ABOUT THE BOOK
Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children was the surprise best seller of 2011—an unprecedented mix of YA fantasy and vintage photography that enthralled readers and critics alike.
This second novel begins in 1940, immediately after the first book ended. Having escaped Miss Peregrine's island by the skin of their teeth, Jacob and his new friends must journey to London, the peculiar capital of the world. Along the way, they encounter new allies, a menagerie of peculiar animals, and other unexpected surprises.
Complete with dozens of newly discovered (and thoroughly mesmerizing) vintage photographs, this new adventure will delight readers of all ages.
Peculiar really describes this book and its predecessor very well. And yet despite its strangeness or perhaps because of it this series is also fascinating and compelling. The inclusion of the photographs adds to the atmosphere of the book and makes the unbelievable, believable at least for a time. I'm almost not sure what to say here because I don't want to give anything away and yet so many things happen to Jacob and the other peculiar children that one can't help but empathize with them. The peculiar children were forced to flee the island where they had been hiding in order to seek help for Miss Peregrine who is stuck in bird form (see previous book). They are told that only another such as Miss Peregrine can help and the only one available is in London trying to help the others of their kind. So after several death-defying encounters, the children travel to London only to run into obstacle after obstacle, yet their determination and courage keeps them going.
I think one of the things that I found most interesting about this book were the heavy ethical and moral issues confronted by the children, everything from changing the past, to sacrificing for others at the risk to oneself, and above all the costs of survival. I appreciated how each of the children and Jacob himself were complicated individuals with long histories as well as strengths and weaknesses. Sometimes it was easy to like a particular character and sometimes not, and one of the characters was hard to like at all and yet his attitude wasn't hard to understand, just hard to tolerate.
Overall, a thoroughly engaging book with an incredible amount of detail regarding the different places the children visited with a good amount of character development and plenty of action. There is some romance but nothing inappropriate for younger middle grade readers. The density of the text though makes it most appropriate for skilled readers. The ending left me eager to get my hands on future books.