Thursday, 31 July 2014

#blog2blogBC: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

I am the first co-host of a brand new online book club created by my blogging bestie, Kelly.
The first Blogger2Blogger Book Club (which even has its own hashtag #blog2blogBC) book is
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Goodreads Description:
"A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of very curious photographs. It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive. A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows."

The creepy front cover and the fact that this is a New York Times Best Seller made me pick up this book, and subsequently choose it as the first Blogger2Blogger Book Club book :) It took me a little while to get into this book, but I was hooked from about mid-way through chapter four to the beginning of chapter five, once (spoiler alert) Jacob was in Wales and on the island! I think Ransom Riggs does an excellent job of creating a captivating and magical world, with characters that you can relate to, despite their 'oddities'. I was sad once the book was finished, mainly because it ends on a cliffhanger and I wanted to know what happens next. I even checked to see if my local library has the sequel, Hollow City, but alas, it does not, so I will, at some point, find Hollow City and keep reading about Jacob, Emma and co's adventures.

Discussion Questions: chose your own questions to answer here
What effect did the photographs have on how you experienced this novel? In fact, what was your reading experience of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children? How did it make you feel? Were you disturbed... or fascinated... or something else? Did the book hold your interest? 

I loved that the book has creepy and somewhat disturbing photos scattered throughout; it was probably my favourite aspect of the book. I love a good book, but I'm also a very visual person, so this catered to both sides of my brain. Although the book was kinda scary in an entertaining and gripping kinda way, I don't think I ever actually felt scared for Jacob's life while reading this book. There were points in the story that I felt scared for Jacob, most notably when the chest/trunk falls through the floor into the basement and Jacob first catches a glimpse of the 'Peculiar Children', but I was never worried he was going to die.

Are you able to make sense of the 'after', the time loop? Can you explain it? Do you enjoy the way Riggs plays with time in his novel?

Urm, I guess so. I mean, I understand that once the time loop is broken, Jacob is stuck in the 1940s with the other children. I think I also understood why he chose to be with them and leave his family behind; I'm not sure I could have made the same call, but Jacob clearly doesn't share the connection and love that I have with my parents with his rich, almost-absent mother and his indecisive and wavering father.

Talk, of course, about the peculiar children. Which of their oddities and personalities do you find most intriguing?

I liked all of the 'oddities' we came across, but I'd say I felt the most sorry for poor Olive, who floats if she's not weighed down, and Millard, who is invisible when naked! I think you can find positives in everyone else's 'oddities' (being strong like Bronwyn, making flowers grow like Fiona and even creating fire like Emma) but I'd hate to float away or be invisible. I think Horace, who dreams the future, also has a weight on his shoulders caused by his 'oddity' that would be hard to deal with, especially once you realised that what you dream does come true! I think I'd like to know more about how each of the children became peculiar - where they born that way or did their powers surface as they hit puberty?

Does the end satisfy? Are loose ends tied up... or left hanging? This is the first book of a planned series. Will you read future instalments?

I found the end equally satisfying and frustrating; I want to read the sequel, but I cannot get my hands on it anywhere and I don't know that I care enough to buy it! I do want to read Hollow City and will eventually, mainly because I want a conclusion to the whole story; the characters leaving the loop (and safety of the island) and venturing into war-torn 1940's London is not a conclusion I am happy with!

Don't forget to use the awesome hashtag #blog2blogBC on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram 
to see what other readers thought of this book!

You can see the books on the Blogger 2 Blogger Book Club 2014 reading list here
You can even sign up to be a co-host for a future month here - I highly recommend it!

Happy Friday-eve!

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