I follow a few BookTubers and enjoy their typically enthusiastic reviews. They seem to mostly read YA which is great for me, as I write YA. So when I notice the same book popping up time and time again, I pay attention. Such was the case with “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” by Ransom Riggs.
It looked quirky and creepy, so needless to say I was sold. I ventured out to my local bookshop and procured a copy. I fully expected to plow through it in a weekend, but soon discovered it wasn’t going to be that easy.
I love the photos and can assume that I had the same question as everyone else. Which came first? Was the story based on the photos or did Ransom Riggs hunt down photos to support his characters? The answer? Both!
As it happens, I also have a fondness for old photos. When I went to my grandmother’s home to help her prepare for her move into an assisted living facility, she let me keep some of the things she didn’t need/want anymore. Some of those were photos. I don’t know the story behind all of them. I just took the ones that were interesting. It’s an odd sort of voyeurism, isn’t it? Taking a moment in time that you have no connection with and simply imagining what lead up to it.
I love the unconventional format of old photos. Just look at all the different sizes, boarders, and paper used. Not to mention some of the interesting choices with regard to subject matter.
This book is quite unique and very creepy. The main character, Jacob Portman, was older than what I thought he would be. The story was also a bit darker than I expect. That may sound odd, as I knew was I was getting into but in spite of that I found the story to be dark in an emotional way. The black and white photos enhance that gloomy feeling which isn’t altogether unpleasant but instead wraps itself around you like a cozy but odd-smelling blanket and invites you to stay. The creepiest part for me is the fact the photos are real, not simply created to support the story.
Knowing this was the first in a series made it a bit easier to understand why the story was a bit slow-moving. I sense that there is quite a bit more to the tale than what was revealed. While I was unsure how I felt about this book until the very last page, I can now say that my interest in “Hollow City” is piqued. With a 3rd book on the way, I definitely do not want to be left behind.