I haven't been buying regularly priced books for the past few months. Thanks to: (1) our overflowing eBook virtual pile (Tsk tsk...); (2) books on sale (Yey!); and (3) free books sent my way (Hooray!). But a few weeks ago, I took the plunge and made an impulse buy...
The first time I heard about this book was when my blog neighbor, Tisha, wrote about it in her blog. What's great about it is that she didn't spoil the story for me. And the truth is, I even shamelessly tweeted her to ask for her final opinion while I was in the bookstore, hovering over the book display for several minutes and risking being mistaken for a shoplifter. But then again, I couldn't wait any longer for her reply and so I grabbed the book, paid for it, and rushed out of the store. Yeah, I can be over-excited like that.
The story is about a teenage boy named Jacob whose curiosity had been piqued by his grandfather's odd collection of photos, which he claims to be photos of other kids he grew up with in Miss Peregrine's Home - a floating girl, a boy with a second mouth at the back of his head, a girl so small she fits inside a bottle, and a headless boy, among others. His stories were hard to believe and Jacob and his family thought of these as mere hallucinations his senile grandfather were having. But after a terrible family tragedy, Jacob finds himself on a quest to find out how much of his grandfather's stories were true, and how much were simply made-up... IF ANY...
So... Did I like the book? Honestly, I'm not sure. Maybe because I'm no longer a
teenage dirtbag teenybopper. I've been there though. (Read: Sweet Valley, Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, and... uhm... Precious Hearts Romances!). Maybe it's time to admit that I'm not really into YA books and stories. But I'm not really sure, I tell you. Remember when I said that I'm not genre-specific when it comes to the books I devour? Holds true.
On one hand, the photos used all throughout the book gave me the creeps. But then again, my trying-hard-to-be-rational self is saying that with the advent of photo-retouching and digital photography these days, well... On the other hand, for me, the story lacks depth and its ability to excite is somehow... limited. Still, I believe that young readers, or at least those who are younger than me, will still be able to pick up several wonderful lessons from the story. Mostly about lost love, family, and friendship, the thin line between, and their ability to go beyond and outlive what is real and what is purely a figment of one's playful imagination. I hope nobody takes this as a spoiler but I hope the succeeding books in the series will be able to give more substance to the story. Yes, if I am not mistaken, this is just Book One of Jacob's journey into the peculiar universe.
Grab a copy of Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children for your teenage friends and loved-ones this Holidays. Or even for the grown-ups who would want to relive their oh-so-young-and-easily-scared days... A book will always be one of the best gifts you can give.
If there's one thing that this book reminded me of, it's the beauty of having "Real" Photo Albums. I really should start on that project too. ;)