You might know Ransom Riggs from his short films, or maybe from his contributions to Mental_floss magazine, or maybe even for being friends with award-winning YA author John Green. You might not know him, though, as a budding YA author himself.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, Riggs’ debut novel, is the best YA book I’ve read in a very long time. It’s about a young boy who stumbles into a mystery and tries to solve it. The story has peripety, adventure, magic, friendship, and loss. It left me curious, but wasn’t so provocative that I had to tear through each page in suspense. Plus, it met my (admittedly low) standard of a good book: I actually finished it.
Unlike the majority of YA novels I wade through, Miss Peregrine doesn’t read like a teenager wrote it. The words aren’t all easy and the themes aren’t all obvious. It’s an honest-to-goodness novel that is written for a critical thinker. The lessons are implicit, and the the tone Riggs takes gives the book a beautiful, classic feeling. It’s written for young adults, but I think it’s meant for all ages. My younger sister read it after me and loved it, and my dad is plowing through it right now.
I kind of think it could even be the new Harry Potter. J.K. Rowling’s series is so successful because her writing style is timeless and poignant and her characters and themes have remained relevant to a huge audience. Ransom Riggs’ writing style is similar, but smarter and maybe written with a little more finesse. Miss Peregrine is also like Narnia–there is fantasy and safety; peril and suspense grew the story for me, but I was never so scared that I had to scoot under a blanket or check that the back door was locked.
Alright, enough of me pretending to be a book critic. Riggs is a filmmaker and made his own book trailer for the novel. Watch it below, and then you’ll surely want to go buy the book. Or maybe you’ve read it already? In which case, please, let’s have a delightful discussion about it in the comments.