A Peculiar Giveaway

June 20, 2016

Hey there bookfans!

Remember Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children? Think back to the awesomeness. It’s fine, I’ll wait…

Good? Good.

It turns out that the first installment of this delightfully creepy and fun and peculiar series was published FIVE YEARS ago.

To celebrate this momentous anniversary as well as the upcoming movie (coming to a theatre near you in September. Mark your calendars!), our friends over at Quirk Books are having a photo contest. They’ve commissioned a limited edition poster featuring fan art and photographs.

This is where you come in — you post your fan art, Peculiar-inspired costumes and photos, etc. on social media and tag it #5PeculiarYears, or go to quirkbooks.com/5PeculiarYears and submit it via the widget there. In addition to contributing to this fun, limited edition poster, there are also prizes! It’s also a great opportunity to show your creativity and your love and appreciation for the series.

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Check out this “My Peculiarity Is” tote. You know you want one…

Since Quirk is so awesome and completely embraces the peculiar, they sent me one of their glorious “My Peculiarity Is” tote bags (super on-brand for me, repping the peculiar and whatnot) AND another one to give away to my followers. So! Comment below or on my Instagram post with your peculiarity and I’ll pick a winner this Friday (June 24) and send you your lovely tote!

And don’t forget to send your fan art to Quirk! They want to see your creativity and peculiarity at work. Also tag me (@poindextrix on all the things) so that I can bask in your awesome, bookish peculiarity.

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I said I’d be giving you reviews, and I’m staying true to my word. It has just taken me a bit longer than intended to get everything in gear, so sorry about that!

First up: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs.

While reading this book I was in love. The whole idea of this place with these peculiar children living apart from the world had an almost fairytale-like quality to it that I really enjoyed. As a someone who was told myriad stories growing up, I love that Riggs took the familiar “grow up-stop believing” chain of events and gave it a twist, making Jacob (our protagonist) question everything once it appears that his grandfather Abe’s “stories” may have been based in fact.

I enjoyed the interweaving of vintage photographs into the story as well, but I think it could have been done more successfully. Also — and I must admit that I didn’t notice this until after finishing the book and ruminating on it for some time — there are pictures in the book of peculiars who are never introduced or explained. The photos were a great opportunity for Riggs, and may have been a jumping off point for him, but I think they should have been better integrated into the story.

The characters are interesting enough. I think I may just have personal issues that invariably lead me to at least somewhat dislike any character in a YA novel. It’s something I’ll work on if I ever find a therapist. Jacob has “rich white boy” problems until his grandfather dies (this happens pretty early on, so I don’t think that’s giving away too much), and then he has “my grandfather died horrifically and I was right there” problems, which I imagine are a bit more difficult to deal with, so I guess he’s allowed to be a bit of a brat. The other characters are likeable, though are somewhat one-dimensional. It seems like a good bet that this will turn into a series, and I think that with time those other characters will develop well.

My main issues with this book come mostly out of thinking about it for too long because as I said, I really did enjoy it as I was reading. There is (for me, anyway) an undeniable “ick factor” in the relationship that blossoms (quite quickly, I might add) between two of the characters, but fine, whatever, I can get past that (almost). In hindsight I start to think about how the pictures throughout the book don’t connect, how the home for peculiar children bears a striking resemblance to another home/academy that houses and teaches children with extraordinary abilities that have caused them to be cast out of society, and how the plot wears very thin in quite a few places.

In the end, I’m left with mixed feelings because I was on such a high when I finished this book, but as I’ve had time to think about it and read other reviews, I’ve started to see what pieces are missing. I would still enthusiastically recommend this book to most people who ask about it. After all, I have to think about my experience reading it, and I had a lot of fun. It wasn’t really creepy or scary, so if that’s something you’re looking for, this isn’t the book for you, but if you want a fantasy/other-world type book with a few creepy aspects, then I suggest you give this a try.