“I used to dream about escaping my ordinary life, but my life was never ordinary. I had simply failed to notice how extraordinary it was.” - Miss. Peregine's Home for Peculiar Children, Ransom Riggs
Jacob, 16, is a quiet loner who has one best friend, a misfit like himself, and is closest to his grandfather. As a child, his grandfather told him many stories about a magical house he lived in as a child during World War II, the kindly matron who protected them from the monsters, and the peculiar children he lived with. As Jacob grew older, he came to realize that the monsters were really the Nazis, and the pictures of magic merely illusions. But after he finds his grandfather half-dead in the woods, torn apart by an animal who he glimpses, Jacob begins to wonder if the stories were real after all. He ends up travelling with his father to the island his grandfather had spoken of, to find the house where it all began.
This book started out really strong, but the more fantastic it got, the less connected to the characters I felt. I thought it was going to be a great, creepy, Halloween read but it turned into a less interesting X-Men meets Harry Potter and ended on such a blatant to be continued, I felt a little cheated. Maybe if I had known that it was the first book of a series, I would have accepted this more, but I thought it'd been out for awhile (only 2011) and was just a book all on it's own.
Now, in the book's defense, I did read it immediately after finishing The Ocean at the End of the Lane, which became more beautiful as it got more fantastical, so it did have a lot to live up to. And the author's note that all the creepy pictures of fantastic children were actually real pictures he found in thrift shops was pretty cool. And the next book comes out January 14th, so you don't have long to wait if you want to know what happens.