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- Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children | Book Review July 31, 2014
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Let me start out by saying that this book was TOTALLY an impulse buy. The Fiance should have seen it coming when we left church and I said, “hey, let’s check out the [local] bookstore, it’s been a while.”
Part of my reason for going was because I’m a sucker for cats and knew the store had just adopted two after their previous bookstore cat had passed away. But let’s be serious, I was in the mood for some book perusing, something I haven’t gotten to do in quite a while.
So in we walk, immediately greeted by Huck, one of the new cats, which made me smile. I roamed around for a bit, but ultimately ended up at their fantastic YA/fantasy section. Which got me talking to an employee and one of the owners (dude, I could spend all day talking about books, thank goodness Fiance is a patient man). At one point, I was asked if I had read Splintered (no, but I’ve heard about it?), so she pulled out the book. I always prefer hardbacks because I think they’re prettier, but it’s been a long time since I’ve been so enamored by a book cover. Oh my gosh, it’s just beautiful. They told me the story premise, showed me the sequel that had just come out (equally as beautiful), and I was hooked.
Really, Fiance should be happy I left with only one book purchased… but that’s probably because I knew I was getting more for my birthday!
Anyway, if you are ever in the small town of Wellsboro, PA (Pennsylvania Grand Canyon, anyone?), I highly recommend checking out From My Shelf. They’ve got a ton of books, are very passionate about what they do, and it’s always good to support local businesses!
Alyssa Gardner, a descendent of Alice (from Alice in Wonderland), can hear bugs and flowers talking, but ignores them because it’s exactly how her mother ended up in a mental asylum. However, in an effort to break the family curse and save her mother, she travels to Wonderland and tries to fix the things that Alice messed up. Except that her best friend and crush, Jeb, follows her down the rabbit hole. There’s also Morpheus, her Wonderland “guide,” whom she knows from her youngest years as a close friend, but no longer feels like just a “friend.” The real Wonderland is nothing like Lewis Carroll ever wrote, and she must use the help of both men to successfully set things right and return home.
Let me start off by again saying how gorgeous this book is. Not just the pictured slipcover, but the front cover, binding, title pages, and chapter headings are great as well. I was so impressed that I actually looked at the copyright page to see who had done the work: the title page art was done by Nathalia Suellen, and Maria T. Middleton designed the book. Amazing job all around.
Splintered is somewhat a retelling of Alice in Wonderland, except not. The first chapter opens up with Alyssa making art out of bugs, because killing them makes them stop talking to her. Oh boy, we’re already taking a trip down the rabbit hole, aren’t we? As the story progresses, you learn that Alyssa is a descendent of the original Alice, and that not everything is right in the world. Suddenly, bizarre things start happening, more bizarre than the talking bugs and flowers. She decides she needs to get answers from her mother, who is in a mental hospital.
Next thing you know, she’s in Wonderland herself, and that’s when the real fun begins, especially because Jeb has followed her. She travels through the land, fixing things, all the while fighting simultaneous feelings about both Jeb and Morpheus, and wondering who/what she really is.
There were several twists to this book that I never saw coming, especially near the end. It was an easier read, and yet super engaging. I never wanted to put it down. The nice part about the book was that the ending was somewhat wrapped up, and less of a cliffhanger. Of course, there were lingering “what-ifs” that made you want to delve into the next one, but the book didn’t just STOP, like White Hart by Sarah Dalton had. I’ve already gone back to the bookstore for the sequel, but I haven’t felt the need to immediately jump into it (at least until I finish the Divergent series), which is nice.
My only reservation with this book is that it uses the traditional female-can’t-make-up-her-mind-between-two-men storyline. Maybe I’m just noticing it more now that I’ve started writing reviews, but I feel like the YA fantasy genre tends to really lean on typical character relationships that have been used a thousand times. Don’t get me wrong, I actually loved the conflict in this book, and perhaps that’s why this love triangle is used so often. It just made me think of Twilight from time to time. (Why do books keep reminding me of Twilight lately??? Odd.)
I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a good fantasy, a retelling of classic fairy tales, and/or Alice in Wonderland in general. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed!
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“Books to the ceiling, Books to the sky, My pile of books is a mile high. How I love them! How I need them! I'll have a long beard by the time I read them.” - Arnold Lobel
Reading without reflecting is like eating without digesting - Edmund Burke
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