Monday, 1 May 2017

Fashion Polaroids Book Club #3: Guest Post from The Monday Project

Hey everyone!

I’m Kirsty from The Monday Project. Joanne and I thought we would do a guest post each for each other and I thought I’d chat about a couple of my favourite books at the moment in case you are after some poolside reads if you are jetting off on a holiday this summer! If you are, I am v jealous.

I’m a bookworm and after unintentionally suppressing the bookish urges inside me, I’ve unleashed them again of late. University makes reading for fun tricky: it makes you feel guilty, like there are more important things you could be reading than your latest fantasy fix. I’ve been trying to read as many books as possible in 2017 as part of one of things I wanted to achieve this year and naturally, I ended up blogging about it. I’m going to chat about not one but TWO books for Joanne’s Fashion Polaroids Book Club because I just couldn’t contain my excitement when it came to this series.
One of my newest hobbies is scouring charity books for reads as i) so cheap ii) you never know what you are going to find iii) easy way to give to charity. I have found some hilarious reads (Bridget Jones’s Diary), some crime thrillers (A Is For Alibi) and some I would have never picked up in a bookstore (The Serial Killers Club) which turned out to be a really good book.

The best I found was an almost-brand new copy of Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children. I saw the movie trailer for this in the cinema and it didn’t really look like my cup of tea, too scary for my childlike horror ratio and reminded to much of my movie arch-foe Coraline. Sceptical, I bought it and fell in love. I finished it in days, raved about it to everyone, watched the film the day I finished the book.

Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children
Ransom Riggs combines vintage photographs with the most intricate of storylines. The story begins in Florida with Jacob Portman, our unsuspecting hero who has a grandfather with a penchant for tall tales. Jacob’s grandfather unfortunately dies an untimely death leaving Jacob with only a handful of peculiar clues and very exasperated parents as Jacob begins to harp on about discovering the truth about his grandfather Abraham Portman.

We eventually find ourselves in Wales and are introduced to a concoction of peculiar children and their teacher, and I mean peculiar. Invisible boys, bees living in stomachs, enormous strength, hands with can conduct and create fire, resurrection of the dead, ladies who can control time and turn into birds. Jacob is thrust into the middle of their wonderfully weird world, brought to life for us by Riggs not only via his charming words but also through the aforementioned pictures so you can actually see what you are starting to believe.

What I thought was just simple story about some children and the monsters I saw in the film trailer, the peculiar children are part of a much wider universe which Jacob is central to. A whole host of women called ymbrnes which can control time loops, hosts of peculiar children living in these loops and with every society comes people who don’t follow the rules and try to rule the world via evil means. Jacob becomes acquainted with said wights in a not-so- nice fashion and the book leaves you on the most almighty of cliff-hangers when everything seems to go to pot quite quickly and the whole society of peculiar people seems to be at risk from extinction by corrupt people of their own (the wights) and their gastly monsters (hollowgasts) which are the result of experiments going very badly longer. Oh there is also a smattering of a love story in the mix, young Emma Bloom who Jacob likes but she also had a relationship of sorts with his grandfather Abe.

This is a beautiful story about friendship, young love, embracing who you are. I loved the interior storyline beneath the fact there are peculiar people, the politics and war. The classic good vs. evil. I fell in love with this world.

Hollow City
The second book picks up immediately after the first one left off with the peculiar children,Jacob and his love interest Emma who is the appointed leader of the kids in a right pickle as their ymbryne Miss Peregrine is stuck. I don’t want to give too much away from the first book but instead of a sleepy little island in 1940s Wales, this book takes part mostly from London and their journey to the “peculiar city”.

This book I didn’t enjoy as much. I found the storyline a little drawn out at times and didn’t understand the inclusion of some elements, they just seemed like an excuse to add in more photographs. Maybe I’m wrong and they’ll come back into play in the third book which I’m yet to read.

I did however love the inclusion of more peculiars with a whole host of peculiarities and learning more about their world, the politics, the science, the belief systems. I think the third book will be fantastic, a full insight into everything told through the eyes of children.

The good vs. evil hyped up, more motives were uncovered, more truths about the peculiar world. Jacob continued to be our unlikely hero and he discovered more and more about his peculiarity and its limits. The book ended on a pretty big plot twist. I didn’t see it coming and it surprised me and the fortunes of our group where in even more dire straits than before.

All in all, this is a really nice book series and definitely worth getting involved with. It’s a trilogy so it’s not too overboard but it is unique, the photographs add a very special extra touch. It feeds so many things for me: the fantasy aspect, the historical aspect, the adventure aspect. Y’know, it just does it for me.
What books are your favourites? Have you read this series by Ransom Riggs?
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