to drop off my Amazon.com order containing the first installment of Ransom Rigg's Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. I had read a blurb describing the book and had seen all of the photographs Riggs was incorporating in his storytelling. The premise is simple enough; there is a group of misfit children who are gathered together in a Victorian Era house under the tutelage and protection of an austere beauty by the name of Miss Peregrine. The book comes off like the spurious offspring of a love triangle between Edgar Allen Poe, Tim Burton and Stan Lee. Miss Peregrine is the early twentieth century Charles Xavier with her mansion full of prepubescent, genetically askew students. The bad guy in the story is even a being that shares the same gifts as her peculiar children but he has chosen a different path that sets him and his cronies at odds with Miss P's tiny soldiers.
These are all the ingredients for a children's story capable of standing out amongst its peers and going on to become the type of commercial phenomena that publishers have been searching for since the boy who lived finally graduated from Wizarding School.
Miss Peregrine and her Peculiar Children appears to be the kind of idea that spreads like wildfire among children and then on up through every marketable age-group targeted by advertisers and their ilk. In the end, though, all the book turns out to be is a really good idea. There is little substance to the book. Reading through the chapters one gets the sense that the author poured his heart and soul into the first third of the book, submitted it, got a huge early advance and a fast approaching deadline and just filled as many pages as he could as quick as he was able to.
The scenario I put forth is pure fiction but, at least, it offers some explanation as to why the draft that made it to my hands was approved by the author, editors and the publishing company.
This is one instance where I would urge anyone who hasn't read the books to not bother with the effort and watch the film adaptation instead. Perhaps the director and screenwriters will do this brilliant idea justice.
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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 August 10, 2016
The story itself is enthralling. However, this version on the Kindle is filled with weird typos; at least two on each page. I don't know if it's a formatting issue, or from human error. Either way, it's extremely distracting to constantly have words clustered upon one another and missing commas. Some are missing multiple commas or periods within a paragraph, and the sentences run on. Very bizarre.
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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 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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