Just in case you’re part of that minuscule one half of one tenth of a percent of the reading population who hasn’t read either of Ransom Riggs’s Peculiar Children books…or hasn’t seen someone else reading one, or hasn’t heard anyone talking about them…I’m going to go ahead and review them for you.
Generally speaking I’m not a YA fan—and I mean the genre, not the actual people. Most young adults I know are pretty interesting once you pry the phones out of their hands and the ear buds out of their ears. Maybe the genre doesn’t appeal to me because I’m not a YA. I’m more of YAHA (or what some have called an IA…but to hell with them).
Anyway, back to these Peculiar Children. I can sum up my opinion in two words: read them. But two words does not a blog post make so let me elaborate. Don’t be misled—as I almost was—by the YA label and pass them over. These books are cleverly plotted and tightly crafted. Mystery abounds and the pace is urgent. The accompanying vintage and often bizarre photographs are more than just a gimmick, the grainy images serve to deepen the sense of mystery. In other words you’ll probably find yourself up late at night with the open book in your hands, looking at the clock and thinking Okay, just one more chapter but then I really have to get some sleep more than once.
Speaking of having an open book in your hand, I highly recommend just that, a Book with a capitol B and emphasized. The paper and print kind. I’m not a book snob…I love my e-reader for many reasons. It’s much lighter to carry around than 2 or 3 books—especially on a trip when I want to take not just whatever I’m currently reading but what I might want to read next in case I finish one (does anyone else do that?), it prevents even more books from stacking up on the floors of nearly every room in my house, you can shop for books in the middle of the night and get instant gratification. But in this case I’d go for the paper and print volume.
I read Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children on my e-reader and found myself wishing I had the Book. The pictures did not display all that well and I felt like I was missing out. When Hollow City came out I bought the Book—not the book, and a paper and print edition of Miss Peregrine’s etc, etc, to go with it. I’ve given them pride of place on my Bookshelf—with an empty space next to them just waiting for the third volume.
Yes Mr. Riggs, that is a thinly disguised hint.