While at Barnes & Noble I found a quirky, little hardcover book with strange photographs interspersed into the narrative. The photographs, all black and white, provide for an eerie and creative element. The cover photo was the initial draw. How can a little girl, levitating in the forest in what appears to be 1940’s garb not be appealing? The book's jacket blurb was also intriguing. At first glance I thought it was an adult mystery, but upon deeper inspection, I learned this book is actually targeted towards young adults. Ransom Riggs is probably desperately hoping this will be the next Harry Potter or Hunger Games. Reading the first few pages I was ensnared. I had to purchase this book.
To my surprise and disappointment, the book was not a true mystery but instead transformed into fantasy, a genre I tend not to enjoy. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children features time-travel, nasty creatures and strange made up terms that I imagine attract fantasy fans. I am having a challenging time pinpointing the genre I had hoped this book would have represented. I suppose I wanted the magic realism found in a Sarah Addison Allen work or a book like Night Circus, which allows the reader to entertain and accept a fantastically strange yet realistic reality. Although this book did not fully absorb me I can see how it would for a different type of reader as well as adolescents. I am very curious to hear from my reading friends their thoughts on this book. Another issue to be aware of is that this is only book one. About fifty pages until the end I realized, there was no way the book could be wrapped up. Even though I was not overly impressed or engaged I will have to read the other works to discover what transpires for these characters. I hope Riggs wraps these books up in a sequel, trilogy at most. I suppose the success may dictate the number of books, unless Riggs has already formulated his plan.
What makes this book truly unique and worth the read is the use of photography. The photographs take the book to another level. It is interesting to experience how the artwork contributes to the storytelling and plot line. There have been mentions of creating a Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children movie. The photos are such a critical aspect of the experience of the book. I am not sure how a movie could be done. I guess I will have to wait and see.