Thanks to the PGUK and Quirk Books, I am happy to be hosting a giveaway of a finished copy of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. Here’s some more details on the novel, in case you’ve somehow not heard of it:
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.
A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.
The Prize: A finished copy of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
To enter (Terms and Conditions):
- fill out the form below.
- entrants must be 13 years of age or older.
- contest open to UK ONLY.
- the winner will be notified by email and will have 48 hours to reply else a new winner will be chosen.
- the winner’s postal address will be shared with the publisher (Quirk Books), who will send out the prize.
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Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Series: Miss Peregrine #1
Published by Quirk Books
Source: Purchased myself
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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.
A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.
Thoughts: I’ve seen so many rave about Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children… and after reading it, I can see why so many people loved it. I, however, am not one of those people.
Miss Peregrine (as I will be calling it from here on out) has a very unique selling point: it incorporates spooky, classic photography into the main plot. So, on one page a character describes a photo he is looking at and on the next page we see the actual photograph. It’s pretty neat and the photos that are incorporated into the novel tell a story by themselves. The image on the cover, for example, is of a girl actually featured in the novel. As the photo so clearly demonstrates, she’d rather peculiar.
So while I enjoyed that aspect of the novel, it was not enough to make up for the book’s main problem: the writing. Miss Peregrine felt like a student exercise – perhaps an A* student exercise, but not a professional job. Had Ransom Riggs not incorporated the photography into the book, I doubt it would have gotten very far. Ransom Riggs is just trying too hard. Miss Peregrine is supposed to be a creepy, suspenseful, disturbing novel – a book à la 1800s freak-show circus. Instead it is a mildly entertaining story about a boy who starts dating his grandfather’s ex-girlfriend (which was just the wrong kind of disturbing).
And yet, I probably could have enjoyed lack-luster pacing and plot, if only the characters had been at all gripping – they weren’t. It was as if they had been created solely to fit with the photographs Riggs had found. This was particularly disappointing, considering the fantastic original concept that created the characters.
Despite my apathy for Miss Peregrine, I can see why so many people enjoyed it. While I didn’t find the book creepy or disturbing enough to merit its reputation, I think creepiness is a rather subjective test. Also, the photography, layout, and concept behind the novel are unique enough to warrant some investigation into the second book!
Bottom line? Miss Peregrine fell flat. Decent enough, but not worth the hype.
Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by The Broke and the Bookish): 10 books on my winter TBR pile. This year, I am going to finish the Debut Author Challenge. Come Hell or high water, I will succeed. That means I need to get 6 more debut books off my TBR shelves before the end of the year! And once I’m done with those I am going to get to those fabulous sequels that somehow I never have time for.
The Debut 2011 Authors:
1. Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton – I’ve heard nothing but brilliant things about Tessa’s work, so I fully expect Blood Magic to live up to the hype it has gotten. So much so that I even bought this book in hardback!
2. Unearthly by Cynthia Hand – I’ve read reviews of Unearthly written by people who usually dislike YA PNR, especially the type with angels! So, I am sure I am going to love it.
3. Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini – I’ll be honest, I’m not that excited about Starcrossed… am I off my head for being skeptical?
4. Die for Me by Amy Plum – Oh, Paris. I am expecting Phantom of the Opera and fully expect to get it!
5. Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton – Another urban fantasy author breaks into the YA market! I love it when adult authors write for YA audiences, so I expect very good things from Kelly.
6. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs – This book is stunning and yet utterly disturbing. I simply can’t imagine not adoring it.
The YA sequels I have been longing to read:
7. Muse by Rebecca Lim – I adore Rebecca’s Mercy series (read my reviews of Mercy and Exile) and cannot wait to start this. If it weren’t for the Debut Author priorities, I would be all over this book right now!
8. Forever by Maggie Stiefvater – I KNOW. How could I not have read this book?? I really really really adore this series, and I cannot wait to start Forever… no, really!
9. Defiance by Lili St. Crow – It makes me sad and excited to know that this series is complete – can’t wait to see what violence Dru has been up to!
10. Rip Tide by Kat Falls – I absolutely adored Dark Life, which unfortunately didn’t get the praise it deserved. Still, cannot wait to start on the sequel! (Btw, make sure you buy the US version of this book. The UK cover is something awful!)
