So Miss Peregrine's.... Where do I start?
The cover looks like this <<< And is kind of weird, haunting, old-school looking and definitely different from any other book covers I own. It's just the right amount of creepy. The blurb is quite mystical, much like the rest of the book.
What really set this book apart for me though was the use of similar images, to the one on the cover, to help propel the story and set the tone. I'm going to try not to give away too much, but it's kind of set in two different, but parallel time zones. One in the modern day and the other in the 1940's, but on the same island. The protagonist we follow is a young man named Jacob. Let's just chuck him onto the list of fictional characters I find attractive and move on. Only joking. Jacob is kind of the coolest because he is in no way your average hero. Nor is he kind of thrust into the role of leading a revolution like some of our most popular teen hero's. He leads a pretty comfortable life; doesn't get bullied, has a job, manages to get on all-right with his parents and so forth, but after his *SPOILERS* grandfather's death (it's not really a spoiler because it happens in the first chapter and grandparent are old anyway) the stories that his grandfather used to tell about his time on the island of Cairnholm start to give him nightmares. His anxiety kicks in and is sent to a therapist to work through his problems. He was the kind of character who would frequently ask "what the actual heck is going on right now" before plunging himself into situations he couldn't get himself out of. He wasn't gung-ho or gun-ready, but he was determined and flawed. Huzzah!!
Anyway, back to the thing that really makes this book/story unique. The author, Ransom Riggs started collecting odd, old photographs as a bit of a hobby. He said he got a number of them at flee markets and garage sale type things and they always came with this level of anonymity. He said he became curious as to the stories they were supposed to tell, but since those stories were long beyond his grasp he decided to write his own to incorporate the images he had in his possession or had seen in someone else's collection. It added this whole other, haunting element to the already brilliant story and just set the tone so perfectly for the scenes. It kind of blows my mind that Riggs was able to take these 50 unrelated images and weld them together in such a way that they told a coherent, intriguing story. It was incredibly well done. Brilliant really.
I devoured the 382 pages over the space of two days and was so devastated when it finished so abruptly, but was relieved to find a sequel had already been published. Now I just have to get my hands on a copy.
Highly recommend. Would read again.