Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children By: Ransom Riggs

A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. And 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 who once lived here – one of whom was his own grandfather – were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a desolate island for good reason. And somehow – impossible though it seems – they may still be alive

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Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is about Jacob Portman, grandson of Abe Portman. His grandpa has always told him stories of peculiar children and monsters but he never believed him and his stories. Until the day his grandpa is brutally murdered by a monster called a hallow. When grandpa Portman dies he tells Jacob to “find the bird, in the loop. On the other side of the old man’s grave. September third, 1940. Emerson-the letter, tell them what happened.” After nine months of everyone thinking he’s crazy because of this “monster” he claimed he saw, and his parents bringing him to a psychiatrist, he finally comes to the conclusion that what he saw wasn’t real. Until he finds a letter in an Emerson book. This takes him to a secluded island in Wales where he decodes his grandfather’s last words and finally meets the people of his grandfather’s crazy stories.

The book ends off in a cliff hanger where all of the peculiar children and Miss. Peregrine (in bird form) leave with Jacob to find where all the wights are. Wights are a certain type of monster that used to be a hallow but because it ate enough peculiar children it turned into a wight. Pretty much it upgraded to a monster that looks human except for its pupil less eyes. This book was written well and made good connections with the pictures-most of the time. There were times where the pictures were awkwardly paired with words and with the story. I can’t wait to read the second book! I can’t wait to see Jacob because throughout the book he really grew and it will be interesting to see him now that he’s with people like himself. Also, I want to see what new pictures will be in the book.

I decided to read this book because of the mysterious pictures. If you’ve seen the book then you understand. There’s so many peculiar pictures that it made me seriously curious. It took me a long time to get to it because when I bought it, I bought with many other books. Also, while I was reading it I got sick. When I get sick I have a habit of abandoning my books. This only happened while I’m sick and because I was sick for four days it took me forever to finish the book. As soon as I was well I kept reading in till I finished it. I have to say that the book did not disappoint.

The main character is Jacob Portman who’s one of those super smart misfits. He doesn’t really know who he is or where he stands in the world and sort of learns it in the course of this book. He has no friends except for Rickey who sort of abandons him in his time of need. His love interest is a girl named Emma who can wield fire and she’s one of the peculiar children. She also lives in 1940, in particular September third, 1940, which is pretty awesome. She lives in a loop along with Miss Peregrine and all the other peculiar children. A loop is pretty much a place was a day repeats itself. Miss Peregrine made it so that the children don’t die of the bomb raid that happened in September third, 1940 on their secluded island in Wales. The only people who know that time stopped and that their in a loop is the peculiar children and Miss Peregrine. Because their in a loop they don’t age. Because Emma can wield fire I thought she was awesome and just epic. It reminded me of Zuko from Avatar the Last Air bender which is just badass. I thought she was really strong for what’s happened in her life and she’s also very smart. Most of the other characters were really creative and unique but some characters were really similar that I couldn’t tell the difference and I had to double back and reread some bits. I feel as if that should never happen and in the second one that should be improved.

The book was mostly about Jacob finding himself and learning the truth about his grandfather. Jacob really went through an emotional roller coaster. First his grandfather dies right in front of him, then his parents put him through hell with a psychiatrist, then he gets a girlfriend, then he has to cope with him being a peculiar child and his grandfather never telling him. I found that crazy! I hope that in the next book it won’t be so down for him because I seriously feel bad.

I really disliked how all the children acted like children. These “children” have been children for seventy years and should be more mature. Their technically eighty-something’s, so they should act more mature, right? It’s like their immortal or vampires so the author, Ransom Riggs, should have made them more mature. That would have been more interesting. It would have been more epic to see these little eight to sixteen year olds talking very wisely. It didn’t make sense that they acted so childlike and immature. Another thing I disliked was how the author put a love interest. I feel like this story and this main character didn’t need a love interest and that it was very unnecessary. Not every story needs a love story, I was really hoping that this book wasn’t going to have that. Also, I found it creepy that she used to be with his grandfather. That is messed up! She canoodled (and probably more) with his grandfather and then with him! Talk about sloppy seconds!