Book Notes is a regular feature at Dead Book Darling highlighting bookish news, curiosities and gossip spotted across the blogosphere. May the drama be with you…
New Book Deals
- Little, Brown Books for Young Readers has acquired two books (Arcanum and an untitled novel) by Ransom Riggs, the New York Times bestselling author of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. Arcanum, a new young adult novel, begins in the attic of an old, forgotten rural museum, where secret objects from the distant past lie in dust and in wait. When a group of teens discover this cache of sinister curiosities, they unsuspectingly unleash hell in their sleepy town. Magic, mystery, and evil intertwine in this dark, creepy, and frightening story, which is set for a spring 2014 publication. I haven’t had the chance to read Ransom’s first book yet, but it is on my TBR pile!
- Vicki Pettersson, Sign of the Zodiac series author and one-time showgirl, sold a new series to Harper Voyager/Morrow. The three book deal begins with The Taken, and is scheduled as a paperback original for June 2012.
- Rachel Caine has sold a stand-alone novel to NAL built around the character of Benvolio, from Romeo and Juliet. She’s also sold 3 new books in her YA Morganville Vampires series to NAL. I’m starting to wonder when these books will ever end.
- Bloomsbury/Walker Books for Young Readers bought a new trilogy by recent Columbia-grad Yelena Black; book one is called Diabolical. The book is a tale of a 15-year-old who starts witnessing spooky goings-on at her prestigious ballet school. When she becomes suspicious of the controlling choreographer at her academy, she stumbles upon the fact that he is staging a performance in which the school’s dancers become pawns in a world of demons. The first book in the series will be published internationally in English—in the U.S., U.K., and Australia—in winter 2013.
UK signings and events
- Jeffrey Eugenides. Jeffrey – bloody – Eugenides. Be still my heart. In case you’ve been hiding under a rock, Jeffrey is the world-renowned, Pulitzer Prize winning author of Middlesex (which is one of my favourite novels). He is going to be at Waterstone’s Picadilly, London, on Friday, 4 November 2011, 7:00PM. This is a proper meet-and-greet event, so you do have to buy tickets. They are £5 (or £3 for Waterstones card holders). You can buy them online here.
New Book Covers
- Blue-Blooded Vamp by Jaye Wells – This is the final book in the fantastic Sabina Kane series. In case you somehow missed it, I am a BIG Jaye Wells fan. She epitomises everything that is brilliant about the Urban Fantasy genre and, in short, rocks.
- Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore – There is a reason bloggers everywhere dedicated posts to the release of this book. Because OMGSDFSHKFHS BITTERBLUE!
- Darkness Falls by Cate Tiernan – This is the gorgeous US cover to the next book in Cate’s Immortal Beloved series. I liked the first book but I LOVE this cover!
- Partials by Dan Wells – I had heard nothing about this book until the cover came out… and what a cover! Now it’s way up on my 2012 wishlist!
- Revived by Cat Patrick – Cat’s novel, Forgotten, has gotten nothing but brilliant reviews. Although I haven’t read her work yet, this cover is making me want to run out and buy her work. I just adore the cover of Revived – it’s actually pretty damn original!
- Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock – I found this book on goodreads way back when, and was very excited when it finally got a cover (even one I’m not too keen on!).
See your art on a book cover!
Faber and Faber and The Guardian are hosting a fantastic initiative for artists aged 13 to 16… putting their cover art on seminal novel The Lord of the Flies by William Golding. It’s a terrifying novel, and I can’t wait to see what scary images contestants come up with. Here’s some more detail about the competition (and info about how to enter!):
Faber and Faber and Guardian News & Media are calling on young artists to create a brand new look for one of the world’s most famous books: Lord of the Flies by William Golding. One talented artist will be selected by a team of expert judges and will have the chance to watch as their work is transformed by the Faber design team into a cover for the new educational edition of Lord of the Flies.
The winning illustration will be unveiled at a special exhibition showcasing the best of the entries. The winner and other featured entrants will be invited to the opening of the exhibition at the Guardian’s offices in London in February 2012.
The competition is open to young artists aged 13 to 16, and submissions are welcome in any medium. The closing date for entries is 20 January 2012. The competition is hosted on its own site, which also features exciting additional content for aspiring illustrators. Please visit: http://lordofthefliescover.com/