Other than that, this book was awesomely dark and interesting! Oh, did I mention that this book is set in Wales! Welsh accents are awesome just like British accents! I really like how the author made this book the way it is despite some issues. I can’t wait to see how Jacob and Emma’s relationship is going to go since I don’t really support it. I can’t wait for more Polaroid photographs that help tell the tale.

Overalll, I give it four stars!

Happy Reading!

-Michelle Kumar

Shattered Souls By: Mary Lindsey

Lenzi hears voices and has visions – gravestones, floods, a boy with steel gray eyes. Her boyfriend, Zak, can’t help, and everything keeps getting louder and more intense. Then Lenzi meets Alden, the boy from her dreams, who reveals that she’s a reincarnated Speaker – someone who can talk to and help lost souls – and that he has been her Protector for centuries.

Now Lenzi must choose between her life with Zak and the life she is destined to lead with Alden. But time is running out: a malevolent spirit is out to destroy Lenzi, and he will kill her if she doesn’t make a decision soon.

Before I start talking about the book I’d like to apologize for the blog being so dead the past few days! It’s that horrible time of the year again. With all the projects and exams coming up, Michelle and I might be slow to posting up some stuff the upcoming weeks! In other news, here’s the review! Enjoy!

The book Shattered souls is about a girl named Lenzi who suddenly starts to hear voices, thinking she is following the foot steps of her schizophrenic father, Lenzi ignores the voices. Her world changes when she meets a boy named Alden, a boy who keeps calling her Rose and claims that he can help her deal with the voices. He also claims that the voices are actually souls who desire help before passing on and that Lenzi is a speaker who can grant them their last wish.

Being a lover of the whole theme of reincarnation, I expected really good things from this book! I’ve always been fascinated with what happened to souls after we die. Do we simply cease to exist? Is there an after life? Will we be placed to heaven and or hell according to how we were in the life? Reincarnation gives me than we all get another chance in life. When I read this book, I found out only speakers (those who have the talent to speak to the dead) and their protectors (those who protect the speakers from the crazy souls) are reincarnated. I found this really fascinating. The world that Mary Lindsey created was very detailed. Mary talked very much about the rules, the jobs and the politics of the world of the speakers and protectors in great detail. I loved how she presented ghosts and the afterlife in the book Shattered Souls.

I have to be honest; I wasn’t much of a fan in the first couple of chapters of the book. The first 75 pages or so were pretty repetitive. Lenzi thought she was going crazy, she’d freak out, she’d calm down, she’d tell Alden to go away for being creepy. I found Lenzi a bit irritating the first handful of chapters, but as the story progresses, I found myself being fond of her. Lenzi grows up from a girl who refuses to believe in wondering souls to a girl who wants to help them and complains so much less than necessary. The pacing of the book also quickens. I remember taking a couple of days to get through the first 100 pages, but as I continued reading, I realize that I just couldn’t stop. I loved the last half of the book!

In this book, I was surprised not to see as much as I did from Lenzi’s boyfriend Zak. I originally thought this was a love triangle. But, the choice was very obvious from the first meeting! I loved how Mary depicted Lenzi. She was both that innocent girl who had no idea what’s going on and the one who kicked ass. The book showed Lenzi from the present and Rose from the past. This was just one of the perks of a book about reincarnation. I loved how Mary used the whole reincarnation theme and made two characters from one person, where as in other reincarnation books I’ve read, the lead was always the same in all lives and didn’t change significantly.

My favorite part of the book is most definitely just the way that Mary wrote. The world she created was amazing. She made a whole world with so much rules and such a strict system. I also loved how she twisted the whole reincarnation theme and make it stand out from all the rest!

Over all, this book was great! I shell rate it 3.5 because of the almost unbearably slow beginning.

-Caryl